Using arm bands is another good way to get a good workout using your own body strength and flexibility.  These thin, long fitness bands are good for exercising at home, and they don’t take up much room when you’re packing for a vacation or business trip.

Of course, it’s important in any exercise to start from perfect posture.  Stand tall, shoulders back, chest high, hips even, abs zipped, buttocks pinched and knees soft.  (See my past blog, “The Importance of Good Posture,” for a more detailed description and standing posture tips.)

PUSH BACKS.  Put the band around a pole and stand, holding the ends, with your hands at your sides.  Initiating the movement from your core, push your hands back, keeping your arms straight but your elbows soft (slightly bent).  Push back only as far as you can while maintaining your posture and alignment, then slowly release, keeping tension on the band, til you are nearly at the starting position – and then push back again.

PULL BACKS.  Place the band around a pole and stand, in perfect posture, holding the ends with your elbows bent at a 90⁰ angle.  Pull your hands back towards your body and then slowly release. Keep the tension on the band and maintain posture and alignment throughout this exercise.

TORSO LATERAL FLEXION.  Put the center of the band on the floor and stand on it with both feet, holding the ends in your hands.  Tilt your head toward your shoulder and then slowly, one vertebrae at a time, roll and bend.  Be sure to stay within your range of motion (only go as far as you can while maintaining posture and alignment), and don’t push your hips out to either side as you bend.  Roll back up, ending by straightening your neck to raise your head.  Do the same pattern on the other side, and then repeat on both sides.

Remember to pack your bands when you travel.  They help build flexibility and muscle, with little danger of injury through overdoing an exercise.  If you don’t feel like exercising, you can always try to discover creative uses for them!

And always keep in mind that: Less is More.  Slow and mindful exercise will help you reach your fitness goals.

Ta da! Til the next time,