Finding time to work out can be challenging. That’s because there’s no such a thing as finding time—we need to make time.
Still, making time can prove difficult while juggling family, work, study, and all of the other bits and pieces that life keeps us busy with. However, exercise should be a priority for everyone. There are no negatives, only positives, and a long list of those, including increased cardiovascular health, increased muscular strength, and greater confidence, to name just a few.
Writing your workout sessions into your schedule is a very useful tool, and it is always satisfying to tick off the completed tasks at the end of the day.
Sometimes things will pop up, and we will miss the session we had the best intentions of getting to, but rather than writing that day off as an unsuccessful exercise day, have a back-up plan. Doing a 20-minute session at home is 20 times better then doing nothing at all, so try this workout next time Plan A doesn’t happen. Plan B is better than nothing at all.
1. Lie face down on a mat.
2. Inhale as you lift your upper body and lower body away from the mat, extending your arms out in front of you.
3. Reach with the arms, first one, and then the other, and kick the legs as though you were freestyle swimming. The movements are small and repetitive, and you can move your limbs up and down as you cycle your breath.
4. Try to keep the movement going for anywhere between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
5. If you feel strain in your lower back, keep your head and shoulders on the floor and just do the kicking motion with your legs.
Bridge and Glute Squeeze
This exercise promotes mobility in the spine.
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart.
2. Inhale and then exhale as you gently press your lower back toward the floor and lift your body up into the bridge position.
3. Inhale, holding that position. Then exhale and start to lower back toward the floor.
4. Repeat this up to six times.
5. When you are lifting up and lowering down, go slowly, aiming to lower one vertebra at a time. Image your spine is like a string of pearls that you are lowering pearl by pearl.
6. Hold at the top of the last repetition and start doing small hip thrusts, engaging your glutes. Do 50 of these glute squeezes for a great posterior workout.
Plank and Hip Drop
This movement incorporates deep abdominal engagement and promotes shoulder stability.
1. Prop your body onto your elbows and knees for Level 1 or you’re your elbows and toes for Level 2.
2. Hold the plank for 10 seconds. Then lower your right hip toward the floor and reset it to level. Lower the left hip to the floor and reset it to level.
3. Repeat 10 drops on each side.
Push-Up and Hover
This will rapidly tone your upper body.
1. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, elbows facing your thighs. For Level 1, stay on your knees. For Level 2, go to your toes.
2. Lower your body toward the floor, keeping your spine straight. Then press back up.
3. Perform 10 push-ups.
4. At the last one, hold your body as close to the floor as possible and hold for 30 seconds.
Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. With nine years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. Emma-Kate is based in Brisbane, Australia.
Image of push up’s via Shutterstock