Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Best Moves for People Who "Can't" Exercise

    Do you have limited mobility? Do you get winded easily or have joint pain? The benefits of movement are vast, but when pain is a barrier, it can be hard to get started.

    According to the Harvard School of Public Health, exercise:

    • Promotes weight losswhen combined with a lower-calorie diet
    • Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
    • Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors
    • Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
    • Improves your chances of living a longer and healthier life
    • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
    • Improves heart-lung and muscle fitness
    • Helps prevent osteoporosis
    • Improves sleep

    Even just a little movement can yield significant health benefits and lead toward greater mobility and energy. This is an inspirational story from one of our customers who overcame an extreme handicap in her quest for health:

    Louise overcame a lot through sheer strength of will. She really wanted to change and she did.

    If you want to move but don’t know where to start, here are five low-impact exercises that can kickstart your exercise regimen:

    Arm Lifts

    1. From a standing or seated position (in a chair without arm rests), start by standing or sitting up straight, abdominal muscles pulled in, with your arms hanging relaxed by your side.

    2. Take a deep breath and let it out.

    3. Keep your arms rigid and raise them above your head.

    4. Keep your arms straight and lower them back to your sides.

    5. Repeat this 10 times and do one to five reps throughout the day (don’t forget to breathe).

    6. Once this becomes easy, hold small soup cans or one pound weights.

    Jacks (No jumping)

    1. Stand with both feet together, arms at your sides.

    2. You can do either of two lower-body movements for this type of modified jumping jack: Either step one leg to the side, then return to the starting position, or tap your heel to one side and then return to the starting position.

    3. Repeat whichever movement you chose on the other side. Continue alternating back and forth until you’re comfortable doing the leg movements at a steady, challenging pace.

    4. Add the arm movements: Swing both arms overhead when you tap or step to the side, then swing your arms back to your sides when you bring your feet together.

    Biceps curls

    1. From a standing or seated position and abdominal muscles drawn in (in a chair without arm rests), start standing or sitting up straight, abdominal muscles pulled in with arms straight at your sides and palms facing in toward thighs.

    2. Hold a soup can or 1- to 5-pound hand weight in each hand.

    3. Contract your bicep to bring the right dumbbell up, rotating a quarter turn so your palm is level with and facing your right shoulder.

    4. Pause, then slowly lower to starting position; repeat with left dumbbell.

    5. Do one to five sets of 15 on each side.

    Wall Sits

    1. Stand in front of a wall (about 2 feet in front of it) and lean against.

    2. Slide down until your knees are at about 90-degree angles and hold, keeping the abs contracted, for 20-60 seconds.

    3. Come back to start and repeat.

    4. To add intensity, hold weights or squeeze a ball between the knees.

    Easy Circles

    1. Make circles with as many parts of your body as you can from a seated or standing position.

    2. Start with your ankles, make 10 circles with each and move your way up your body doing ten to twenty circles.

    3. You can make circles with your hips, shoulders, big arm circles, little arm circles and your neck (go slowly and be careful not to lose your balance when doing neck circles)


    Still having trouble getting motivated? Start with these five steps:
    1. There’s no time like the present, schedule ten minutes today (and everyday) when you have the most energy

    2. Decide what you will do

    3. Take a moment to get mentally prepared

    4. Find a comfortable place where you can do your exercise

    5. Remember to breathe (even just this small practice can improve your life)

    Optional: Play music with a steady beat for motivation

    Whether you can only “sway back and forth” or walk around the block, movement is an essential part of your healthy living routine. The more you move the easier it will become. Habits are like muscles, they take time and effort to build but, eventually, they make you stronger.

    Please note: Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program and take special precautions if you have underlying health conditions that may be exacerbated in the cold, such as asthma or a heart condition.

    Comment below to let us know how you do. 


    Author: Kristen Ciuba
    Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!  


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