I used to believe that if I didn’t have time for at least an hour of fitness, or if I didn’t work up a serious sweat…it wasn’t a real workout. That was my 30 year-old self. My 46 year-old self has a totally different idea of fitness. Basically it can be summed up in the words, “Whatever works”.
There are plenty of days that I wake up and from my too-tired-to-get-up early-and-run vantage point, the day could appear hopeless in terms of fitting in a workout. But I have learned to see things in another way…I now look at it in terms of the opportunities for fast fitness. It’s a challenge, and I think it’s fun to see just how much of a workout I can get by the end of these kinds of days. Don’t believe me? Let me show you nine ways to fit fitness into an otherwise busy day…
Nine Easy Ways to Fit Fitness into your Day:
1. Bathtub pushups: We have a tankless water heater and it takes a few minutes for the water to get hot in the morning. While still in PJ’s I will do about 25 pushups with hands on the bathtub waiting for the water to turn hot. Even if you aren’t showering first thing…do these with hands on the bed before getting dressed! Then at night do another 25 for a bonus round (50 pushups in a day…not too bad).
2. Squats before coffee: While waiting for the coffee to brew, do 15 squats – slow and steady. Your coffee might even taste better!
3. Squeeze that gluteus maximus: (Yes I am talking about your buttocks). It’s the largest muscle group in the body. Fire it up and burn calories. Whether standing or sitting, an invisible butt squeeze (tighten, hold for two seconds, release) repeated 10 to 15 times, one to three times a day, will tighten your tush and burn additional calories. Aim for 10 or more repetitions
4. Balance while in line: Wile waiting in line to pay for gas or at the grocery store, lift your left foot off the ground and work on your balance for 60 seconds. Then switch feet.
5. Lunge your way to the mailbox. Or you could lunge while walking the dog or from the parking lot to the Target (after I turned 45 I began to do this sort of thing without caring about who sees me…of course my kids walk ahead and act like they don’t know me)
6. Flex those arm muscles…you don’t need weights! At lunch (or anytime) stand in one place and straighten your arms behind you like you are trying to hide them behind your back (keep them straight). Squeeze the triceps and lift up your arms behind you. You don’t have to lift them high. Just a few inches is all it takes – do about 20 reps. This one will give you results if you do it every day!!
7. Get in some leg toning while you sit (I bet you think you need a resistance band). Whether at an office behind a desk or sitting with your kids at home, these leg lifts are actually tiring… Here’s is what you do: 1. With legs straight, cross one on top of the other. 2. Raise them off the floor. 3. Press top leg down and resist with bottom leg. 4. Do until muscles are tired and then repeat with opposite legs top and bottom (about 20 reps each leg).
8. Replace your office chair with an exercise ball (or put it in the kitchen or at your desk at home) for all-day abdominal toning and strengthening. When we sit on an exercise ball, it forces us to use our abs to hold ourself in position. It improves balance, tones core muscles and takes stress off the lower back. Some people even find that it focuses their concentration. Here is how to start: 1. Sit on the ball and find your balance. 2. Pull your navel in. 3. Pull you shoulders back (no slouching). 4. Place feet hip width apart. (compliments to Shape)…
9. Bridge before bed…. Do those bridges before you get into bed. Just like your morning push ups, these can be done in pajamas. Do about 50 slow and steady (Afterwards, ladies, do some kegels since you are on the ground anyway).
What are some of your secrets for fitting in fitness?