4 Unexpected Places To Workout
It’s not Impossible to Find the Time
As an ex-professional dancer, acrobat, fitness instructor and personal trainer, people always come to me with excuses as to why their hectic busy lives don’t allow for any time to commit to their body and their health.
This train of thought always interests me. For about half of these individuals, they really believe that this is true. The other half use this as an excuse as to why they are procrastinating with their health and fitness goals.
Either way, I’m writing these tips to help eliminate this entire train of thought.
For those of you that are using life as an excuse to not take care of yourself, these tips should help you take some easy baby steps towards fully committing to yourself and your body.
For those of you that truly don’t believe you have the time, I hope I can help you figure out how to work in some simple poses and exercises throughout the day, to get you one step closer to your goals.
SEE ALSO: Yoga Setback: How Failure Taught Me a Lesson
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Waking up (6 min stretch):
First thing in the morning, while you’re still half asleep, is a great time to take 6 minutes to stretch out and lengthen your spine before spending your busy day compressing it with stress.
30 secs: Laying on your back in bed, take 3 full breaths, expanding your lungs fully. Draw a knee into your chest and hug it close for a few seconds, before releasing. Repeat with the other leg.
30 secs: Do the same again, but this time, cross your bent knee over your body rotating your torso, lengthening your spine.
1 min: Slowly sit up and sit cross-legged, or as close to cross legged as you can. Yogis can sit in lotus if preferred. Hold your feet and slowly roll your head towards your toes, arching your spine until you are in a ball. Hold this pose and try breathe deeply. This pose can be quite challenging, so be nice to yourself and don’t push too hard.
1 min: If you’re flexible, you can progress the last stretch by straightening out your legs a little. If you’re happy in your ball, stay there another minute and relax into the position.
1 min: Move to the edge of the bed and sit with your feet on the ground and your butt perched on the edge of the bed. Cross one leg over the other knee. Keeping your back perfectly straight, hinge your torso forward over your knees until you feel a stretch in the butt of your bent knee.
If you can’t feel this stretch, you may be arching your back and rotating your hips. It should feel like you’re sticking out your butt, and your fold shouldn’t be very deep.
1 min: From seated, put your hands on the floor in front of you, with bent legs about hip width apart. Keeping your hands on the floor, start to straighten your legs. This stretch is for the hamstrings and back. Don’t try to straighten your legs fully. Your body won’t be warm enough to do this.
Your body won’t be warm enough to do this.
Just gently allow gravity to pull your head towards the ground as you softly lengthen your legs. Allow your chest to fold into your knees. Perhaps shake your head, yes and no. Perhaps hug yourself and sway side to side. Whatever feels good.
1 min: Take your time to slowly roll out of this position, up to standing. Take 3 full deep breaths, raising your arms to stretch above your head, and shaking them out as you release each breath. Try to make some noise as you release your breaths. Sigh or hum.
Good morning! You’re done.
In the office, there are lots of opportunities to slip a workout in without anyone really noticing, including yourself.
Consider a therapy ball. Sit on it instead of a chair. The ball engages your thighs, hamstrings, and core while you sit. Be careful not to slouch while sitting on the ball. Start by sitting on the ball for just a few minutes at a time, making sure your posture is strong. Work up to sitting on a ball instead of a chair over time.
When you’re seated whether on ball or chair. Check out your posture. Are you slouching? Raise your monitors higher to encourage you to sit tall, using your core all day.
Maybe you don’t need to sit at all. There are some great accessories out there now to allow you to raise your monitor and keyboard to allow you to stand while you’re working. Standing up will keep your body active and burn more calories as you work.
Maybe just standing is good enough for you. Buy a treadmill desk. Here’s a link to get desks for standing: http://www.ergoprise.com/brands/S2S-Height-Adjustable-Desks.html?gclid=CKKli8aN-MECFTMLMgodCywAJg
Walk while you’re working to burn up even more calories and keep your body active throughout the day as you work.
Shopping Lines – the Hidden Workout
Let’s make standing in line interesting.
Calf raises are a great exercise when you’re standing in line. The best thing about them is that they force you to shift your weight with into toes instead of swinging back into your heels. Standing with your weight in your heels usually causes you to slump. Eventually, you start feeling pain in your feet, your lower back, and other areas. This also happens when you’re walking around with bad posture.
Engage your core by sucking in your lower tummy. You should immediately feel less pressure on your lower back. Move your weight on the balls of your feet instead of your heels. This should help your feet stop aching as much.
Start with calf raises on both feet. Lifting your heels off the ground slowly for a few seconds and slowly coming down. Variations include holding the position for an extending period of time. You may need to use your shopping cart or wall to balance at first. Work towards balancing on your own. Once you’ve been doing this for a couple of months, you can start doing the same thing on one leg only.
Calf raises can be one of the harshest muscles to overwork. So be careful. Overdoing it will leave you unable to walk the next day. So start cautiously.
Another great pose for standing around is tree pose. Rest one foot on the inner thigh of the other leg. And just stand there.
If you’re wearing a dress or can’t get your leg up that high, modify the pose by placing a foot around the ankle of your other foot.
Just gently rest one foot somewhere around the ankle area, so your weight is on just one leg. Work on your posture and balance in this pose. Make sure you switch legs.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Power walk around the office instead of meandering. A fast paced walk will burn a lot more calories, and probably make your boss think you’re working twice as hard.
Taking the bus/subway/tube: get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
Stand instead of sitting on public transport. Use the movement of the vehicle to work on your core strength. Make sure you’re holding on to something for balance and safety.
Play with using your core to stop your body moving around in the vehicle as it turns and swerves. Think of it as surfing or skateboarding, without the obvious pose.
I’m not saying you can’t pose, but commuters may look at you oddly if you do. Just stand as you would, and play with using the muscles in your core and legs to counter the movements of the vehicle. I do this every time I’m on public transport. It also helps kill time.
Good night ritual
Repeat your morning ritual last thing at night for 6 mins. But in reverse. Stretching out before your sleep should help relax you and realign your body after a stressful day.
If you can start incorporating some of these tips in to your day, you’ll start finding that you’ll soon be adding your own extra hidden workouts. …and you’ll feel a lot better, inside and out. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find the time to take a whole class or go for a run.
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