Does this sound too good to be true? Not really, here are 6 tips to seamlessly integrate exercise into your daily life.
1. Cardio while cleaningEspecially with the advent of the new year, spring cleaning is one of those tedious, boring but necessary tasks. Why not make it even more productive?
Lunges are good for strengthening, sculpting and building muscles like the thighs, buttocks, and hamstrings. Work in some walking lunges while pushing the vacuum cleaner from one end of the room to the other.
Start with an upright stance, feet together, and take a controlled step forward with the right leg, lowering the hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. Then, press the right heel into the ground, pushing off with the left foot to bring the left leg forward. Lastly, repeat, but starting with the left leg.
Then, get in some squats while dusting. Squats work almost all muscle groups, especially the lower body muscles. This not only prevents cellulite by improving circulation, but strengthens core muscles for improved balance and posture.
“A 30-minute spring cleaning session will help you burn 150 calories,” says Karen Austin, a weight loss coach.
2. Avoid the busFor those who take the bus, how about a small change in your commute? Leave just 10 minutes earlier and workout on the way to work instead.
"Either jump off the bus earlier or walk the whole way three times a week," says Lauren Davis, a personal trainer at Everyone Active. "For two minutes ensure you walk at a moderate speed (approximately 5.0km per hour) After two minutes walk for one minute at your fastest pace, then repeat for 30 minutes. You'll burn around 200 to 400 calories each time."
A 20-second sprint will tone up your abdominal muscles, too. It is recommended to alternate between 20-second sprints with squats, but periodical sprints work too when commuting to and from work, or during lunch. This should be done for 10 to 15 minutes, until out of breath.
3. Waiting for food to cook? ExerciseWhat to do before the food is cooked? You might be doing other things (in which case, see the next point) or you could follow this body weight circuit. Says Lauren, “Jog 30 seconds, press ups 30 seconds, squats for 30 seconds, star jumps for 30 seconds, run up and down the stairs for 30 seconds, and then lunges up and down a room or hallway. Rest for one minute and then repeat until your dinner’s ready. Aim to complete five rounds to burn off between 200 to 300 calories."
As an improper press-up position confers minimal benefit and can cause injury, avoid placing excess stress on the joints by placing the hands shoulder-width apart with arms straight, so that shoulders, elbows and wrists line up. Fingers should be slightly splayed and pointing forward, with your hands forming right angles with your forearms. For stability, make sure the hips are always in line with shoulders, and the feet hip-width apart. Also, do note that the lower the press-up is, the more muscles are worked.
4. Multitask, or work in exercises whenever possibleAchieving fitness requires a certain level of commitment, and that includes making the effort to incorporate them in daily life. For example, when waiting for the kettle to boil or the food in the microwave to be heated up, do some squats. When watching your favourite TV show, squats and stationary lunges can be done. According to Karen, those pesky three-minute advertisement windows are also plenty of time for three-20 second exercises, done thrice.
“Try the plank, sit ups and pushups – then repeat,” she suggests.
5. Work (out) at your deskMany of us have work that forces a certain sedentary lifestyle, or so we think. "If you sit at a desk set a timer to remind yourself every 30 mins to walk or move your body," advises Lauren.
"And you can do HIIT at your desk too,” she continues. “Just get colleagues to join in – otherwise they may think you're a little mad. You can do triceps dips off on your desk, as well as pushups. Create a bit of room and burpees can be done too, then lastly try and fit in a few planks and sit ups. Then repeat, until you're really out of breath."
Sounds too complicated? Try these easy deskercises instead.
6. More than one way to go upMost of us hop into the lift by habit. "If you always take the lift then even going up one flight of stairs will work wonders for you. Start with that and every week add in a different flight," says Karen. 'Then when your body gets used to it, start running up the stairs – you could be burning up to 150 calories a day just by walking up stairs!" MIMS
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