These can be done anywhere – no equipment necessary!
So Christmas is approaching which means we may eat more than usual and generally take it a bit easier. Then in comes the new year and all those resolutions of getting fit and being a bit healthier.
But don’t commit to too much because you might end up throwing the resolutions to the side and getting annoyed at yourself for not keeping it up.
Start small and easy with these six simple exercises you can do anywhere, anytime.
Remember to do your stretches before and afterwards – just to loosen the joints and muscles. Here are some to guide you:
* Stand up and raise your hands straight up above your head. Stand on your tip toes stretching as far as you can, hold and release.
* Stand up first, cross your legs, then bend down with your fingers touching your toes. Hold and release.
* Cross your legs the other way and repeat.
* Stand normal again. With hands clasped, bring your hands and arms straight in front of you, stretch out, hold and release.
* Repeat the above, only with your arms behind your back.
* Shake out!
1) Dippity Do Da
You can use either a chair or your bed for this exercise which helps strengthen the back of your arms. Ignore the fact this person has their feet up – yours can be flat on the ground. Sit down with your hands beside your hips. Slide your bum off the edge and, bending your elbows, lower yourself towards the floor keeping your back close to the chair or bed. Push yourself back up. Continue pushing back up and down, without touching the ground, for 10-12 repetitions.
2) Squat and gimme 10(-12)
This person just keeps showing off – no weight is needed here. In front of the chair or bed, stand with your feet apart, about the width of your hips and toes forward. Lean your chest forward slightly with arms out to balance, bend your knees as if you are about to sit down but then just touch your bum off the chair/bed before standing up again. Your weight should be through your heels but this will help your hamstrings and calf muscles. Think of it as though you’ve been standing for ages waiting on someone, you are about to take a seat and they walk in. Feel free to add a weight when you’ve mastered the basics. Repeat for 10-12.
3) Cheer loud and proud
You can lie on the floor for this or alternatively sit on the corner of your bed with feet flat on the ground, lying back. (If you’re lying flat on the floor, put the soles of your feet together so your knees are lying out each side.) Then put your hands behind your head so your elbows are facing outwards. See how it looks like you’re cheering?! Now the hard part – although just think of it like ‘crunching’.
Tighten your abs and lift your chest and shoulders up. Slowly release them back down again. Be careful not to use your neck to lift as this will lead to a strain. Repeat this 10-12 times.
4) I’m just relaxing, taking it easy
So called because that’s what this position reminds us of. Remain on your back, but with knees bent in front of you, feet flat on the ground. Cross your right knee over your left one and put your left hand behind your head. Then just lift your left shoulder to meet your right knee and release again. Do 10-12 repeats before switching sides and repeating.
5) P-P-Push it real good
Everyone has a different level of strength when it comes to push-ups. Don’t risk straining yourself! Start easy and build up your strength to the more difficult ones. We all know our person in the pictures likes to show off, but for this one, just start by getting down on all fours. Arms should be shoulder-width apart; knees, hip distance apart. Slide your hands/arms out to your side a bit. Start lowering down, keeping your back, neck and bum straight and abs tight and knees/feet still on the floor, then push back up. Don’t forget to breath! If you want to make it slightly more difficult, lift your feet up – like they are kicked out at the back. When you’ve built up strength over the weeks, you can then stretch out full – like the person in our illustration. Repeat 10-12 times.
6) Step to it
You don’t need a bench or weights for this – just use a sturdy chair, or your bed again. Start by placing your right foot on the bed and lifting up, bring your left leg to follow. Lower down again, bringing your right leg with you. So you are not necessarily planting your left leg beside your right, just follow up and down again. Say to yourself, “right leg up, left leg up, left leg down, right leg down” if that makes it less confusing. Do this 10-12 times again. If you want to build strength and once you have the initial moves down, you could use something of the same weight in each hand to increase intensity.
And that’s it! Well done. Don’t forget to finish off with a few more stretches and keep it up. You’ll be long and lean again in no time!
POLL: Will you be getting fit in 2016?
By Siobhan Maguire
All images from Google advanced search, ‘Labeled for re-use’