So it’s the week after Thanksgiving and we all know what that means – food guilt. Thanksgiving is the one day (or weekend, for many) that you can pretty much assume you ate too much. This, in turn, makes us feel full and lazy so we end up exercising less, which then means we sit around, ultimately eat more, and then we feel extra lazy, so we don’t exercise… and the cycle continues. This can go on and on until the New Year if you’re not careful! Plus, we all are so busy getting ready for Christmas and all of our other Holiday gatherings that even if we want to exercise, when are we going to find the time?! eventually
Well luckily exercise is one of those things that can be accumulated – meaning you don’t have to do it all at once to reap the benefits. In fact, sneaking in just 10 minute sessions 3 times a day is just as effective as doing 30 minutes straight! And while I would suggest getting in at least 45 minutes per day (5 days per week for maximum results), every little bit counts! Even sneaking in 2-5 minutes when you can is better than nothing – especially when you are going for strength and toning (as opposed to cardio) workouts.
Need some ideas of where to begin? I’ve included 10 of my favorite ways to sneak in exercise, below, to help you get started. These have helped me get in a quick workout when I had 2 kids ages 2 and under, was working from home, and was pumping and nursing 10+ times per day. [They are also great ideas to help you lose the baby weight if you just had a baby!] If I can do it, I know you can too!
- My favorite exercise – probably of all time – is squats. They are easy to do, are very effective, and you’ll feel the burn quickly which, again, means that they are working! When to sneak them in? If you’re a mom to young ones, add in squats while you are feeding them at their highchair. If you don’t have young ones, do squats while you are stirring something on the stove.
- I’m also going to tie in squats with Tip #2 (about sitting less) from my Newsletter Series [How to Make Healthy Living a Lifestyle – and for setting you up for a Successful New Year]: if you have to sit at a desk, get up every 45 minutes and do 1 minute of squats. You can even do this while wearing dress shoes (it’s good for your ankle stability muscles).
- Do calve raises while brushing your teeth.
- Hold a plank during commercials while watching TV.
- You can also do tricep dips while watching TV and/or bodyweight arm circles. Think, Tracy Anderson type workouts.
- Do pushups against your counter while making meals
- Do lunges while your coffee brews or you’re waiting for your tea water to boil.
- Park further away from your destination, so you have to walk.
- Play tag or “monsters” with your kids. These are two of my kids’ favorite games and definitely get my heart rate up.
- Have a dance party. Kids love this, and again, it’s a great way to sneak in some exercise. If you have a toddler, holding them while dancing will definitely kick up the calorie burn a notch – not to mention will give your arms a workout; although just dancing around works too! You don’t even have to have kids to enjoy doing this. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy dancing around every once in awhile, making a fool of themselves – especially when no one is watching ;).
** BONUS TIP: Because you know I always have more ideas on how to exercise 😉 Use a Stability Ball! There are literally over 100 ways you could use one of these things to exercise, but I’m going to give you just a few (so you don’t get too overwhelmed):
- Sit on the Ball instead of a chair. It’s great for core work.
- Bounce on the Ball while sitting on it. Again, this is great for your core. It’s also a great way to soothe a screaming baby, and is what I did with Kenzley many a nights.
- Lay your back across it, while both feet are planted on the floor, and do sit-ups.
- Put your feet on it, hands on the floor and hold a plank, do knee tucks, hip dips, etc.
- You can also flip our body over and use it for your feet while you hold a bridge. You can also do knee tucks this way, as well as hip dips, etc. too. Ok, now I’m getting too far 😉
So there you have it, 10 (+1) easy and creativeways to sneak in more exercise. Take note that all these exercises are interchangeable so you don’t have to do squats at work and pushups while you’re cooking. You can do whatever works for you and your schedule. These are just ideas to get you started. Have fun with it! And don’t worry about doing them all every day, just do what you can and begin to feel – and even look – better in less time than you can imagine!
Now stay tuned for next week’s Newsletter where I continue to help you make healthy living a lifestyle! And if you missed last week’s Tip (about creating a healthier dinner plate), CONTACT US here for the Newsletter, or check out the article on our BLOG.