It’s raining, it’s pouring … but you still need to exercise!
Learning the hard way apparently builds strength of character. The kind of character that’s less easily defeated by adversities.
Let’s apply this theory to exercise: It’s cold, wet, and windy outside, so: Get some waterproof running gear on and out of that door you go! It doesn’t look very inviting but a 10–20 minute jog around your block will give you ROI guaranteed (Return On Investment. Clever Personal Training). Soon enough the weight will drop off and you won’t need the sun’s blessing to get out there!
However, if it’s too late in the evening, or it’s more of a monsoon than a drizzle, there is still a way, if you have the will. The Home Gym! Your home – your gym. Make a minimum of three appointments per week to visit your ‘Home Gym’ and give these exercises a go:
1. Step It Up: Whenever you need to use the stairs, go up and down them once or twice more just for exercise. Stepping calls upon your gluts, quads, calves, hamstrings, and even arms if you pump them vigorously enough. Keep your body upright and drive away with those heals from step to step. Take two steps at a time for a bigger workout and faster results in fat burn and toning.
2. Making cocoa: Making cocoa for your family (green tea for you!) will not only give you the feel good factor but it will also tone your bottom and calves IF you: Hold on to the counter, raise one heel up at a time, keeping the tippy toes planted the entire time (like a horse trotting!) and keeping your body nice and tall. Every now and again, raise both heels up and hold for five seconds and come back down. Keep going until the kettle is boiling and your calves are on fire!
3. Make more cocoa: Hold on to the counter, laterally raise your left leg (nice and straight with pointed foot) then lower, 30 times. This great for shaping the thighs and creating those nice dents on the side of your bottom. Repeat with right leg.
4. Sofasize: Grip onto the sides of your sofa/chair (either side of your bottom), tighten your core muscles, breathe in and then slip your bottom off, elbows close and pointing directly behind you staying close to the sofa. Then, whilst exhaling, push through your palms until your bottom is level with the sofa again. This is working the back of your arms (triceps), your shoulders, and your core.
5. Sofasize Two: Bunny Hops: Hold on to the side of the sofa, hands shoulder width apart. Jump, with legs together, from left to right, landing softly on the balls of your feet but squatting low so you can power a nice, high jump.
6. Cardio out of the cold: You don’t need a lot of space to get your heart rate up so to crack on with some decent cardio in the discomfort of your own home … try jogging on the spot, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, skipping, crunches, or lunges. Do three of these for 30 seconds then repeat. Then, try another three!
7. CONSIDER THIS: KEEP THE WINDOW OPEN: According to a University of Utah study reported on by the New York Times, basal metabolic rate (calories you burn at rest) does increase slightly in colder temperatures as the effort to stay warm requires more work from your body. Keep the window open for better c-c-calorie burn! : )
So, in-keeping with the theme of this issue I have given you some tips on staying fit indoors and outdoors. Whatever the weather and however you’re feeling: You’ll never regret doing a little exercise but you will regret doing none.
“Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.”
The Qur’an, Surah Younus (Chapter of Jonah) 10:44
Anna Reich is a fit person and as a result, a happy one. She is a Personal Trainer at her studio in London.