Friday, May 11, 2012

2 Minute Mini-workouts Does a Body Good

Do you ever feel like you can’t get in enough of a workout throughout the day?  You know you’re supposed to move your body every day, but time just seems to get away from you.  I know my day flies by, especially since I have a little one at home.  So, I’ve started multi-tasking my workout with other things; most notably, brushing my teeth.  Now I will preface this by saying what I am about to suggest might require a bit of coordination; please, listen to your body and adjust accordingly (I really don’t want to get an email from anyone saying they stuck their toothbrush up their nose). 

Now, I use a an electric toothbrush which probably makes the exercise quite a bit easier than trying to coordinate the movement while still brushing your teeth (kind of like an advanced version of rubbing your belly and patting your head).  Here is what I do each day while brushing my teeth to help keep my metabolism going and by body strong:
A.M. Brushing my teeth:  At least 50 squats (*see how to below) (2 minutes)

P.M. Brushing my teeth:  10 leg lifts to the back, back angle, side and front (* see how to below) (2 minutes)

But don’t stop there.  You can include other mini workouts throughout the day.  Some of these I do each day, others just when the opportunity arises. 

Throwing frisbee for dog:  Jog in place (if you are a fellow martial artist, you can also use this time to run through your material) (2-15 minutes)

Sitting (watching TV, kids, work, etc):  3-5 sets of tricep dips – 10/set (* see how to below) (2 minutes)

Cooking, shopping, or working:  3-5 sets of bicep curls – 10/set (* see how to below) (2 minutes

Chores or out-and-about:  briskly walk the stairs at least 2 times (if you see a set of stairs, great! Go up/down, up/down at least twice) (< 2 minutes)

These are really simple things you can add into your routine each day that can add up to a lot.  So, I challenge all of you go add at least 2 of these mini workouts into your day (the more, the better) and see how you feel after 2 weeks.  I know I feel good knowing that even if I didn’t get a full workout in, I still have done a little bit to help keep my body healthy and fit.  And for most of us, it’s all the little things that can add up to a whole lot.  Good luck and go get ‘em!

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How To

Leg Lifts:  Stand with feet together, belly pulled in toward your spine and you head and chest lifting up toward the ceiling.  While holding on to something, flex your right foot and lift your straight leg up directly behind you.  Make sure you go high enough to flex your hamstrings and glutes.  Hold for 1-2 seconds and slowly return to starting position.  After 10 lifts, maintain the same position but now turn your foot out and lift your leg toward the back 45 degree angle.  Repeat to the side and directly in front of you, always maintaining a strong core (belly pulled in toward spine and head and chest lifting up toward the ceiling).  Once the right side is completed, go through all 4 exercises on your left leg. 

Squats:  Spread feet double your shoulder width apart.  Pull your belly button in toward your spine and lift your head and chest up toward the ceiling.  Slowly squat down, pushing your knees out while keeping your belly in and your head and chest up.  At the bottom, feel your hamstrings and glutes support your weight.  Then slowing press up, feeling the strength of your inner thighs.

Tricep dips:    Sit at the edge of the chair or sofa with your feet extended straight out in front of you.  Place hands on the edge of the chair with hands place firm against your sides.  Pull stomach in toward your spine and your head and chest up toward the ceiling.  Keeping your core strong, lower down until you are about an inch from the ground.  Making sure to keep your elbows pulled in, press back up to original position.  Breathe in as your drop down, exhale as you rise back up.

Bicep curls:  Use whatever you can here: grocery bag, briefcase, laptop, book, etc.  Keep feet about shoulder width apart with knees slightly bent.  Keeping your stomach pulled in toward your spine and your chest and head up toward the ceiling, curl hands up toward your shoulders.  Keep triceps pulled in to your core as you slowly extend your arms back to starting position.  Make sure you do the full range of motion (slowly), stopping just short of your arms fully extending.  Breathe in as you pull in, out as you extend.

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