Ahhhh, the chill of Winter! That silly man Jack Frost has been nipping our noses here in Virginia for about 10 days now. One day it is 55, the next 26. Will we have fog, frogs, cats or dogs; falling from the skies? This type of weather tantrum is flat out not conducive to planning regular outside activity. So, I decided to make a greater investment in my health by insuring integrated activities during my day to day routine. Check them out below and sprinkle them into your weekly schedule to spice things up a bit.
1. Make it HOT HOT HOT!
While cooking in the kitchen, turn on your favorite tunes and shimmy your way between the sink and the stove, the fridge to the table and back again. Throw in a twirl, a leg lift, fling yourself into the arms of a loved one for a dip! Dancing around for a 30 minute meal (Thanks, Rachel Ray!) can burn up to 200 calories for a 150lb woman. Shake and sizzle!
2. The Commercial Game
Since the development of TiVo, Netflix, and other on demand program viewing-we have gotten a bit lazier. If you are still watching TV with commercials, take the opportunity to do squats for the entire 2-3 minute period, knock out some crunches, push ups, play tag around the house, etc. Better still, turn off the tv and take the dog for a walk, kids for a stroll, family plank competition…
Not just a great band from the 90s. But a fantastic exercise anywhere approach. You can literally contract nearly every muscle in the body and get a good workout. Let start with the simple ones…your BUNS. Pinch your tushy (not like aunt Edna) like you are squeezing a penny between your cheeks. Work your tummy by pulling your belly button in towards your back and hold it for 10 seconds-please dont hold your breath. For all you ladies out there, with and without children- you should be doing your Kegels. By properly performing a vaginal contraction, you can build up strength and stability in your pelvic floor leading to better sex, less incontinence and good posture.
4. The Plaque Stack
When you brush your teeth, do these exercises the whole 3 minutes while you are cleaning. Set a timer!! Squat with your belly and pelvic floor pulled in 10x, then alternate lifting your knee to chest 10x, continue knee to chest while twisting 10x, and again but with your knees coming out to the side a bit 10x-keep on repeating until your chompers sparkle, and your muscles burn.
5. Mr. Clean’s Power Wash 5
Set a timer in the morning, for 5 minutes. In that 5 minutes, unload the dishwasher, fold clothes, vacuum the living room or wash all the windows-we are going for max output in 5 minutes, so no dilly dallying.
6. Fight Fight Fight
Generally speaking, I’m a hugger not a fighter. But sometimes, a gal needs a good pillow fight, thumb or arm wrestle or shadow box with yourself ( no one has to know you made shadow puppets afterwards)
7. 1950s Americana
Remember potato sack races? indoor pillow case race. Egg toss? Hardboil to keep your carpets yolk free. 3 legged race? Try 3 Legged leg lifts. You can even put a dime in the jukebox and whip out the broomstick for a game of limbo.
The key here folks is to realize there are opportunities for fun and fitness everywhere. Play with some of these ideas and make some new traditions in your home. Overtime, these little bursts of effort and family bonding will support a happy and healthy life!
Cheers to indoor fit fun!
PS: Summersaults are not just for tykes under 3 ft. Pull out some blankets and pillows and try and do them as SLOW as possible. Work those abdominals, feel the burn…you will thank me later, either for the ab soreness or the good chuckle you had.