Namaste-ing Active and Healthy in 2019
- Jenny Redford, Owner Jenny Redford Pilates LLC
…you love making New Year’s Resolutions or prefer an ongoing evolution, the beginning of the year is a great time to start new, make things fresh, and get moving. We tapped into Jenny Redford, pilates teaching mama, to share some of her tips on how to kick off the new year and get moving!
Coming out of the holidays, filled with all the cozy, snuggly, time-to-hibernate feelings, it’s this very coziness that can make it hard to get into a regular movement routine -- movement that supports important muscles (especially important for women), our metabolism, healthy joints, happy pelvic floors, and endorphins, obviously. We know all the benefits of exercise and we know how much better we feel when we’re in our groove. So here are 5 simple exercises that will get the ball rolling to strengthen and balance the body in all the right places. These exercises are smart, functional, and support the shape and tone you want.
Lift the hips so you make a straight line with your body, from knees to shoulders. Eyes look straight up. Alternate lifting one leg at a time without shifting the hips. Tip: Think of reaching your knees forward over your toes while you “pinch” your sitting bones together. Use the feet to lower each leg seamlessly. Repeat 15-20 times each leg.
Make a tabletop, with a 90 degree angle at your hips and knees. Place your palms against your thighs as you firmly press thighs together and thighs into palms. Hold as you breathe deeply, emphasizing the exhalation. Tip: Focus on exhaling from your tailbone out the crown of your head, bottom to top. Your exhale is the cue for your abs to turn on. Hold 1-2 minutes.
SUPERMAN TO COBRA
Reach long and wide from fingertips to toes, hovering an inch or two off the mat. Then, drag the hands back, creating resistance, as you draw elbows into the body. Lift the chest high enough to open the heart and let the legs lower to the mat. Tip: Start by setting yourself up with the pelvis flat on the mat; pubic bone and hip bones equally weighted. Try not to let the glutes take over and do all the work -- we want equally distributed work through the whole posterior chain. Repeat 10-15 times.
PUSH-UP TO CHILD’S POSE
Line up shoulders directly over wrists and bend elbows to lower. Keep the elbows tight to the body and the heart open. Press up the same way and then sit back to child’s pose, enjoying the stretch and release. Line up shoulders and wrists to repeat. Tip: Use your exhalation to assist the lift part of the push up. The exhale will turn on the abs and keep you from tensing up in the chest + jaw. Repeat 10-15 times.
KNEEL TO SQUAT
From a low kneel, rock back on your feet then slowly rise to a low squat (resembling “chair pose”). Slowly lower the same way, rooting the feet and hinging at the hips. The back stays long and neutral. Tip: The trick is to feel equally weighted in both legs. Focus on moving the legs together, as a unit, avoiding staggering the movement. You’ll likely notice which leg is dominant here. Repeat 15-20 times.
Need some wardrobe inspiration to kick off your new year workout regiment? We are all about Everlane’s 100% Human collection, which donates a portion of proceeds to American Civil Liberties Union, fighting to defend civil liberties since 1920, and the limited pink edition line goes towards Equality Now, working to end legal inequality, sex trafficking and sexual violence.