Exercise and movement is essential for our well being. It is the key to longevity, our body is as old as we think it is. If an 84-year old man is training for his 200th triathlon, it's apparent that our body can do amazing things when we believe we can, train it properly, and keep it in use. So, during a busy day, it's important to take a little break and work those muscles.
There are lots of simple ways to take a few minutes and move.
*Choose Location Wisely
First and foremost, where we choose to park our car is a simple, seamless way to get some extra burning in our schedule. If you're on a lunch break, taking a trip to the supermarket, bank, or post office, find the furthest spot and walk the distance to the door. Survey the lot to see if there are spots that require a slight walk uphill, and you've upped the ante!
*Stairs Over Elevator Every Time
Using the staircase is another seamless fit to stay fit, so forgo the elevator and take a climb. Stair climbing actually challenges our muscles more than regular walking, helps us to find balance and stability, it works the heart while strengthening the quads and gluts. Also, this type of movement helps alleviate stiff joints. Even if you are just in your home, make it a point to walk up and down the stairs a few times a day for no reason other than movement. Make it intentional, and focus on using the strength from your legs to climb.
Sometimes we just have to be resourceful. If you have a wall, you can get a total body workout that's perfect for a midday break. Stand against the wall at a 45 degree angle, with your shoulders touching. Inch down into a seated position, at a 90 degree angle - use your legs and gluts for strength, not your back. You shouldn't feel pressure or pain in the back. Hold the position as long as you can - it may only be 15 to 30 seconds at first, but the more you do it, the more strength you'll build up. You can also incorporate a dragoncurl or bicep curl to keep the arms moving. Weighted or not, move your arms and focus on your muscles. And, if no weights are available, but you want some resistance, just grab a couple of cans of soup.
Ready to take it to the next level? Try using the wall to do one-legged squats.
If you have a floor or grass, you can use it to stretch and strengthen. Doing yoga poses, such as a downward dog, upward facing dog, or hero pose, for a couple of minutes midday is a great way to stretch your muscles, improve flexibility, and clear your mind. If your mind is racing too much for a yoga break, or you have extra energy that you want to burn off, try push-ups, jumping jacks, or jumping rope.
Whether you are supplementing a normal workout routine, or this is all you have time for, your body will thank you for the activity.