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The Best Piece of Exercise Equipment You’re Not Using

Posted By Katy Santiago Bowman On September 30, 2009 @ 1:06 pm In Fitness | 1 Comment


Ah, I see I got your attention.

And you are wondering what I could be talking about. The treadmill in your guest bedroom? (The one with the clothes on it.) The roller blades in your closet? The semi-inflated ball in the backyard, or the weights you have lying around just in case you are inspired to bicep curl? Nope, none of those. Give up? This one-size-fits-all, miraculous tool of amazing design is the FLOOR!

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The floor can do wonders for your hips, shoulders and back tension. It can help you build bone [1] and decrease your blood pressure [2]. But guess what? You have to get down on it. I know. It’s an extreme thought. In fact, the hardest 3 feet you will ever travel is between your hips and the ground.

I can get down, but I can’t get back up

True strength is the ability to manage your body mass in all situations. If you can’t get off the floor, then you are lacking the strength and flexibility required to keep your body healthy. I suggest everyone gets down on the floor and up again every day — just to make sure you don’t lose the ability to. Exercise teachers: Have your clients practice the functional task of climbing down to a supine (face up on your back) position and then back up again.

My floor is too dirty

Um, vacuum it? And this reason seems more like a health-prohibiting excuse and not a valid reason. When it comes time for your annual doctor visit, how are you going to feel knowing you could have taken better care of your spine [3] but didn’t want to spend 10 minutes cleaning up?

There is not enough space

The smallest space I have ever seen was the quarters a family of five, living on a small sail boat. We were still able to roll a yoga mat [4] out to create a usable exercise floor, just the perfect size for an adult. So if you have a smaller space [5], I want proof! You may have to move things out of the way when it’s time to get down, but guess what … that’s exercise too.

Think mind over matter

The biggest thing keeping you from coming down is your own inertia. Seriously, even athletes don’t like to get down on the ground. It slows them down, as you can imagine.

Your body is always trying to conserve energy. It’s not that you are lazy — you are just programmed with an internal voice: “Stop doing that. You are using too much energy. There may not be enough food to last us through the winter.” Someone really needs to figure out how to explain the, uh, recent abundance of kcals to our metabolism.

You don’t have to feel bad, you just have to have a little mind over matter. (That saying is a lot more literal than figurative in this example!)

Get down on the floor regularly

So, back to solving the problem of inertia. Step one is to get down on the floor regularly. Even if you didn’t do anything else while being down there, getting up means you just performed a whole-body exercise, lifting (fill your body weight in the blank) pounds. Next time you see someone showing off their chest press with 50-pound weights, you can show them up by doing your impressive full-body press.

Want to sweat? Start from a standing position and then climb down to the ground, ending up face down. Climb back up to a standing position and climb back down ending with you face up. Repeat this cycle five to 10 times. It’s more fatiguing than you think!

But like I said, those 3 feet are hard. Many would prefer a challenging workout that doesn’t involve the floor. Just looking at it fills you with hesitance. You can comment on why YOU won’t get on the floor. Unless, of course, you do!

(I just made myself do it, so join the club!)

View original post at Katysays.com [6]. This excerpt republished with permission.

Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com

URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/the-best-piece-of-exercise-equipment-you%e2%80%99re-not-using/

URLs in this post:

[1] build bone: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/5-Ways-to-Boost-Your-Workouts-BoneBuilding-Power.html

[2] decrease your blood pressure: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Mayo-Clinic-High-Blood-Pressure.html

[3] care of your spine: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Restorative-Exercises-for-Spinal-Alignment.html

[4] yoga mat: http://www.gaiam.com/category/yoga-studio/yoga-mats.do

[5] smaller space: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/how-to-burn-major-calories-in-a-small-space/

[6] Katysays.com: http://katysays.com/2009/09/03/the-best-piece-of-exercise-equipment-youre-not-using/

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