Lately I’ve heard lots of chatter about workouts that let you accomplish cardio and strength training in a short period of time, some 30 minutes long and some 45 minutes. It’s a terrific idea, though nothing new. As my mother always said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” The concept has been around for a very long time; the names of the workouts have just changed. No one needs to set aside an hour or more to get fit unless you want to. Plus, you don’t need to go to a gym. You’ve got the best machine there is – YOUR OWN BODY!
Using your body and its resistance to gravity will give you a thorough workout. Adding dumb bells or bands for added resistance is fine. It makes the workout more interesting and changing it up is always good. It will keep you interested, keep you sharp, and you’ll challenge your body which is always a good thing. But please, don’t think you cannot work out just because you can’t get to a gym, don’t have weights at home, or don’t have enough time. You can fit in exercise while you’re making your morning coffee. Try this:
While waiting for the coffee to brew or water to boil, stand on your right foot. Your left knee will be up toward your waist (not at your waist, toward it). You can do that for 10 seconds then switch legs and that will be sufficient for balance training and engaging the muscles on the standing leg. You’ll also be engaging your core muscles to support you. For more on this exercise and a photo to see me performing it, go to my blog from April 18, 2012. Now that you’ve got this down pat, let’s do more with this one legged stance. Your coffee isn’t brewed yet. If it is, leave it for another minute and try this:
You’re standing on one leg. Now move your lifted leg right and left. Do it 8x. Not only will you be getting all the strength benefits of standing on one leg, you’ll be getting more strength in the buttocks on the side of the lifted leg. You’ll begin to see more definition in those muscles and we all like that.
It’s good stuff! Lots of strength in a short period of time. No, it doesn’t accomplish the entire body and it doesn’t give you a cardio workout, but it works several muscles groups at once, and all you’re doing is waiting for coffee.
Okay, so you don’t drink coffee or tea. Fit this exercise in whenever you can. How about while watching television? There are lots of exercises you can do while watching television. Instead of surfing channels during a commercial, leave the ad on, stand up, and do this one:
Stand in front of a chair (one that won’t slide away) with your feet 6-12 inches in front
Squat down as if you wanted to sit in the chair BUT do not sit! Just let your buttocks touch the edge of the seat (or get as close as possible, depending on the height of the chair) and stand up
Repeat this 8x. By then the show should be back on. If not, do another exercise – one of those above or choose an exercise from my previous posts. Look at Nov 27, 2011, Dec.13, 2011, Jan. 28, 2012. They’re all easy to fit in while on the phone, standing in your kitchen, or watching TV – and I’m sure you can figure out other times, too.
Remember, your body is the best machine you have. Use it! If you love and respect yourself, you can make the time to exercise.
I’ll be back soon with more exercises to do while watching T.V.