Alter your workout slightly and see real results
Do you struggle to fit exercise into your hectic schedule? Or maybe you hate getting sweaty in the gym? Well, there’s no excuses for not getting fit: even short bursts of activity, slotted into your everyday routine, can make a difference and produce results.
We spoke to five top fitness experts, who revealed the easiest moves to stay in shape. Here’s a little about our experts…
Dominic Smart is a head trainer at DeSire Personal Training (marlboroughfitnessandperformancecentre.com)
Laurel Alper is a fitness expert and Pilates instructor (laurelalper.co.uk)
Lucy Wyndham-Read is a fitness expert and author (lwrfitness.com)
Sara Nankivell is a senior fitness manager at Nuffield Health (nuffieldhealth.com)
Zoe Jessop is a muscular physiotherapist at Oxford Circus Physio (oxfordcircusphysio.co.uk)
Keep clicking for the mini workouts they suggest, so you can maintain your busy lifestyle and stay in shape at the same time…
Stand with your back against a wall and legs bent at a 90-degree angle, knees directly above your toes. Hold this position for as long as you can – building up each time. Isometric exercises, like this one, which involve contracting muscles without moving at the joint, are great for toning.
Swap the trolley for two baskets – as they fill up, you’ll not only be working your arms, shoulders, back and chest muscles, but research has shown you’ll be less likely to impulse-buy too.
Don’t stand idle while waiting for the kettle to boil – you could burn around 40 calories with the following mini workout: do ten star jumps, then ten press-ups, by leaning into the worktop. Next, do eight star jumps and eight press-ups. Repeat down to one.
Alternate sets of ten squats and ten lunges, while making toast or your morning porridge. Sink low into each movement and squeeze your bum as you stand up. Hold household items, such as full cartons of milk, to intensify the workout.
Find yourself slumped over your desk? It’s easy to do something about it. Every time the phone rings or you send an email, raise your shoulders towards your ears and roll your shoulders back down. Imagine there’s a lemon between your shoulder blades and squeeze it tightly. This will open out your chest and straighten your spine.
Stand with arms crossed over your chest. Keeping your pelvis still, rotate your upper back from left to right, allowing your head to follow you. Repeat five times, then work in the opposite direction. This is great for preventing back pain – if you have a sedentary job, try it every hour.
Turn household chores into a workout: when emptying the dishwasher or unloading a washing basket, instead of bending over, squat down and reach each item, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees above your toes and your torso upright; lunge forward on alternate legs as you vacuum.
Raise one foot off the floor, leg bent at a 90-degree angle, and your knee in line with your hip. Hold for as long as you can (while you wash your hair, for example), then change legs. Engage the buttock and life up from the knee of the supporting leg.