Exercise can be performed using the body’s own weight which creates automatic resistance, all without the purchase of a gym membership. This can be a nice alternative to going to a gym as the gym can be expensive, and shuts us indoors where recycled air, unnatural temperatures, and loud music can be problematic.
Bodyweight exercise also builds the body in a more efficient manner and reduces strain on the musculoskeletal system, and in some cases, can assist in rebuilding the tissues. It has been shown that former NBA and NFL athletes, who are known for heavy weight training regimens, especially in the off season, begin to experience aches and pains in their joints once they retire in part because of the burden placed on them during their careers.
Below are a few modified bodyweight exercises that reveal part of an endless array of movement:
Incline Push-ups create greater resistance with one’s bodyweight and are excellent for strengthening the abdomen, triceps, and upper back.
Chin-ups are best for the forearms, biceps, front shoulders, abdomen and upper back.
Squats strengthen the quadriceps located at the front of the thighs and encourage flexibility of the ligaments and tendons in and near the knee joints. I also encourage proper posture as seen in the figure below. Squats are best when done without weights, which can place too much pressure on the tendons and ligaments in the knee joints, and may also produce wear on the knee cartilage. If you observe professional dead lifters, you see most, if not all of them, wearing knee and back braces due to injuries sustained during years of heavy weightlifting.
Walking outdoors is also good because it helps us to take in more oxygen and clear the body of impurities. We tend to move a bit faster than normal, and are exposed to fresh air and sunlight. It is a good idea to remove your shoes and walk barefoot if you walk on dirt, sand, or grass, as this massages the reflexology points on the bottom of each foot that correspond to each organ. Most importantly, if you have a loved one to walk with or even a group of people who would like to join you, enjoy it with them; this has the added benefit of lifting your spirit as well.