Sunday, November 17, 2019

Educating Inmates Part 3

As noted in Part 2 of this Educating Inmates, for Part 3 I will be going over some of the exercises for both the mind and body that I teach to my inmates to help keep their bodies and minds healthy while incarcerated and of course some of the weird shit people have said to me concerning this topic ๐Ÿ˜†

Incarceration can be very taxing on the body not only mentally but physically as well.  In small county jails like mine, there are no weight rooms, outside areas or big, common areas.  Exercise space, therefore, is very limited - of course, there is a rec area but in the grand scheme of things, it is very small; and while the inmates do get down to that area a couple of times a week, there is usually too many people to really to do any real type of freestyle exercises.

So, in order to help keep my inmates physically fit, I did a bit of research.  With the limited space of the jail cells in mind, I came up with a couple of different exercise routines that work in their cell areas with different skill levels and physical efforts.  I've noted a few of them below (these seem to be the most popular ones)  *Side Note: These exercises would also work well in living rooms :)  BUT like with any exercise routine always start out slow,  take frequent rest periods and drink lots of water to stay hydrated!

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Three of the most popular Freestyle Exercise Routines we have given to our inmates ๐Ÿ‘

Remember to always stretch out for at least five minutes before and after any exercises!

Cardio, Arms, Legs and Lumbar Area Level: Easier
1. 20 seconds of Jumping Jacks
2. 20 seconds of Regular Push-ups or Supermans
3. 20 seconds of Wall Squat
4. 20 seconds of Mountain Climbers
Do up to 10 rounds, with a rest-time in between each round of up to 2 minutes.
**Beginner Tip: Do less rounds to start and work your way to up to 10 :)  As you get used to the routine increase the times of each exercise.

Cardio, Arms and Legs Level: Hard
1. 20 seconds Knee High Sprints
2. 20 seconds T Push-up
3. 20 seconds Jump Squats
4. 20 seconds Mountain Climbers
Complete each move for 20 seconds, with 10 to 30 seconds of rest between.  At the end of all 4 moves, rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Then start again - run through the entire circuit 3 to 5 times.

To play with a card decks  ๐Ÿ‘Œ  Core, Full Body - Level: Medium
High Knee Sprints or Butt Kicks
Wall Squats or Mountain Climbers
T Push-Ups or Regular Push-Ups
Leg Lifts or Jump Squats
Supermans or V-Sits
Jumping Jacks or Running in Place

How To’s:

Wall Squats (AKA: The Air Chair as my inmates affectionately call it ๐Ÿ˜†)
Easy Peasy, just put your back against the wall and slide down until your hips, knees and ankles are all making right ankles with the floor - hold this for as long as you can then lift yourself up.

Mountain Climbers
Start in a regular push-up position, then step one foot forward as if you’re walking up a staircase. Repeat with the alternate foot. Flip back and forth with your feet in a steady pace for one minute. 

High-Knee Sprints
Basically running in place but you bring your knees to just above your hips. *Make sure to land on the balls of your feet rather than your heels so you don't hurt yourself! 

T Push-Up
A different version of a push-up - start by getting into regular push-up position while standing against the wall, your body should be in line with and a couple of inches away from the wall.  Then, rotate the back of your torso toward the wall and raise your other hand into the air.  Keep your arms straight and press the back of your raised hand against the wall, holding it for five seconds.  Then go back to your original position and replicate the same move but in the opposite direction.

Jump Squats
Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.  Sit back into a squat position then drive your whole body up starting at the heel and shifting your weight to the balls of your feet and jump.  *Remember to land on the balls of your feet!

Butt Kicks
Another running in place move but instead of driving your knees up, you kick your heels to (or near) your butt with every stride. 

Lie down on your stomach and lift your limbs into the air, keeping your legs straight the whole time. Squeeze your glutes and lower-back muscles to help you lift higher above the ground.


Of course, we always go over the nutritional side of staying as healthy as possible while incarcerated as well, but, unfortunately the extent of my inmates nutritional choices are what they can buy off of commissary and what is offered on their trays at each meal time.  The biggest piece of nutritional education that we give goes mostly over carb consumption and hydration - unless we have diabetics, then it's a whole unofficial diabetic nutrition class basically on healthy vs not, carbs and sugar consumption, and so on and so forth ๐Ÿ˜ whatever it is that that specific inmate needs more information on to live healthily both while incarcerated and when released.

There are so many factors when incarcerated that people do not think of that affect a persons physical and mental health states...  For instance my inmates are not given outside time and the "windows" inside their jail cells are pretty small and high up on the walls.  This can lead to depression and lack of vitamin absorption amongst other things (quick note: the windows in the rec room are bigger, and sunlight does filter in a good amount when it is shining, but while rec is mandatory for us to offer, it is a choice of the inmate on whether or not they want to go - and not everyone goes every time).  So education is given on getting in there when it is offered to soak some of the suns rays and why it is important!  

Honestly, we are constantly educating our inmates, whether it be over small things or big things.  I personally feel education is the key to helping somebody out!!  We have a full library (over four super tall bookshelves full of books that get changed out frequently) and reading is one way that I tell people to pass their down times instead of watching TV.  We have so many educational and interesting books available in there!  

Now for some of the weird shit I have had people say to me concerning exercising in the cells ๐Ÿ˜‚

  1. One guy was under the assumption that masturbation was the only exercise that was needed to stay in shape - he actually argued with me about it!  (he was not being nasty, he for reals thought this!  It took me a few sessions of education to get him to understand that while it did raise the ol' heart rate, it was not good enough to stay fit without doing some regular exercises)
  2. I had a lady once who would pinch the fat on her body over and over till she was black and blue stating that she didn't need to exercise to get rid of body fat, that it would be broken up by her pinching and "just go away"... (apparently her boyfriend told her that when he wasn't slapping her around... she did stop doing this after I gave her the education she needed on this topic - I don't know if she ever broke up that guy after incarceration but I hope so!)
  3. I've had a couple of people tell me that if they only eat (some random food) and nothing else they will lose weight and stay fit.  (usually it's something like fruits or veggies - I had one guy tell me he only ate tomatoes...)
  4. There have been some that come in and think that fasts (and not for a religious reason) for days on end is a healthy 'exercise' option for losing weight - THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS FOR YOUR HEALTH (it doesn't usually take a bunch of education on how the body processes food to get them to stop doing this!)
  5. Of course, I get the '(insert medication name here) will do the trick, I don't have to exercise statements in all the time.  

Honestly, there is nothing that I don't enjoy more than knowing I have made a difference in someones life through educating them!  Every time they retain and use a piece of the information I give them is a small victory for me ๐Ÿ’“

Please let me know if you've enjoyed this small series - I may do more or extend this one in due time.  This was just a little experiment to see how a series would go.  I would love to know if you want more information on any topics, if you hated it, if you want me to extend it out and make it a 'thing'.....  Shoot me a comment!!

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