from HealthyWomen’s e-newsletter, HealthyWomen Take 10
No time to exercise? That’s no longer a good enough excuse for skipping the physical activity we all need. Here are four great exercises you can do in two minutes or less each. Squeeze them in throughout your day:
1. When you’re at the supermarket, get your shopping cart and push it—empty—around the perimeter of the store before you begin shopping. If you’re used to a bit of exercise, wait until the cart is half-full and then push it around the store circuit. And don’t get side-tracked in the bakery section!
2. Use a stability ball to build strength safely while doing squats. Place the ball behind your back, against a wall. With hands on hips, bend your knees slowly, as far as is comfortable, then return to a standing position. (Don’t let your knees move past your toes.) As you do this exercise, the stability ball rolls along with you, making the movement easier. You can do this at home, in the gym or in the office—the stability ball makes a great chair as well and helps you burn a few more calories while you’re seated.
3. Boost your balance by stepping over a small plastic cone, soup can or child’s beach bucket. Stand about 6 inches behind the cone. Lift one leg and step over slowly, transferring weight to the front foot. Then lift the other leg and step over. Step back over the cone the same way, one leg at a time. Repeat 10 times. When this exercise becomes easy, add a side-stepping movement or increase the height of object until it is no more than 12 inches high.
4. If you live in a two-story house or an apartment building with several floors or you work in an office with a stairwell, you have all the equipment you need for a great two-minute workout. Climb those steps! When you do, you burn more calories per minute than when jogging and can get good cardiovascular benefits as well. Make multiple trips up and down at a moderate pace, breathe regularly and be sure to rest if you feel any discomfort. When using an enclosed, public-access staircase, you may want to bring an exercise buddy along for safety and companionship.
For more wellness tips, visit: www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/healthy-living
American College of Sports Medicine. “Selecting and Effectively Using Stability Balls.” http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=brochures2&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8113. Accessed November 10, 2009.
The American Council on Exercise. “Function Follows Fitness.” http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/studies/FunctionFitness.pdf. Accessed November 12, 2009.
Olander EK, Eves FF, Puig-Ribera A. “Promoting Stair Climbing: Stair-Riser Banners are Better Than Posters … Sometimes.” Preventive Medicine. 2008;46(4):308-310.
Teh KC, Aziz AR. “Heart Rate, Oxygen Uptake, and Energy Cost of Ascending and Descending the Stairs.” Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2002;34(4):695-699.
© 2009 HealthyWomen All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (tollfree). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.