WITH THE NEW YEAR come new resolutions often connected with diet, exercise and weight loss. However, by February 14th many of us have forgotten those resolutions or given up. Usually when it comes to exercise our good intentions are abandoned because: we don’t know how to start, we hurt, we don’t have time, and we don’t have a gym membership or the money to get one.

Cheer up! The ones in this program take minutes, they’re easy and you don’t have to go anywhere. Your house is your gym if you know how to use it.

It was Walter Camp who first gave us the “Daily Dozen” exercise regimen. While working as an advisor with the U. S. military during World War I, he developed a program of 12 exercises designed to help the servicemen become more physically fit. The twelve exercises could be completed in about 8 minutes and used the muscles in many different ways.

Habits
To begin your daily dozen and keep it going you need to form a habit. The single trouble with good habits is they are hard to pick up.

Drawing by Bonnie Prudden - dancer with radioA good habit is mostly the result of a wise decision and then the conscientious effort to comply. A good habit can be set in your mind and body in a week. After two weeks you will dare not miss it lest you fall off the world.

Good habits require a reason

Good habits require thought

So decide and then stick with the program for the crucial two weeks week and see what happens.

Just as LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION is needed for success in business, AWARENESS, AWARENESS, AWARENESS is imperative for the human body.

Your exercise must become a part of your body, mind and soul. Don’t leave out the soul, it has to do with your attitude…and your mind.

Tracking Progress
Everything done for your very own body needs advance planning. In order to appreciate progress, you need to keep track of it, week by week. First, set your goals. Then…

Weigh-In
Weight is a national problem, so don’t guess about yours. There is a very good reason for knowing what is going on in every part of you all the time. ‘Skinny weigh’ every morning. This program runs on self-discipline. Turn what you are about to do into habits. Once they become habits you have it made. You never have to deviate. There should be no choices such as, “Oh I’ll do that later!”

Measurements
Nobody gets healthy, thin, strong, skilled or off of anything, unless they jolly well want to. Measure your arms, chest, waist, thighs, and calves each month and chart your progress. If you need help, refer to Exer-Sex or Bonnie Prudden’s After Fifty Fitness Guide for charts and how to measure.

Purpose
Once purpose is firmly established, habits will carry you along. It will make you do what you need to do even if you are bored one Blue Monday. You will find that, even if purpose escapes you, the habits you form will get you through. When you do your daily dozen pay total attention to YOU. If some day you can’t think beyond this very minute (or don’t want to) just rely on the simple patterns.

Twelve Pennies
Twelve Pennies Exercise is a trick to remind you to do some exercises at intervals all day long and also to drink more water. It involves the bathroom and intermittent interruptions. Most people hit the bathroom, for one reason or another, about 10 times a day. If you are a camel, maybe seven. If you are a face checker, maybe 12. But 10 is average.

Get two little cups together, Saki cups are ideal. Place cup A on the right side of the sink and put 12 shiny pennies in it. Place cup B on the left side of the sink along with a drinking glass. Every time you find yourself in the bathroom, do the exercises shown below. Start with eight repetitions for each exercise. The number of repeats are starters for the out-of-shape. Set your own pace, but remember…start easy and increase with time and muscle.

Then drink a glass of water. That will ensure your return in about two hours. One can defer almost anything but Nature. Take a penny from cup A and drop it into cup B as your score. At the end of the day, you owe as many exercises as there are pennies left in cup A.

To make this exercise time even more fun and productive, put a CD player or iPod in the bathroom along with your favorite music. A promise: you will improve your strength and flexibility and never miss the minutes.

Bonnie’s Daily Twelve
The following 12 exercises will get you started. If twelve is too many, start with one or two each day and gradually add the rest. These exercises were chosen because they, like Walter Camp’s “Dailey Dozen”, use the muscles in a variety of ways and in different areas of the body. If you chose to begin with only two exercises, make sure you vary them throughout the day so that by the end of the day you have used the muscles of the upper body, pelvis and lower body.

Don’t forget. It takes two weeks to establish a habit!

You are now on your way!

four corrective exercises

four corrective exercises

four corrective exercises

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For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help.

Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy