With your hectic daily routine – getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school, making sure your socks aren’t floating in the dog’s water bowl, a busy day at work, coming home and fixing dinner, cleaning up the house and getting everyone, including yourself, to sleep – exercise is usually the last thing on your mind!
Stress levels and obesity are at an all time high and health concerns are making themselves a priority in many people’s lives.
However, exercise is the one thing that can energise you to handle such a busy lifestyle with flying colours! Exercising reduces stress, helps you sleep better, and keeps health concerns at bay, while also boosting your self-confidence.
No More Excuses Allowed
It’s a good thing the human body is made the way it is, because there are many exercises you can do anywhere, at any time. All you need are a couple of makeshift weights you can find around the house and the physical weight of your body.
When exercising, remember to get a good warm-up and finish off with a slow cool-down. This is important to prevent injury and is easy to accomplish no matter where you are. Walking works well for both your warm-up and cool-down routine.
Here are some simple exercises you can do anywhere:
Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your hands next to your thighs. Lift your body out just in front of the chair, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Lower yourself down so your elbows bend no more than 90 degrees and push yourself back up.
Start off with a few small sets and build up from there. Straightening your legs increases the workout. Avoid this exercise if you have wrist or shoulder problems.
Everyone knows the standard pushup position, so let’s try some things to change it up a bit.
You can do pushups with your hands wider than shoulder width to get more of a shoulder and chest workout. If you bring your hands together into a diamond shape near the centre of your chest you will work more of the triceps and shoulders. Working half pushups – either going only half way down and then back up, or starting from the floor and only pushing up half way and then going back down – will intensify your pushup workout.
Crunches are great for your abs if you do them correctly. Done incorrectly, they can put undue stress on your neck and back. To avoid injury, be sure to use the correct techniques.
The biggest risk is if you jerk your neck to give you the force to crunch. While doing crunches, keep your hands behind your head and your elbows back while using your stomach muscles to lift your head and chin towards the ceiling.
Once you’ve mastered this technique, try lifting your legs off the ground or assuming a bicycle position with one leg bent and the other straight off of the ground.
Body weight squats are a great exercise you can do anywhere and a fantastic way to learn proper technique. Start off your squat workouts by lowering yourself only a foot or so. Then work up to deeper squats as your muscles become accustomed to the exercise.
If you’re feeling a bit advanced and in need of a more intense workout, grab two 2-liter bottles filled with sand and try performing squats while holding one in each hand.
Calf raises can be done wherever there is a raised surface, such as a stairway. If you need balance, hold onto the railing. Facing the stairs, stand with only your toes on the stair and your feet extending out past it. Standing straight up, lower your body down below the level of the stair and then back up onto your toes
Even though it seems as if this is an ankle exercise, it also works out your calf muscles.
The biggest emphasis on this exercise is the ability to go from an extreme negative position with ankle below toes to an extreme positive position, ankle fully raised.
With these five exercises, you have a full body workout. Remember to pay attention to your body and take it easy at first. Soreness is a good thing, but pain means you need to stop. Try these exercises out today and feel the healthy difference of fitness on the run.
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