Regular physical activity helps us live healthier lives, maintain our target weight, and lose excess pounds. But for many of us, the big question is, When do we have time to exercise?
Healthy-living and weight-loss coach Valérie Orsoni, who lives in San Francisco, suggests creating a “25th hour” dedicated to fitness.
How do we make this extra hour? Orsoni suggests that we carve it out a few minutes at a time throughout our day. Here are a few simple exercises you can enjoy doing at the office, while commuting, or before you leave in the morning.
Everything starts in the morning on waking. After drinking lemon juice with water at room temperature to clean the inside of your body, get ready to go to work.
If you have pounds to lose, leave without eating. Twenty to thirty minutes of brisk walking in the morning will boost your metabolism for the day and your body will tap into fat reserves to fuel your morning exercise. Activity in the morning also boosts your brain.
Whether you take the car or walk, enjoy contracting your abdominal muscles and your glutes at every red light. Park your car farther away from your workplace to add more steps to your day. If you take public transportation , contract your glutes and abs at stops, and get off a stop or two before your destination.
It is impossible to stay focused for hours. Enjoy these mini-exercises to stimulate your body and keep yourself alert.
Need to go to the restroom? Take a five-minute detour route or use the more remote restroom. At the end of the day, you have walked 30 to 60 minutes without anyone noticing.
Place your trash basket so you will have to get up to reach it.
If you have a mobile phone, walk during conversations or get up and shift from one foot to the other while contracting your glutes and abs.
Instead of sending an email or calling your colleagues, go see them in person. Oral explanations are so often better than written explanations. They usually take less time and create a friendly atmosphere at the office.
Abs, Arms, and Shoulders
During your day, think about contracting the abdominal muscles that are just above your pubic bone and those that are just above your navel. These are the deepest abs, which support your organs and allow you to have a flat stomach. For example, contract them every time you pass a door.
Extend your right arm out in front of you, fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Act as if you were pushing a wall, and when you feel your triceps, pull and hold for 30 seconds.
Reach one arm behind your back as though you are pulling a zipper up your back. Do the same with the other are and repeat several times. This allows you to maintain flexibility in your shoulders.
Glutes and Legs
Use the stairs whenever you can. Here is a good stair stretch: Step on the first step with our toes only, letting your heels hang in the air for a few seconds, and then rise onto your tip-toes. Repeat several times on both legs.
To tone your heart and thigh muscles, climb the stairs two at a time, being sure to place the whole foot on each stair. Keep your torso upright and your abs tucked to avoid bending forward.
Place a small ball between your knees and squeeze a few seconds, repeat 50 to 100 times a day to work your inner thighs.
When you are sitting, raise your knees regularly and hold for one minute.
Do not sit on the toilet seat, especially if you do not know if it is clean. Squatting works your thigh muscles.
During the day, you can also work in some simple moves to relieve stress, relaxing the mind and the body. The shoulders, upper back, and face are often tense from stress.
When carrying a hard-bound binder, hug it hard against your chest to help relax your shoulders.
Lower your head toward your chest and close your eyes. Inhale and then as you exhale try to touch your chest with your chin. Repeat five times to remove tension in your back.
Close your eyes and relax your face. Place your palms on your eyelids and press lightly for 30 seconds. Then move your palms to your cheeks and press for 30 seconds. Move to your temples and press for a minute. Breathe deeply throughout the exercise.
Breathe deeply every 30 minutes. As you exhale, imagine that your negative ideas exit with your breath. As you inhale, image that you are breathing in positive ideas. Repeat five times.
Before a stressful event or in the morning before going out, sit cross-legged and inhale through the right nostril while closing the left nostril. Exhale through the left nostril while closing the right nostril. Alternate sides for two minutes.