Bust Out These Effective Exercises in Your Spare Time
You know those spare minutes you have waiting for your coffee to brew or even waiting for your breakfast to heat up? Our DIY contributor – Jamie King – breaks down some great ways to burn some calories during your downtime with these effective exercises!
Quick, Effective Exercises
Summer has finally arrived and we are as busy as ever with work, events, and life in general! But even though we’re constantly on the move, it’s important to ensure that staying active does not get pushed to the wayside.
For most of us, it’s easier to jump-start the day with a few effective exercises rather than trying to fit it in later when schedules become more unpredictable.
If you have a busy day ahead of you and think you have no time to spare for exercise, think again.
All you need is a good 4 to 5 minutes – the average time it takes for your morning beverage to brew – to fit in a good, total body workout that will help you feel better and be more productive all the day long.
Here are four effective exercises you can do in the convenience of your kitchen while you wait for your coffee or tea to brew:
Start off with a heart-rate boosting round of high-knees, which are sure to wake you up if you’re not already bright-eyed!
Stand tall with your legs and knees spaced hip-width apart. Starting slowly, bring your right knee up towards your chest; go as far as your knee, hips, and hamstring will allow – don’t jerk or overexert your muscles because that can cause injury!
Then, bring your right knee down to the floor and repeat the move on your left leg. Once you’re comfortable in the move, you can speed things up and move fluidly from right to left at the desired pace.
Try performing this move for 30 seconds straight; later, after you’re accustomed to the routine, you can bump up the time to 1 to even 2 minutes!
Stand with your feet about hip-width and then inhale as you push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are just below parallel to the floor (keeping your knees behind your toes). Exhale and straighten your legs as fast as possible (hence the name).
Power this upward movement with your thighs and glutes. Push into your heels to help engage the leg and buttock muscles. Continue to squat as quickly as possible. For a more advanced variation, you can turn your speed squat into a jump squat.
Try for 10-15 reps to tone the legs, get your heart rate up, and prepare your body for the day ahead.
For this move, you’ll need to get down on the floor into a press-up position. But instead of pressing your body up off the floor, you will use your forearms to hold up your body weight. So bring your forearms down to the floor – making a right angle with your upper and lower arms – and engage your core muscles to ensure your body is completely parallel to the floor. Hold this move for 1 minute.
Take advantage of the kitchen and use the countertop for a little arm, chest, and core work! One of our favorite coffee brewing moves is countertop push-ups.
To do them, simply stand, a few feet away from the countertop and place your hands about shoulder-width apart. Lift up on your heels so that your body forms a plank position. Lower your chest toward the counter while keeping your elbows in and then press your body back to starting position. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds.
4 stretches you can do while your beverage brews:
Alternatively, if you’re in need of a good stretch or more mellow moves to start your day, check out these:
Stand straight, lift up arms from your sides, so your body forms a “T” and then slowly start to draw small circles (then larger ones) in the air with your hands and arms in a rotating movement.
[Editor’s Note: These may sound easy but they are a highly effective exercise. We usually finish our group fitness classes doing these – one minute in a forward motion and then one minute backward – trust me you will definitely feel the burn!]
Begin by reaching the right arm upwards and behind your neck and having your left-hand stretch behind your back towards your right hand. Try and get your hands as close together behind your back – you’ll feel the stretch across your shoulder blades and upper back.
Touch Your Toes
You can choose to perform this easy, but essential stretch standing tall or sitting down on the floor with legs pointed straight out from the hip joints. Lean down or forward, reaching for your toes & feet with your hands.
For this classic yoga move, start with your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and your toes tucked under so your body forms a plank position. Exhale as you drive your pelvis upwards, towards the ceiling. Your body will form a wide upside-down “V” shape, and for a deeper stretch, try pushing your shoulders down towards the floor or bringing your heels closer to the floor.
Keep these effective exercises in your back pocket (or rather tape them to the fridge) and you’ll never miss a workout again!