Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Simple and Natural Ways to Keep Fit

Here are some simple ways to make exercise a part of your daily life.

Wake-up Workout

When your eyes open, sit up slowly without using your hands. With legs straight out, lean forward until you feel a gently stretch in your back and hamstrings. Hold, then, using your abs, lower yourself flat. Rest and repeat two or more times. Strengthen core.

Balance Booster

While brushing your teeth in the morning, alternate standing on one leg as you switch mouth quadrants (every 30 seconds). Balancing develops your core muscle and may even be good for your brain. You can also do this at night before going to bed.

Be a Ballerina

As you wait for the water to boil, stand sideways, put one hand on the counter, and lift the outside leg straight in front of you, keeping it extended. With upper body straight, hold for a few seconds and move it to the side, hold and extend it behind you. Do five to ten times on each leg. Tone outer thighs, hip flexors and quadriceps.

Recharge Yourself

Anytime you’re waiting in line, stand evenly on both feet, clasp hands behind your back and squeeze your shoulder blades together to open your chest, an energizing yoga-based move that stimulates the nervous system. Hold for ten to 20 seconds while breathing in and out, taking longer on the inhale.

Play Footsie

After dinner while you’re still sitting at the table, extend your right leg out and slowly bend it up and down, squeezing and holding it the up position for at least five seconds. Repeat on each leg five times. Sculpt quadriceps.

Lift those Hips

Before you tuck yourself in for the night, try doing this. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs up on the edge of the bed or a chair. Slowly bend your knees, lifting your hips off the floor. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat 10 to 12 times. This exercise firms up hamstrings and core.

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