So many of us begin every week determined to get back into our regular exercise routine. Then, in the blink of an eye the week is over and that exercise routine is still nonexistent. Well, there is help for all those in need of exercise when, in reality, we have no time to carve out an hour or two to hit the gym. Here are seven simple but tried and true exercises to do when you have no time to work out. Most of these can be fit in at various times during your day, such as when you get up from the computer or when you are making dinner.
Jumping jacks. Every one of us knows how to do a jumping jack. Experts suggest jumping jacks as a great way to get your heart rate up so if you are going to do any of the following exercises, consider starting with jumping jacks.
Planks. These are a great way to get wake up those muscles. Just get on the floor in a push-up position, making a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Keep that butt down. Now, stay there for as long as you can. Set a timer for one minute or count out loud. Try doing a few of these every day and before you know it you will be able to hold the plank position for longer and longer.
Calf raises.* Just stand up straight. (We can all do that, right?) Lift your body weight onto the balls of your feet then back down on the floor. Do not lean forward. Repeat as many times as you can or for as much time as you can. If you do not feel the burn in your calves then do some more raises.
Squats.* This exercise is just like sitting down and getting back up, only without a chair. In fact, you can practice by sitting down into your desk chair and then standing back up without leaning forward. Now try with no chair. Sit down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Try not to extend your knees past your toes. Your feet should be hip width apart your head up and your back straight. Squats are terrific for your thighs and butt.
Lunges.* Stand straight with your feet together. Take a big step forward with one leg so that your knee is at a 90 degree angle and directly above your ankle. Your back should be straight. Now, slowly push back up from your forward leg to the starting position. Lunges can also be done in the form of walking forward and moving into the lunge position with each step.
*For added benefit, hold some weights in your hands while doing these exercises.
Crunches. When do crunches it is important to make sure that your stomach muscles are doing the work and that you are not relying on your neck or your arms. Lay down, knees bent and your feet shoulder width apart. Look at the ceiling and keep your lower back flat on the ground. No arching. Put your fingertips behind your ears. Now pull your stomach muscles in towards your spine and squeeze those abdominals. Your shoulder blades will lift off the ground as you do these. Now release those muscles, go back to the starting position and repeat.
Push ups. Yes, the dreaded push up. It is quite possibly the most hated of all simple exercises but it yields terrific benefits for the body. Start with as many as you can do and then work your way up to more. Get in the starting position (as shown) with your elbows locked. Lower yourself by bending your elbows until your chest almost touches the floor. Push your arms back to a straight position. Keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width and slightly turned out. Keep your head straight in line with your body too and resist the urge to look forward.
Remember, the advantage to doing these at home is that no one is watching so just do the best you can. If you aren’t sure about proper form for any of the above exercises, there are numerous videos on youtube to help you out.
The down side of reading this post is that now we can no longer use time as an excuse not to exercise! So go on and get started. What are you waiting for?