One of the most important things you can do when you’re trying to get fit is to stick with it! A common setback people face is just being too busy to get any exercise in. After a few days of missing yet another workout, many will call it quits. Don’t let this happen to you! By having these 6 simple exercises in mind, your workout options will increase drastically; if you can find a small amount of space and 5-10 spare minutes, you will be able to get some exercise in no matter where you are.
Arm Circles - Shoulders and Arms
Arm circles are incredibly simple and effective. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms outstretched straight out from either side your body (like a bird!). Make 20 small circles forward and 20 more back – do 2 or 3 sets to start. You can add resistance by holding weights, water bottles or whatever’s around (as long as they weigh evenly for each arm!) as you do this move.
Push Ups - Chest and Core
Standard push ups are great for working the upper body. To do them correctly, keep your feet together and your back straight. Lower yourself slowly until your upper arms parallel to the ground. Start with 2 sets of 8-10 reps and increase both as you gain strength.
Crunches – Abs/Core
Strengthen your abdominal muscles by lying on your back with your knees bent. Bend your elbows to put your hands behind your head. For each sit up, slowly curl your torso forward until your upper back is lifted completely off the floor. Hold that position for 3 seconds and then slowly lower yourself back to your starting position – start with 2 or 3 sets of 10-12 reps. You can add more “hold time" as your abs get stronger, too.
Squats - Quads
Squats are awesome for working out all the muscles in your legs – glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart with your toes pointing straight ahead. Slowly bend your knees and lower yourself into a sort of sitting position, keeping your torso straight. Hold your position for 3 seconds if you can, then slowly rise to standing. Start with a set or two of 8-10 reps.
Side Bridge - Obliques/Core
Lie on your side with your forearm on the ground. Your arm should be perpendicular to your body so that you’re propping yourself up with your arm. Keeping your top leg right above the other, straighten your knees and hips. Raise your hips and then lower them back down to your original position. Start with 2 sets of 8-10 reps on each side.
Heel Raisers - Calves
This is probably the most versatile, “do-anywhere" exercise on this list – I do heel raisers while washing dishes. Just stand with your feet hip-width apart, lift your heels off the ground and lower them slowly. Be sure not to “rock" on your feet. You want to be keeping your body as straight as possible. You should be able to feel the tension in your calves.
Do these 6 exercises throughout your busy day and you’ll have gotten in a full body workout! Add cardio to make it a more complete routine. Simple things like taking the stairs, walking during your lunch hour and parking down the street from the office are effective ways to add some aerobic activity without a huge time commitment.
Author: Tracy Martin is a freelance writer and fitness enthusiast from the Midwest. Although she stays fit by keeping up with her husband and their three little kids every day, she also loves yoga, hiking and dance. She is constantly sharing health and fitness articles she finds with her family – from elliptical machine reviews to information about nutrition.
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