When you think of exercise as a separate activity, it’s easy to find a million excuses to not do it. You slept in a little. You worked late. Horrible traffic. Bad weather. Maybe tomorrow….
Anytime is a good time for exercise! Simple actions, such as taking the stairs or carrying those heavy grocery bags can tone muscles and burn calories on the go. You may already be exercising without even knowing it!
The ‘No-Workout!’ Workout
Get your workout in EASILY by adding these 7 simple exercises to your daily routine.
Strengthen your abs while you sit in a chair, at the office or at home.
Muscles worked: Abdominals
Starting point: Seated, back straight, arms at sides, hands gripping the bottom of chair, feet flat on the floor, knees bent and over toes, legs pressed together.
Action: Lift your knees straight up, keeping the bottom of your feet parallel to the ground. Exhale while you lift your knees and inhale as you bring feet back down to the floor. Complete 1 set of 10-12 repetitions.
Tip:Keep your back off the backrest & do not lean heavily on your arms.
Chair crunches with a twist
Muscles worked: Internal Obliques
Starting point: Same as regular chair crunches, except instead of gripping the chair, clasp your hands behind your head and push your elbows out to the sides.
Action: Lift your left knee straight up. As you do so, twist your upper body to the left side until your right elbow meets your left knee. Return to your starting point. Repeat, only this time lift your right knee straight up and twist your upper body to the right until your left elbow meets your right knee. Complete 1 set of 5-6 elbow-to-knee touches per side.
Grocery bag curls
Muscles worked: Biceps (upper arms)
Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, palms facing forward, grocery bag handle gripped in one hand.
Action: As you walk, every time you step with your left foot, bend your arm at the elbow to lift your bag up to chest level; straighten and lower your arm back down every time you step with your right foot. Complete 1 set of 10-12 repetitions. Switch hands and repeat with the other arm.
Tip: Keep your wrist straight and your elbow directly beneath your shoulder with each curl.
Grocery bag rowing
Muscles worked: Deltoids (shoulders)
Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, hands in front of your thighs, palms facing your thighs, a bag handle gripped in each hand.
Action: Pretend that there is a golf club connecting the bags in your hands. Lift the golf club up toward your chest, bending your elbows out to each side as you lift. Complete 1 set of 10-12 repetitions.
Tip: Keep your hands about 3 inches in front of your body as you lift.
Tone your lower body while you are standing in line at a café or movie theater, or waiting for your ride.
Muscles worked: Adductors (inner thigh)
Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right leg extended in front of you until the toes are resting on the ground about 10 inches in front of your left foot.
Action: Slowly sweep your right toes to the left, beyond your left foot. Use your inner thigh muscles to pick your right foot up and move it back to the starting point. Complete 1 set of 10-12 reps for each leg.
Tip: Keep your knees straight and your weight on your stationary foot.
Muscles worked: Abductors (outer thigh)
Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right leg bent with right foot setting on a stable 4- to 6-inch rise (such as a stair step or a sidewalk curb), hands on hips.
Action: Slowly straighten your right knee so that you are lifting your weight up onto the step or curb. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly lower your weight back onto your left foot. Complete 1 set of 10-12 repetitions. Reverse legs and repeat.
Tip: When using a step, stand sideways so that your feet are parallel. When using a sidewalk curb, safety first! Choose one away from traffic.
Muscles worked: Gastrocnemius, or gastroc (calves)
Starting point: Standing, legs straight, feet one inch apart.
Action: Slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground as high as you can, and then slowly lower your heels back to the ground. Complete 1 set of 10-12 repetitions.
Tip: Keep your legs straight but don’t lock your knees.
For a total of 30 minutes!
Build up to 30 minutes of these activities and you’ll meet your minimum daily exercise requirements for good health. Make a habit of slipping these 7 exercises into your day and you may notice improvements in your strength and endurance after only a few weeks.
With the ‘No Workout!’ Workout you take on your day and your workout at the same time!