There’s a common dilemma when it comes to a good workout. If you’re like most girls, you don’t have much time for the free weights or the treadmill. Work in the following tricks when you don’t have time for a full-fledged workout.
Morning mini-yoga session
Yoga improves muscle flexibility and suppleness, burns calories and refreshes your inner organs with new, clean air. Stretching routines center your mental focus on your body and breath, and they are a beautiful way to start your day. Next time that alarm goes off, turn that yawn-and-stretch into the perfect weekday kickoff.
While still in bed, start out sitting with your legs crossed and arms stretched gently behind you so your fingertips touch your mattress. Take six deep breaths in this position, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Gently twist to one side and then turn to twist the other. Continue to breathe deeply and concentrate on the muscles and organs waking up inside your body. This is a great way to prepare your digestive system for breakfast.
Still sitting with your legs crossed, stretch forward as far as comfortably possible. Feel the sensation in your spine and shoulder blades, all the way down to your waist. Do you feel your entire back thanking you for making it a strong and healthy core of your body?
As you crawl out of bed, stand up and stretch your legs by bending over to touch your toes. If you can’t reach your toes, place your hands gently above your knees or on your calves or ankles. Feel the stretch up the back of the legs and breathe while letting your head hang down. This rejuvenates your brain and prepares it for the day.
Do gentle lunges from one leg to the other as you travel from your bed to your closet and feel that amazing stretch for your inner thighs. Consider any other muscle, nook or cranny of your body – even your toes and armpits – and give them a soft, awakening stretch. Try to dedicate ten seconds to each stretch, then release it and give it another ten.
Tricks for the girl-on-the-go
Here are some miscellaneous tricks to keep yourself moving when you’re a girl-on-the-go:
- Offer to take on a few extra chores, like washing the minivan, to burn approximately 200 calories per hour.
- Nervous habits like air-drumming or bouncing your leg in class burn approximately 30 calories per hour.
- Chewing gum (sugar-free and not during class, please) also burns approximately 30 calories per hour.
- You’re not totally inactive at the computer. Typing like a pro burns 20 calories per hour.
- Keep the muscles in your tummy and bottom tight during your ordinary day. These are your two largest muscle groups and when they’re activated, you’re toning them up and burning a few extra calories.
Phys Ed Class Should Be Physical
Third period gym class is a chance to move your body. If you spend most of gym class standing in line waiting to kick the kickball, consider asking your teacher to shake it up a little. Tell him/her you’d love lessons in the weight room, in karate or even a straight-up aerobics class. Or jog in place while waiting in that long line. Go for anything that allows you to increase your metabolism and improve your fitness technique. You’ll leave that locker room feeling like a new girl.
The Scenic Route
It may seem like a no-brainer, but experts say people who move throughout the day stay more fit than those who sit still and move minimally. So the next time the teacher asks you to run an errand, agree happily and take the long way to your destination. Encourage Mom to park at the far end of the parking lot and volunteer to run into the store for milk and bread. If you have an open campus, avoid the congested halls by walking around your school between classes. Before you know it, your day won’t be complete without a little movement. You’ll love moving your body — and your body will love you.