Shoot, I don’t even belong to a gym.
But there are still a lot of things you can do that don’t require much time. In about 15 to 30 minutes a day, you can do some fabulous exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck.
Slightly distracted there for a minute.
1. Walking: Every fitness routine should include cardiovascular exercise, to strengthen the heart and burn calories. Walking is my cardiovascular exercise of choice. It is something you can do anywhere, anytime, with no equipment other than a good pair of shoes. Did you know that a brisk walk can burn up to 500 calories per hour. Hey! That’s about ½ cup of M&M;’s.
2. Interval training: Don’t have an hour to work off your chocolate? Interval training is a great way to get a cardio work out in 20 to 30 minutes. You can do interval training with any cardiovascular workout (walking, running, elliptical, stair climber, etc). The key is to keep your intensity levels changing throughout your workout, to sort of “fake out” your aerobic system. Simply increase the intensity of your workout every one or two minutes, until you are pushing yourself as hard as you can (a level 8 or 9 on your scale of perceived exertion). Hold it there for a minute or two and then drop down to a low level again to allow yourself to recover. Repeat this interval as many times as you can until you’ve completed your workout. As you become more fit, you can increase your intensity for longer periods before you drop down to recover. This type of work out is very challenging, but oh, so effective.
3. Squats: A good squat works all the major muscle groups of the lower body in one smooth move–the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. For beginners, you can do them without weights. As you become stronger, simply add hand weights.
5. Push-ups: A good push up can strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps, and even the core trunk muscles, all at one time. Beginners can do push-ups against a wall or counter, then advance to knees and finally, feet.
6. Bent over row: This exercise works all the major muscles of the upper back, as well as the biceps. Again, begin this exercise with no weights, and then increase weight as you get stronger.
7. Crunches: Here’s good news! You can scratch “Ab Roller Plus” from your Christmas List this year! A good old-fashioned crunch, and all it’s crunchy alternatives (legs bent to either side, legs bent in the air, etc…) are still the most effective exercises for getting those six-pack abs.
No, not really.
1. If you have a bad back, knees, hips, elbows…pretty much any chronic pain…please see your doctor before you begin an exercise program.
2. To be effective, these exercises must be done correctly. If you aren’t sure how to do them, consult a personal trainer, a buff friend, or purchase a basic exercise DVD. These exercises are also demonstrated and explained in Body For Life and Body For Life for Women
3. To reduce risk of injury, it is important to warm up before exercise, and stretch afterward.
4. And again…y’all know I’m NOT a doctor, right? Just consider me your buff friend.