Patients ask me how I keep fit. The answer often surprises them.
Some people expect me to have some special osteopathic hi-tech program that keeps me superfit and immune to all illness. The reality: I do four things: when I go out of the house I walk whenever possible, I use a rebounder when I feel like it and a flexibar when I feel like it and I do a bit of stretching now and then. That's it!
What could be more fun than bouncing gently up and down on a rebounder? Probably lots of things. But it's not a bad way to get some exercise. Look at some of the advantages.
- It's discreet, no-one else is watching you as you bounce.
- You can use it while watching TV or listening to the radio or MP3 player and sing along (optional) to your favourite music.
- Even a small period of time is beneficial. 5-10 minutes a day is equivalent to jogging a couple of kilometres (I prefer km because 8 km sounds further than 5 miles).
- You don't need special clothes or equipment (except for the rebounder itself). It doesn't take up much room (I store mine behind a door)
- You choose the level you work at, from the gentlest of rhythmic movement to flat out high speed mogul hopping
- Best of all it feels like play, and we should have some playtime every day, if only for mental well-being. It doesn't feel like tedious, boring, repetitive exercise.
For upper body conditioning I like a Flexibar. It involves gripping a bendy bar, about 4 feet long and making it wobble in a harmonic way. Once you get the hang of it there are all sorts of "core stability" workouts you can do. Again like the rebounder it feels like play.
So there we have my whole exercise routine:
- Walking, I aim to do 3 km inside 30 minutes, three times a week
- Rebounding, days I don't walk (e.g. if it's raining) or just if I feel like it
- Flexibar, when I feel like it
- Stretching 5-15 minutes most days if I feel like it
My favourite book of stretches is Yoga for Wimps: Poses for the Flexibly Challenged
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