by Lisa Dingeman
As human beings, we strive to take care of others, as well as ourselves. Each year we make a personal promise to get more exercise, but often don’t follow through on that promise.
Raise your current bar on physical activity with these seven quick and simple ways to get more active without having to make the time.
Stand while you work. Standing burns nearly 1,000 extra calories a week as opposed to sitting, and takes stress off of the lower back, improves strength in the lower body, and promotes endurance. It also decreases your risk of weight gain and obesity.
Walk more and take the stairs. Instead of shooting that quick email to the person three cubicles down, go for a stroll. Walking (and avoiding the elevator) helps maintain a healthy weight and improves balance and coordination. It also helps manage or prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Burn calories while watching TV. Sick of those long commercial breaks? Download a Tabata app. 20 seconds of an exercise with a 10 second break. Eight rounds of this and your commercials are suddenly over—all while improving your metabolic rate and aerobic capacity.
Calf raises can be fun. Calf raises can be modified in several different ways, making them achievable for all ages and fitness levels. The benefits of a calf raise include strengthening the lower legs and ankles which lead to improved balance. Give them a try next time you’re waiting in the grocery store line—maybe even add a few kegels!
Carry a resistance band with you. There is no better workout tool than a resistance band. You can pack those suckers anywhere and work any part of the body. They are especially phenomenal for the individuals who have a hard time moving or lifting heavy weights. Resistance bands reduce joint pain and enhance the body’s elasticity.
Engage your abs. The core is responsible for the lower back, pelvis, hips, and abdomen working in harmony. Poor posture, back pain, and overall body weakness is usually linked to a weak core. An easy and convenient way to engage your abs is to tighten them for three seconds and then relax them for three seconds. Repeat this for a total of three minutes—making sure not to hold your breath. The best part? You can do this while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Drink more water. Not only does water consumption flush out toxins in the body and treat headaches, migraines, and fatigue, it can burn an extra 12 calories in just one glass. The average person should consume eight, eight ounce glasses of water each day, resulting in 100 extra calories burned.
We were all blessed with the gift of life and when it comes to our health, it’s okay to put yourself first. Do your part in keeping your body healthy, not only for yourself but for those who love and care about you. It’s not too late to hitch a ride on the bandwagon of New Year’s resolutions.
Lisa Dingeman is a devoted wife and the proud mother of two boys. She is a personal trainer in Bismarck and is working on doing her third fitness competition. Lisa has devoted her life to faith, family, and wellness.