Get fit without hitting the gym
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There's not an excuse in the world that's acceptable for putting your health on the back burner. Same goes for exercise. Show me a reason for not being active, and I'll add it to the book of excuses that leave people overweight, out of shape, tired, and quite frankly miserable.
While some of us may need a gym environment for motivation, it's certainly not a requirement for getting fit. To get you on track, here are five exercises you can do everyday â€“no gym required.
This exercise is by far the best for stronger legs and maximum calorie-burning. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, arms out front or by your side, lower your body to a 90-degree bend as if sitting back into a chair. Inhale as you lower your body, exhale as you squeeze back up to starting position. Do three sets of ten reps, adding hand weights as you progress.
If you could only do one more exercise for your entire life, this is the one. It works your chest, back, shoulders, triceps and core. If you're just starting out, begin with your knees on the floor, graduating to true military version. For more advanced push-ups, try a variety of angles and leg positions to challenge your muscles. Do three sets of 10 reps.
Beginners, start with a traditional plank pose and hold for as long as you can. Remember to breathe and stay focused as you engage your core while looking just ahead on the floor. For a more advanced plank, try extending your arms forward (one at a time) and punch ahead. Rotate arms, adding more punches as your strength and endurance increase.
Standing jog, jumping jacks, tuck jumps or stairs
Pick one of these exercises to get your heart rate elevated while working your lower body. Challenge yourself to one-two minute drills working as hard as you can, then rest for two minutes and repeat eight times. For condo dwellers, utilize your building's stairs. Walk or jog up as many flights as you can. Rest, then repeat. Your thighs and calves get a super workout!
Lightning bolt crunches
Lying on a mat, arms folded behind your neck, raise your left leg, bending your knee at 90-degree angle. Extend right leg out while keeping it raised a few inches above the floor. Curl up slowly, lifting your neck, keeping focus straight ahead. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Complete 10 reps (10 on each side).
Remember: Every effort counts. Do your best every day and your body will thank you with amazing energy and vitality.
Larry Track is a leading fitness trainer, owner of TRACK Fitness in Toronto, Ontario, and contributing expert. Find more healthy news at DailySqueeze.ca.