The biggest excuse people give for not working out is that there isn’t enough time in their day, and the biggest mistake they make is thinking they need to block out time specifically for a workout. If you can do that, and I am entirely convinced 99 percent of people can, great. Spend an hour in the gym getting your sweat on and cross it off your list. For those that truly can’t, usually because of a crazy work schedule, you aren’t off the hook, you just have to get creative.
Most people have to commute to work, and whether your commute is an hour each way, or 20 minutes total, that’s a significant amount of time doing relatively nothing. Whether you drive, carpool, or ride the bus or subway, you spend some time each day going to and from your work. And you go to work most days of the week. Viola! The perfect built in time to sneak in some fitness. You multitask all the time on your commute any way by checking emails, Facebook, reading the paper or simply catching a few more Z’s, all of which can be done at a later time. Why not knock out your workout- you know, that thing you don’t have time for?
You can turn your commute into a full blown workout by biking, running or even walking to your destination, but most people aren’t willing to show up to work sweaty and red faced, so let’s focus on what you can do during your regular commute to up your physical activity level. These may not sound like much, but if done every day you commute, the results can add up quick.
Melissa Paris, NASM certified personal trainer at the exclusive Reebok Sports Club in New York City, reccomends taking advantage of the time you spending waiting for your bus or the subway by getting a little lower leg workout. Always opt to stand instead of sitting, but even better yet, do calf raises to really get your muscles working. “Simply start on your flat feet, then push up on your toes, hold for a 2-3 count lower and repeat,” advises Paris. You can do these anytime, any place.
You can also get a great ab workout in, without anyone being the wiser. Your abdomen is a complicated network of layers of muscles that run in all different directions. Most people focus on the rectus abdominus, the outter most layer that gives you that six pack look, but the transverse abs, the deeper ones, are just as important.
“The transverse abs act as a girdle that holds everything together,” explains Paris. “You can work these muscles anywhere, anytime. Simply draw your belly button in towards your spine (while sitting or standing) hold for 15 seconds and repeat. This is a really easy way to strengthen and tone your core without any time lost.”
But don’t stop there. There are things you can do once you get to work that will add to your daily physical activity. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your office for a longer walk, and making a point to get out of your chair every hour to stretch and walk around can do wonders for your health and energy.
April 9th, 2012