Sneaky ways turning your whole day into a workout
Consider this - for those of you who say you have no time to exercise, you’re wrong. From the moment you wake up until you hit the sheets at night, there are ways to sneak in activity enhancing your physical fitness. What’s nice to know is you don’t have to necessarily join a gym (unless you want to) to get in quality exercise scattered throughout the day. Research is showing there is significant benefit to working in short bursts of exercise over the course of your day. One study from the American Counsel of Exercise, found that short stints of exercise sustained for less than 10 minutes proved beneficial for preventing weight gain. Another study from NHANES showed the more we break up our day with exercise, the slimmer your waist will be and the lower your C-reactive protein levels (a marker of inflammation) will fall. In addition, frequent movement helps with blood sugar control.
The idea is to make every minute of intentional movement count. Here’s a look at how you can sneak in a great workout over the course of each day:
· Your workout day can begin the moment you wake up. Take a few moments to stretch your arms and legs while still in bed, do a few foot circles and bring each knee to your chest holding the pose to loosen up your leg and back muscles. Once up and out of bed, do 10-20 push-ups, sit ups, and strike a yoga pose or two.
· Turn brushing your teeth into a mini workout by sneaking in a few lunges.
· While talking on a phone, do a few wall sits or go up and down a staircase several times.
· An oldie but goodie, forego taking an elevator and instead take the stairs. It still gets you where you need to go and just think how many more calories you’ll burn.
· Have a desk job? Who says you can’t get in exercise while seated? Consider investing in a mini-elliptical to put under your desk. This exercise device is a perfect way to burn extra calories while you work your day away.
· We all know sitting all day is bad for your health. If possible, get a standing desk and spend the majority of the day on your feet, moving. Even consider a treadmill desk set in low speed.
· Want to strengthen your core muscles without doing a sit-up? You can if you ditch your desk chair for an exercise ball. Using an exercise ball to sit on is perfect for toning and engaging your core muscles plus it encourages good posture while you work.
· Set your phone alarm to remind you every 45 minutes, to get up and move. Whether at home or at work, take about 5 minutes to walk around, stretch, do a few jumping jacks, or jog in place.
· If possible, when doing errands, try to walk to appointments or when shopping. If needing to drop mail off at the post office or pick up a few groceries at the store, walk or bike there.
· When waiting for water to boil or the oven to pre-heat, fill your time with angled push-ups on the counter.
· If on a conference call or while watching a webinar, have your dumbbells ready. Squeeze in bicep curls, tricep extensions, and shoulder presses.
· For those with small children at home, take advantage of naptime. As you rock your baby to sleep, squeeze in a few side lunges.
· If attending a sporting event or play, use the halftime or the intermission of the event for a 5-10 minutes powerwalk either in the hallways or around the building.
· At the end of the day, go for a walk after dinner to burn a few extra calories before you wind down for the night. End your day with gentle yoga or Pilate poses. Stretching will help you sleep better so you’re ready to start the day with a burst of energy.