Ever say to yourself about exercising, “I don’t have time” or “If I don’t break a sweat, it’s not working”? These are the two most common statements made about exercising – that you can prove wrong! You CAN exercise anywhere, any time! It just takes breaking our old habits and creating good habits that you will enjoy for years to come. Think about it – even spending 5 minutes contracting and working your muscles is 5 minutes more than you were doing before! Once you begin making a conscious effort to exercise, you will start seeing and feeling the difference, and you will add more exercises of your own! Imagine the arms and abs you’ve always wanted – they are just around the bend! Start with these simple and fun ways to get your muscles tighter, and you will find you have better mind-body awareness; your stress levels start falling; your posture improves; and so on! What are you waiting for?
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
The alarm goes off and instead of jumping (or slumping) out of bed:
• Stretch your legs out. Take a deep breath. Lock your thumbs together at your stomach. Slowly exhale
while you gently curve your lower back into the bed stretching your arms toward your knees. Relax
then repeat. (Deep breathing is essential.)
• Raise both knees towards your chest and grasp the back of your thigh and pull them to you. Take two
deep breaths – fill your lungs and be sure to exhale all of the air out each time.
• Stand beside the bed, raise your arms high over your head and slowly bend to each side. Breathe
deeply and think of everything positive in your life. Now picture your true “self” and how you will
look with 10, 20, 30 pounds gone. Seal this positive image of you smiling and doing what you have
• While you are waiting for the water to get hot, stand arms-length from the wall and do some wall push-ups. (Keep your back straight and stomach tight.)
• Place your hands on your knees, arch your back and stretch your legs.
• Get creative with your muscles! Do mini-squats (slightly bend your knees like you are going to sit on
a high bench), contract your bottom, keep stomach tight while blow drying your hair or putting on
your make-up, etc.
• In the kitchen – while waiting for the microwave, toaster, etc., perform some countertop pushups,
keeping your back straight and stomach tight.
• Toe raises, isometric arm curls (make a muscle and hold it for 5 seconds)
• When you open a cabinet or drawer, raise your leg behind you and hold. Repeat with the other leg
on the next cabinet.
• Inhale and deliberately reach for your seat belt with a tight, firm arm and contracted abdominals, and
exhale when you fasten it. When you hear the click, inhale deeply and picture in your mind how good it felt to button those pants and how much easier you are getting around since you have lost the extra pounds. Exhale out any negative thoughts and contract stomach tight.
• Keep buttocks firm and contracted while you start the car and back out.
• Hold the steering wheel at “9 & 3 o’clock” and push to work the arm, shoulder and chest muscles. Repeat this trying to hold the pressure longer each time.
• Rest your arms and squeeze your buttocks and hold for at least one city block. Release and repeat.
• Long commute? While the car is on cruise control on the highway, press the outside of your left foot against the door and your right foot against the floorboard and press. This should work your buttocks,outer thigh muscles and hips. If you are driving in town, this can be done at stoplights, too!
• When you reach your destination, inhale deeply and unbuckle your seatbelt. While exhaling, press your lower back against the seat and reach both arms towards the dashboard as far as you can.
• If you are confined to your desk for long periods throughout the day, squeeze your buttocks and lift each leg underneath your desk to help with circulation.
• Be aware of movements and take any opportunity to stretch and contract your muscles. Maintaining good posture at your desk with abdominal awareness will help you whittle your waist!
• Waiting for a minute? Place your hand underneath the bottom of the desk and pull up – hold this for 10 seconds and repeat.
• Shoulder rotations and neck curls will help keep tension and stress at bay.
• While contracting buttocks, raise one leg and do ankle rotations, then switch legs.
• Working in fluorescent lights all day can be draining, so plan a counter attack and get creative! Take your lunch and eat it at the park or in your office courtyard!
• After lunch, take a stroll and enjoy the sunlight and outdoors. This can lighten a mood and your spirits.
• Pack your tennis shoes in your car, so you won’t make excuses to yourself.
WALK IT OFF
• Take the opportunity to walk whenever possible.
• Wake up 30 minutes early in the morning and walk around the block.
• Take some walking shorts and shoes to work, and walk after work.
• Take a leisurely walk after supper to help digest your meal and more!
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