transforming our health and well-being

Fitness for Busy People

People doing push-upsGetting in a good workout can be challenging, considering how busy most of us are, but it doesn’t have to involve a lot of equipment nor an hour of time.

The following exercise program is not designed to be a complete program, but it is a worthwhile workout that you can sneak in when you just don’t have the time to visit the gym.

If the following exercises are too easy, add weight, more sets, or extra repetitions.

Let’s get started:

1. Pushups. If you’re in great shape, do 100 correctly formed pushups as quickly as possible, taking breaks as needed. If you struggle to do one good push up, try doing them on your knees, or stand at the base of the stairs and put your hands on the stairs. The key is to make it easy enough so that you can do at least 10-20 repetitions.

2. Bodyweight squats. From a standing position, squat down and stand back up. Do as many as you can and try to go all the way down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. If that’s too difficult, grab a doorframe to pull yourself back up.

3. Jump squats. These are similar to the bodyweight squats, but instead of just standing up, you’re going to jump as high as you can, land softly, and repeat. Do as many as you can. This is a tough one.

4. Lunges. To lunge, you simply take a big step and then lower yourself down until your back knee just grazes the ground. This one will really help to stretch out your hips and challenge your balance.

5. Jump lunges. As you come up from your standard lunge, jump up and switch your legs in the air. Go back down and repeat.

6. Jump. Jumping is great exercise. Hop on one foot, jump on two feet, then alternate to hop on the other foot. Use a jump rope if you like. Jump for height or long jump. Jumping is good for your bones and keeps your nervous system sharp.

7. Stairs. If you have access to a multi-story building, walk up a few floors and walk back down. If you’re in decent shape, try running up the stairs. Who needs a stair machine at the gym?

8. Leg raises. Lie on the floor, lift your feet a few inches off the ground, and hold them up for as long as you can. The higher you lift your legs, the easier it will be. If that’s still too hard, bend your knees. If the standard form is too easy, you can hang from a bar or a tree limb and lift your feet up to your hands. Find a variation that works for you.

Getting a good workout can be as simple using your body for resistance. These exercises don’t require a lot of room or any fancy equipment. Just the pushups, bodyweight squats, and leg raises are enough to keep most people in decent shape.

Give these exercises a try the next time you’re short on time. You’ll be pleased with the results.

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