The Philadelphia Eagles’ Health and Wellness 40-day Training Challenge has inspired us.
The Birds, along with Rothman Institute at Jefferson and Novo Nordisk, started the platform to get fans up on their feet and eating healthy foods. The challenge is free and encourages participants to drink eight glasses of water, catch eight hours of sleep, and complete 20 minutes of physical activity every day. Fans can earn an extra point daily by completing additional activities based on mental and physical health. Yes, prizes are involved. Think: autographed jerseys and, for the grand prize winner, a one-day contract with the team. The challenge ends on Nov. 17.
To help Eagles fans of all ages fit in fitness, we’ve asked two area personal trainers to share their top workouts or exercise moves.
Here are their suggestions:
Ashley Greenblatt, a personal trainer who works out of the Sporting Club at the Bellevue, shared exercises and stretches that are tailored to different lifestyles.
Seniors should try doing chair squats to strengthen leg muscles.
- Start in a seated position in a chair. Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.
- Push through your heels to elevate to standing position.
- Slowly lower your body back to the chair without using your hands.
- Repeat 15 times.
Office workers and those with more physically demanding jobs need to concentrate on stretching.
- To loosen tight hip flexors and improve circulation, set a phone reminder to get up and walk around. Or, whenever possible, ditch the elevator and take the stairs.
- To keep the blood flowing throughout a sedentary day, try a desk push-up, jumping jack or stationary lunge. Increase the number of repetitions by one each day to gain strength.
- To avoid a sore back, place your hands on the small of your back and extend backward to stretch the spine and open the chest muscles.
- To keep neck muscles relaxed, position your hand at the top of the head and lightly bend the neck from side to side.
- At home, try popular yoga positions such as downward dog or child’s pose to further stretch the spine and release the tension that can accumulate throughout the day.
College students and millennials can enlist friends for a group challenge.
- See who can hold a plank the longest, do the most push ups, or complete 50 jumping jacks the fastest. Doing push-ups and planks three times a day can help counter muscle imbalances in the neck, shoulders and core from spending too much time on your phone.
Gavin McKay, founder of Unite Fitness, offered up a series of workouts ranging from beginner to advanced.
Those new to exercise should try this “off the couch” routine.
- Alternate one minute of walking and jogging for 10 minutes total .
- Hold a plank for one minute, or slowly work up to a one-minute goal.
- Do 10 repetitions each of these three exercises:
- Rear lunges: stand straight, move foot off the floor and step backward, bending the knee at 90 degrees until it touches the floor.
- Bench dips: Start by sitting on a bench with legs straight out in front of you. Slide your butt off the edge of the bench, and then lower your body so your arms form a 90-degree angle, then raise your body up to straightened arms.
Out-of-shape fans can get back into fitness with this “step-it-up” workout.
- Alternate one minute of walking and running at a brisk pace for 10 minutes total.
- While holding a plank, alternate lifting your legs. Aim for one minute.
- Do 10 repetitions each of these two exercises:
- Step-ups: Place your right foot onto a bench or chair. Press through your right heel as you step onto the bench, bringing your left foot to meet your right. Then step down, returning to the starting position. Alternate your starting foot.
- Incline push-ups: Use an elevated surface such as a bench.
Fans who are in decent shape and can handle a push should try this boot camp-style workout.
- Alternate 30 seconds of walking and sprinting for 10 minutes.
- Plank jacks: In a plank position, jump your feet out and then back in. Repeat this movement for one minute.