Did the dog eat your homework?
Okay, okay, I know you are too old for homework, but do you use an excuse like this when it comes to exercise?
- I have too much work to do.
- The kids take up all of my time.
- There’s no room to exercise at home.
- I don’t have any equipment.
- I can’t get sweaty.
- I have no idea where to start.
Listen, I understand that you’re busy. But you have to stop thinking that your health and wellness is a low priority. With just a small amount of time, you can become a stronger, leaner, and meaner you — no matter what your lifestyle is like.
Homebound Sweat Sessions
Are you trapped at home most days? Never fear, I have two suggestions for how to fit in a workout without taking up much space or time:
Do a superset. This is where you do two exercises back-to-back and alternate for a series of rounds. The rotation with a bit of rest in between sets makes them super. They keep your heart rate up, adding maximum cardio benefits and even strength training. Here’s one to try: Get a jump rope and some dumbbells or a medicine ball or something you can press over your head.
- Jump fast for a minute.
- Do 20 Thrusters.
Repeat the jump rope/dumbbell set five times.
Crawl like a bear. Bear crawls are wonderful for joint mobility and stability. They’ll also raise your heart rate and light up your core. Bear crawl forward and backward for one minute. Rest and repeat four more times.
If you’re really strapped for time and can’t do one of the workouts I mentioned, try an activity break instead:
Laundry basket circuit. This workout takes functional fitness to a whole new level. Here’s the circuit:
- Carry your laundry basket (make sure it’s filled with clothes, Ahem) at chest level for 20 paces.
- Do 10 laundry basket deadlifts.
- Climb the stairs while carrying your laundry basket, going up and down three times.
You can do this circuit for a number of rounds (e.g. – 3-5 rounds), or do one round an hour (a great way to get in some time away from your desk if you work from home), or every time your toddler asks for something.
Power walk. This isn’t your mama’s power walk! Walk at a moderately-high intensity pace for one minute, then “Sprint” (run, jog, or walk at a faster pace) for 30 seconds, and then squat for 30 seconds. If you don’t have a timer handy, you can always turn this into Fartlek (I still giggle when writing this term!) training. For example, you could sprint every time you get to a stop sign or see a school bus or a red car — you get the idea. Remember, this is an activity break for the time-crunched, so keep your walk to 10 minutes or so. Multitasking bonus points if you take the kids or the dog!
Do you have 20 minutes during your lunch break? Here’s a high intensity circuit workout for you. Just shut your office door and go (if you have a door that is):
- 10 squats. You can modify these by doing box squats or doorway squats.
- 10 push-ups. These can be incline push-ups on your desk or a chair (one without wheels though), wall push-ups, or floor push-ups.
- 10/10 single leg deadlifts.
- 20 low jacks (see photo below)
If getting sweaty at work isn’t your thing (or if dropping and doing 20 in the middle of your cubicle will elicit stares from your coworkers), take an Activity Break during your day instead:
Do an EHOH. That stands for every hour on the hour. Every hour on the hour you’re going to take an activity break. Set a timer for each hour and then do one of the following when the timer goes off:
- 10–20 wall or desk (incline) push-ups. Make that 5–10 one-arm wall or desk push-ups if you’re more advanced.
- 10–20 squats. Do these as modified pistol squats if space, environment, and wardrobe allow.
Walk the stairs. You know you should be taking the stairs instead of the elevator anyway. Use your activity break to walk up and down the stairs for one to two minutes.
Smell the roses. Get out of your seat and enjoy some cardio outdoors. Soak up some Vitamin D while you’re at it. This will help you fit in a workout and will keep you out of your seat. Studies show that sitting all day can be as bad for you as smoking.
These workouts, which require very little time, equipment, and space, will give you a little more spring in your step and will ensure that your body remains a priority in spite of your busy life. And, when you’re ready to take it to the next level, contact me and we’ll put together a customized workout program that fits with your lifestyle.