My friend and fitness guru Rachel from Daily Routine Fitness has taken over the blog today. She is much more knowledgeable than me when it comes to working out and what to do. I thought what better way to share some info and tips than to have her guest blog and share her knowledge with all of us. I will let Rachel take it from here …
If you knew there were only a few things you needed to do this year to change and improve your body and get healthier, would you do them? What if I guaranteed that you only needed to spend a few minutes a day to improve your life? Our lives are filled with unreachable standards and endless to-dos. Even taking time to improve our health can seem like an overwhelming task. But what if we just made things simpler? What if we stopped focusing on everything and instead just focused on a few things? Would we change? YES!
We were created for movement. Everything in our makeup—from how our bodies are built to the workmanship of our muscle tissue—screams “Move me!” So when we ask our bodies to move, no matter how hard doing so may be, we end up with mental or physical satisfaction. For so long, people have preached that in order to be effective, workouts need to be long, must almost kill you, and should have you throwing up at the end. Sounds like fun, I know!
But this year, instead of focusing on throwing up at the end of your workout, I want you to focus on moving your body for 10—or maybe 15, if you really want to get crazy—minutes a day! You can do this 10 minutes a day in your office, or while you’re waiting for the baby to go to sleep, or while watching your favourite show. By adding these 5 movements to your day, you will reshape your body, improve your strength and clear your head! And before you write off movement because you think it’s just about getting a great butt, STOP! By getting our bodies moving for even just a few minutes a day, we help lessen the effects of mental stress, remove toxins, and allow ourselves to breathe more efficiently due to the alleviation of stress.
These are 5 of some of the most effective movements, in my opinion, because they use strength from our whole body and challenge our heart rates. No weights needed—just use your body!
- 10 minutes a day
- 3 x a week
- Push as hard as you can!
- 1 minutes each movement
To add challenge: You could add weight or resistance bands or turn the movement plyometric. For example: Turn your squat into a jump squat or your lunge into a jump lunge. I’ve included a video for each movement to help you complete these movements in a safe and effective way.
1. Squat: One of the best movements for strengthening the butt and legs. Make sure to engage your core, keep your back straight, and keep the weight in your heels as you lower your body.
2. Lunge: Your quads, inner thighs, and core will thank you for this movement. The lunge is an amazing leg shaper, but it also demands a lot of strength from our core during the movement, so you will get double benefits here.
3. Plank: Your back, core, quads, calves, glutes, and shoulders are some of the major areas that will be burning while you’re holding, squeezing, and focusing on evening your breath in this movement.
4. Burpie: I call the burpie the spinach of working out. It uses your whole body, challenges your heart rate, and is extremely effective, even when we do it in small amounts.
5. Push up: When we think of push ups, we often think of working the pecs or chest. But the push up is actually one of the best ways to work our backs, core, and glutes. Focus on keeping the chest open, pressing away from the floor (through the hands), and squeezing through your butt muscles.
photo credit Rebecca Siewert
Throw some music on, repeat this circuit 2 x through, and the work is done!