8 Exercise and Health Lessons Learned, & Re-learned

Last Saturday I attended a group of workshops at the YWCA on anatomy, exercise, and nutrition. Here are the eight best things I learned:

1. A piece of wooden doweling purchased at your local lumber store is an inexpensive, fun and functional exercise tool for dynamic warm-ups and balance exercise.

2. Plant both feet firmly on the ground before you do a standing or seated exercise. This will help you set your core.

3. Remember to activate your core, before you do an exercise, by going through these three steps:

  • Pull your belly button in and glue it to your spine
  • Pull your abs up, like when you zip up your jeans 
  • Stop your pee

4. Before any exercise, work on finding a ‘neutral’ position for your neck, shoulders and low back (image at right).

5. Throughout your workout remember to check your posture as you move from exercise to exercise.

6. Learn to use diaphragmatic breathing–that’s when you breathe though your nose and there is movement in both your chest and diaphragm.

7. Add some mustard to your balsamic/olive oil dressing to keep it from separating.

8. Light snacking ½ hour before bed (1/2 piece of whole grain toast with a light spread of peanut butter) is good for maintaining a stable metabolism throughout the night.