Hey everyone and happy Friday! How has your week been? I’m still basking in so much goodness from the YACC Retreat…it was truly an amazing time and is so fresh and real in my memory. A day spent climbing with my sister- and brother-in-law afterward coupled with a roadtrip home to Calgary have left Mikey and I tired but grateful, ready to be home and get back into a routine! That routine began today with some time spent reading my Bible. I saw on Jenna’s site that she’s doing a 21 day yoga challenge because it typically takes 21 days to form a habit. I loved that idea but since I am not the biggest yogi, I decided to employ it in another way: I’m committing to start my day off with reading my Bible. I would love for my day to feel incomplete if I didn’t begin it by connecting with God in this way, and an online forum is a great place to keep yourself accountable, so here’s to day 2! Multiple loads of laundry ensued plus a fun trip to the grocery store (always awesome to fill the house with good-for-you, real foods!) and included a BodyRock workout in there too.
That workout plus some recent emails from a few friends got me thinking it was time to post another at-home workout that anyone of any level can do. It’s important to remember to mix up your routine from time to time to prevent plateauing in your results and strength, and it’s valuable to remind yourself that you can get fit and maintain your fitness from home with very little equipment and time spent exercising! Here are a few moves you can incorporate into your daily life that will make a difference in your body (and mind)!
Before I go any farther, I simply want to remind you that while I am a certified personal trainer, each person should know their own limits and consult with a medical professional before beginning any new exercise program. Hopefully this can be a launching pad for your own fitness! You know your limits better than anyone else in terms of pushing yourself and respecting your own body’s abilities.
- Squats – I am an absolute broken record when it comes to squats. You can do them with just your body weight or with added elements to make them harder. The most functional of moves, this exercise will fire your lower body muscles up like a furnace for your metabolism for the day and is great for your abs! A good time to get them in? When you’re brushing your teeth!
- Push Ups – Think you can’t do a push up? Think again! Perform them against the wall, lower against a countertop, against a chair for added difficulty, on your knees on the ground, or on your toes all the way out. This move works your core (keep your abs tight and lower back from drooping!), your back, your triceps, and your chest.
- Lunges – With your abs engaged, stand up on your toes and take a big step out with your right foot. Keep your back tall and lower your left knee towards the ground (visualize lunging “down” rather than “forward” to keep your right knee from going over your right toes). Come back up and do it again. Once you are stable and confident here, add a biceps curl at the bottom of the lunge, perform walking lunges around your house, or ramp up the intensity with some jump lunges! So many variations on a simple and effective move that targets your entire lower body.
- The Plank – Oooh, the dreaded plank. This one works your whole abdominal band! drop into “push up position” but from your elbows which should be situated directly under your shoulders. Abs stay tight, body stays in a straight line (hips not up in the sky, lower back not sagging), and hold. There are many variations on this move too, but start here and increase your total holding amount by 5 to 10 seconds as you gain strength. A GREAT move to perform during commercial breaks off and on before you plop back on the couch again; you’ll be surprised how hard it gets you breathing!
- Burpees – Got only 10 minutes to move today? Do burpees! They use basically every muscle, jump your heart rate up, and leave you feeling spent after only a few minutes. Jump up, hands in the air and land down on the ground; jump your feet back into plank position from your hands; perform a push up; jump your feet back up to your hands and jump up. That’s 1 rep. Taking short breaks as needed, try doing burpees for 10 minutes if that’s all you have and see how many you can do!
- Jumping Rope – Practice makes perfect with this exercise. Don’t give up when you’re learning to incorporate jumping rope into your exercise routine – you will improve! Try jumping as many times as you can for 45 sec and then break for 15 sec; repeat for 5 – 20 minutes as you have time and are able fitness-wise. This is a great way to get the mots bang for your buck if time is short and is also a great exercise to tack onto the end of a weight workout for your heart (and shoulders, legs, abs – you’ll feel it everywhere!).
- Compound Exercises – Think about real life: when you walk, cook dinner, work, etc you’re using more than one muscle to live. That’s why I love compound muscle exercises – because we never live using one muscle in isolation. You will get more benefit, calorie burn, and typically core work by performing your exercises in combinations. A great example of this is the Squat+Curl+Press and the Lunge+Shoulder Press (ignore the hilarious music that goes with those videos!). Another killer move is the Dumbell Plank Row (you can also add a push up in after each row) – a wonderful way to target the back and core while fatiguing the body!
Below are a few videos from this past winter to help you get started; sometimes it’s nice to have a visual.
Work Out: Use Your Body!
Remember to Cool Down & Stretch
If you’re pregnant, remember that there are other ways to get your moves in. Using an exercise ball is great, especially the further along you are, because you can sit on the ball for added difficulty (rather than in a chair or on a machine) but still be in a safe position and then perform:
Squats against the wall (also good for beginners) (in the video she uses weights for a curl; but she explains the set up well and you can simply do regular squats)
Hopefully that helps some of you get started! A mish-mash of fitness thoughts, a sample workout, plus some moves that would be great to incorporate into whatever you’re already doing. I leave you with a question:
What are you doing to move more this weekend? I’m playing with my cute little 6 year-old friend on Saturday and am sure there will be some soccer and t-ball involved. After I post this, I’m headed out the door for a run in my Vibram Five-Finger shoes and plan to do a weights workout tomorrow morning.
Live well & be well friends,
** Also, a special thanks to Attune Foods, who chose my entry and are giving me a free ticket to the Healthy Living Summit in Philly in 2 weeks! I am thrilled at the opportunity to go to this sold out conference and cannot wait to connect with other bloggers and learn more about the many facets of healthy living! **