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Let’s be honest. As women, time is something most of us are short on. Whether you are a working or stay at home mother, single or in a relationship, you probably don’t have copious amounts of free time. Here are 5 easy ways to fit in fitness throughout your day. Small changes add up to big changes. I’ve lost 7 of the 15 pounds I’ve gained by remembering that simple fact.
Stand Tall. I can remember the year I started to hunch over. I didn’t want to be one of those girls who stuck out her newly blossoming chest, and in turn, pushed her butt out. I didn’t want my walk to look like I had a “stick up my buns.” (Oh the things you worry about as a teen!) The larger my chest got, the more self conscious I got, and in turn, the more I hunched. It was only a slight hunch at first. However over time I’ve noticed that the muscles in my chest have shortened, and in the later stages of races, I look like I’m an old lady doubled over. As a 30-something, I’m trying to reverse the effects of my bad posture.
When I walk, I roll my shoulders back, stretch out my chest and stand tall. This stretches out your muscles, improves your posture, and makes you look fitter. The more you practice standing tall throughout the day, the more this will become your natural posture. When I am running and feel myself getting tired, I remind myself by saying “Roll, Tall.” This opens up my lungs and actually helps me breathe easier, thus improving my pace and overall feeling of well being while on the run.
Suck In. You can do ab work all day long, whether you are sitting in your car, at a desk, or on the couch reading a book to your child. Practice tightening the muscles in your core and then releasing. You can do this in sets, and create an entire ab workout without anyone even knowing. When I want to work on my abs, the first thing I start doing on a daily basis “sucking in.” I try to remember that I can tighten my muscles all day long during whatever activity I am doing. With this simple exercise, I start to notice a difference in as little as two weeks. The stronger your abs get, the easier it is to isolate them and to feel a difference when tightening and releasing.
Embrace Housework or Work Standing Up. Does anyone really love cleaning their home? I don’t know about you but cleaning the floors or doing the dishes is about the last thing in the world I want to do. But someone has to clean and I’m not willing to pay a maid. Rather than dwelling on how much it sucks, I embrace it. When I’m cleaning my house, I keep moving. I bend over. I squat. While I may not be doing a workout, I am moving and burning calories the entire time. When I’m doing the dishes, I throw in squats. If you work in an office, try standing up while working or take five minutes to do a 100 squats in your cube or office during a break. It may seem silly, but it really does add up.
Squats and Pushups. I consider myself the worst at pushups. Thanks to years of running and not much strength training, I have quads of steal and arms like spaghetti. This doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t or can’t try to mix in pushups throughout the day. Waiting for the kettle to boil for my tea, I drop and attempt ten pushups. While waiting for the bus to drop off my kids from school, I do 100 squats in my driveway.
Wallsits and Dips. The wonderful thing about wallsits and dips are that you can do them pretty much anywhere. It also doesn’t matter if I am not in workout clothes. I can wall sit wearing jeans, and pull out a chair from my dining room table to do dips before I eat my breakfast. At first you may only be able to hold the wall sit for a minute or perform 10 dips. Both of these exercises are ones that you can improve drastically in a short amount of time.
I am trying to lose weight in a smart, sustainable way, which means there have been periods of time where I have seen little to no results. Don’t get discouraged. Think of the long term picture. I remember texting a friend in the early stages of my decision to drop this extra weight for good, saying “I just want the weight gone now. It’s so annoying.” At that moment, I felt a little hopeless. Those are the moments you really need to stick it out, because change will come. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. When you want to give up most, just think that you might be on the verge of a very large breakthrough. These thoughts help me every time.
If you missed the first post in this series – 5 Healthy Ways To Lose Weight – you can check it out here.