I am a stay-at-home mom of 3 awesome and busy kids. There is never a dull moment around here! I stay busy, but I always build time into my busy schedule for health and fitness. If I don't take care of myself now...who will, right!?! I love writing and editing and am grateful for the opportunity to blog for Today's Mama!

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A Fun Twist on Working Out, Handstands Every Day

As a busy mom, like many of you,  it means I often can’t make it out to the gym like I plan to.  But, it is so important to me that I get some sort of exercise in on a daily basis.  So, I’m always looking for things I can do from home.  While on FaceBook, I came across this little gem called “5 Reasons You Should Do Handstands Every Day” from mindbodygreen.com that I thought was different, fun and interesting.  So, I want to summarize it for you.

Most people don’t consider doing handstands as an exercise.  Why?  They feel like they can’t do them.  I have been doing them since reading this article and I can assure you that they get easier the more you do them.  Not only that, but they are super fun to do, especially when you involve your children.  The article suggests to start out doing them up against a wall until you feel comfortable doing them freestanding.  However, I have found that that is more difficult for me.  You will have to try it both ways to determine what is best and easiest for you.

1.  Handstands are awesome for your shoulders, arms and upper back.  It might seem like just a fun thing to do (like cartwheels when you were a kid)…and they really are.  But, they require muscles you didn’t realize are worked.  You’ll believe me after about 5 or 6 of them.  🙂

(Tip from the article):  To build up the strength you need, start out by holding  your handstand against the wall(or not) for 3 sets of 5-10 seconds at a time.  Increase the amount of time you hold your handstands until you reach up to one minute or more at a time.  You will notice your strength amazingly increase.

2.  I don’t know about you, but I have never had the best balance.  But, as you might have figured, you need quite a bit of balance to hold a handstand (which is probably why I can’t hold mine for very long).  But, the nice thing is that the more you practice them, the more you will increase your balance.  Yay for me!

(Tip from the article):  Practicing freestanding handstands, or doing handstands against the wall and taking your feet off the wall for as long as you can will help you build your balancing skills unlike any other exercise.

3.  Get your blood flowing….did you know being inverted in a handstand makes the blood flow to your brain which energizes you and decreases the amount of cortisol your body makes, therefore decreasing your anxiety and stress levels.  What a great benefit from doing a few minutes of handstands a day!  Who couldn’t use a little less stress in their lives!?!

photo credited to boomcha7 and Flickr

photo credited to boomcha7 and Flickr

4.  Forget about all those crunches and sit-ups… do handstands instead.  Holding a handstand requires you to hold your core muscles taut.  So, if you don’t already have those abs of steel, practicing daily will help you get there faster. (Tip from the article):  You will also be working your hip flexors, hamstrings, inner thigh muscles, obliques and lower back while in a handstand.  I don’t know about you, but I feel these are all muscles that aren’t fun to work, but definitely need it.  So in addition to increasing your balance, you’ll also be building an amazing core.

5.  Worried about Osteoporosis?  Doing any weight-bearing exercise can help strengthen your bones.  And yes, handstands are technically a weight-bearing exercise.  You can also take the pressure off …your feet and legs that is, and increase your circulation.  Being inverted will also stretch your diaphragm all at the same time, increasing blood flow to your lungs.

Add a few handstands into your daily routine.  There are so many health benefits to doing them… and you will also have a great time!  What could be better than that?  They will seem difficult at first.  But the more you do them, the easier they will become!

Happy Fitness!

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