The Body Parts You’re Likely Forgetting to Exercise

wrist stretch

Even though you might be spending a good deal of time on the treadmill, bike, or rowing machine, you might be neglecting to exercise 4 important body parts.

In addition to the legs, arms, and core, HuffPo explains there are 4 often-overlooked areas of the body that need a good workout in order to maintain someone's overall health.

The brain: Aging, stress, poor sleep, and environmental factors can reportedly take a toll on the brain, but exercising the brain and keeping this vital organ as active as possible can help. HuffPo's experts say learning something new, like a foreign language, a new hobby, how to play a musical instrument, or a new sport can keep the brain active and in better shape. Also, they suggest mindfulness meditation, which has reportedly been shown to improve brain function. (Try out this 3-minute mindfulness practice!)

The lungs: At the age of 35, the body's lung function gradually begins to decline, pulmonary medicine specialist Dr. Alberto L. Rozo explains, noting the importance of taking part in activities that will help to increase the body's lung capacity. Routine cardio and aerobic workouts will help, along with diaphragmatic breathing. HuffPo suggests the following breathing exercise to improve lung capacity, "Lie down on your back, placing one hand on your stomach over your belly button and one on your chest. Inhale through your nose for two seconds, feeling the air go into your abdomen and your stomach pushing out. Then breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips, allowing your stomach to deflate. Repeat several times."

The wrists: If you work out or play sports routinely, the experts stress the importance of wrist exercises to optimize your wrist strength and joint stability. One way to warm up your wrists is by stretching your forearm muscles, says Dr. Joseph A Gil orthopedic surgeon. HuffPo suggests, "Do this by lying your forearm flat on a table, allowing your hand and wrist to dangle off the edge. Bend your wrist down slowly, then bring it back up. Repeat several times, then move on to the other side. You can also do this with a small, light weight."

The toes: The toes and the metatarsals bones (the 5 bones in your toes) carry a great deal of weight and pressure on them, and foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Bruce Pinker tells HuffPo that foot stretching before your workout and when you wake up is vital. "You risk the chance of your feet tightening up or contracting, which can lead to pain," he says. “It is important to stretch or exercise the tops of the feet upon awakening.” To improve strength and flexibility in your toes and ankles, dance and fitness coach Kelby Brown suggests the following warm up exercise: "Start by sitting with your back against a wall and extend your arms at your side, with the tip of the middle finger lightly pressed into the ground... Then, brace your core and tightly hold your legs together. Point your toes from this point and count to four. Then flex your feet and count to four. Do this a few times."

More: Is Your Home Workout Equipment Dirtier Than You Think?

More: Signs of Workout Success Unrelated to the Scale

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