You’ve made it Challengers!
This is the last day of your tasks.
Of course, you can continue on with each of these tasks every day from here on out, and we highly recommend that. Or, you can pick out those you found most valuable and make those part of your regular routine.
But, we’re not done yet; we have one more to get through.
For this final challenge, you’re going to:
Strengthen your core
Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you do 1,000 crunches today! This is another breathing exercise.
Who wouldn’t want washboard abs?
It takes a lot of hard work to get a flat stomach, but maybe there’s something you can do to get a strong core and improve the musculature of your trunk without doing thousands of abs or other core exercises.
It may sound too good to be true, but breathing can do the trick. It’s true! Just like core exercises focus on increasing the muscle function in your abs, so too can breathing. And because you take on average 23,000 breaths a day, just imagine what targeted breathing can do for your muscles!
Many of us typically breathe using our chest muscles, but this is considered shallow breathing. When we start engaging our core and using our abdominal muscles, not only do we get more air into our lungs, we use more muscles. And you basically train your muscles from the inside out simply by breathing. Try this exercise from Jill Miller of Yoga Tune-Up.
- Using a rolled-up towel, firm pillow, or small soft ball about the size of your head lie face down and place towel under the abdomen.
- Take 5 slow breaths concentrating on inflating abdomen and feeling belly press into the towel.
- For next 5 breaths, inhale until full, then hold, stiffening all muscles of abdomen at once, as if bracing against prop. Hold breath for 3 seconds, then slowly exhale.
- Finally, while breathing in, roll gently from side to side, massaging abdomen. Continue for 1 minute.
- Move towel under sternum and repeat the 3-step sequence, this time feeling rib cage press into towel.
ON THE BACK
- Bonus: Still lying face down, place towel on your low back and try to lift towel towards the ceiling with your breathing alone.
Let us know in the comments below how you did with the daily tasks of the challenge and what you might like to see in future challenges.
We hope you have enjoyed this challenge as much as we have!
To your good health,
Team Aches Away
PS) Let us know what you liked about the challenge by commenting on the Facebook Group.
PPS) Watch your email for more tips and tricks on how to boost your health in 2020 and beyond!