I get asked on a regular basis what kinds of exercises should be done to get better or keep fit. There are some classics which are lovely and immensely helpful like yoga, pilates or taichi but I just want to write about this certain one today
This simple and yet really tiresome exercise is simply getting onto the floor and lying down, getting from lying to sitting and getting from sitting back to standing.
It sounds so simple but especially when we haven’t done much exercise recently, it suddenly becomes quite a challenge.
A more vigorous form of that is a burpee where the person gets from standing into a press up position, does a press up and jumps straight up from there. Many sets with many reps of that can be done but this is the objective of my recommendation today.
The exercise I am recommending is more important as a movement than a fat burning exercise.
All through our lives we fight gravity. It’s the one thing we have to successfully defy the minute we get out of bed until we lie down in the evening, from lifting our head and limbs as a baby to the last day of our life. The better we manage this challenge, the better we do.
This exercise is a preparation for the moment that we fail to defy it. The moment that the dog pushes us over, we trip over that little ledge or we slip on ice. The better we are prepared for it the better we fair after that moment, just getting up again and brushing the dust off.
The less prepared we are for this, the scarier it is. It is far more important to be able to get up again than lifting any weight or being able to operate machines in the gym.
The good thing is that we can do this exercise in the comfort of our home. Even if you need the help of an armchair or a sofa to get up first that’s fine, it is a very intense exercise. Just being familiar with the different aids in the house that can help you get off the floor is a really helpful thing. It may help you set furniture in different places so you have more help getting up from the floor in that unexpected moment.
The exercise doesn’t need to be done a lot. If you manage to do that once per week only that is OK but the more familiar you are with the movement the less scary it becomes. If you manage the exercise more than 5 times in a row without any problems, it may well be worth switching to something more challenging (why not try those burpees?).
I am really passionate about this exercise because it is so simple yet so crucial. If this is daunting please get someone you trust to be there to support you when you go through it for the first times.
Enjoy the exercise, there is no value in pushing yourself though this exercise if you feel it is just too much. There is more value in you enjoying and exploring the exercise through going onto the floor from the sofa and getting back on it and feeling up for the task than trying it once and hating it.