It's another Fit Friday!
This week is focused on something the vast majority of us do every single day; sleep.
Many of us may not have time to go to the gym or exercise during the day, but we all go to sleep, right?
Personal trainers say a small workout before you get into bed and right when you get up could do wonders for your health.
Going to the gym and doing the heavy lifting is really important for Ronald Robinson, a Roanoke City Police Officer. But just as important for him: the stretches he does before bed and workouts he does when he gets up.
"Pays dividends," Robinson said, "especially for as you get older in life and stuff just starts hurting."
"Obviously, it's better than nothing. And just simply moving, being able to move is a benefit in itself," said Ryan Munsey, owner of House of Strength Gym in Roanoke.
Think about it; the few minutes before we go to sleep and right when we get up is free time.
Why not do something with it?
"It makes you a little bit more alert in the morning, you can feel it a lot, definitely," Robinson said.
Munsey recommends stretching before bed; that'll help with mobility, blood flow, breathing and help you fall asleep. The first stretch he showed me is called a 90/90, where you put both of your knees at 90 degrees and lean forward and backward; stretching hips.
Here's how you do the 90-90. Sit flat on your butt and put one leg in front of you and one behind you, both at 90 degrees. It may feel a little funny at first, but it's a great hip stretch.
Next, more hip stretches while on one knee. The most important thing to do when doing all these stretches is to focus on the posture of your core. While on one knee, imagine a straight line perpendicular to the ground going from your knee straight through your chest and into your head. From there, you want to lean forward to stretch your hips.
Ronald Robinson says all these stretches and the other ones he does make a huge difference.
"It really helps with the range of mobility in my shoulders. I have old shoulder injuries from football and it helps," Robinson said.
As for the lifts and exercises you can do when you get up, Munsey recommends pushups and situps as long as they're done right.
He says often times, people do these exercises incorrectly and nullifies some of the benefits.
"Ten perfect ones beats a thousand bad ones everyday," Munsey said.
So how do you do the perfect pushup? While lying flat on your stomach, you want to put your hands as close to under your armpits as possible. By doing this, Munsey says it puts less stress on your shoulders and more emphasis on the chest and arm muscles that pushups should work. Too hard for you? Munsey says there's nothing wrong with doing pushups on your knees and working your way up to the feet.
As for situps, Munsey says too many people rely too much on arm movements while they do them. He recommends trying to keep your arms straight above your head and not to move them. Doing that will focus your efforts on your abs; bringing your sternum to your pelvis.
The last thing Munsey said to focus on are exercises that help your back.
He says many people don't focus on back muscles and it hurts posture and leads to back problems. He was keen on an exercise called T-Y-W-I.
Lying flat on your stomach and keeping your thumbs pointed in the air, you make all those letters, four seconds at a time, with your arms for a few repetitions.
"It's going to strengthen your low back and it's going to strengthen your upper back and the back side of your shoulders," Munsey said.
The most important things about these exercises is doing them right and doing them over a long period of time, increasing repetitions in very small increments.