Daily Challenge Thursday Feb. 09, 2012

Everyday Well-Being

Do 3 squats today.

How to do it

You don't have to be a body builder to do successful squats! Face the wall and rest your hands on it for balance, or hold on to a stable chair. Slowly bend your knees, pushing out your back end as you lower yourself. Your knees should not extend past your toes. Go as far down as you can without becoming uncomfortable. Then slowly straighten up. As you do the next squat, see if you can bend a little bit further.

Why it matters

Squats are the perfect stretch and strengthener. They tone your largest muscles and can help increase metabolism. Although squats were once believed to be a no-no for knees, new research has shown that if someone does squats over a long-term period and has good form, the moves actually make knees stronger. Trainers now praise squats as an all-in-one exercise.

Fun fact

Most Westerners can't squat deeply because of shortened Achilles tendons, the result of sitting in chairs and wearing heeled shoes from a young age. All non-Western cultures habitually rest in a deep squat, with feet flat and buttocks just off the ground.


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