It happens to all of us. Even if you’ve committed to a regular workout routine life gets in the way sometimes. Perhaps you’re too busy at work. Or maybe you’re simply traveling.
Whatever the reason skipping your workout from time to time might be necessary. But if it has happened to you before you may have discovered that skipping altogether can leave you feeling achy, tired or just out of sorts.
When I fell off the exercise wagon for a couple of weeks over the holidays this past year I was downright miserable.
So what’s the solution? Slipping in a sneaky, super-fast “no time for a workout workout,” of course.
Sneak in exercise with 4 “no time for a workout moves”
Following are five lightning fast ways you can slip in some exercise when you simply don’t have the time.
1. Stretch it out:
You may not have the time to fit in a full half hour of exercise. But if you have five minutes (or even less) you certainly can slip in some tension-relieving stretches.
Start with your feet in a wide stance about two feet apart. Place your hands on your hips and leaving your feet in place gently turn your torso to the right as far as you can comfortably go. Return to center and repeat the move but turning your torso to the left. Depending on how much time you have repeat up to five sets.
Still have a little time? Next using a piece of furniture for stability lower yourself to the ground and lay flat on your back. Start with your legs bent at the knees and your feet flat on the ground.
Keeping your shoulders flat on the ground and squared, gently allow your knees to lower to one side until they touch the floor. Stay in the stretch until you feel some of the tension and tightness in your lower back let go. Then return your legs to center and repeat the stretch on the other side.
If you still have a minute, try the hamstring stretch. Grab a belt, towel or scarf and lie flat on your back again. Holding the ends of the scarf in your hand capture one of your feet with the loop at the end and gently straighten your leg.
Keeping your back and shoulders on the ground, gently pull your lassoed leg towards your body as far as is comfortable. Hold the stretch for a few moments to release tension and then gently lower your leg. Repeat on the other side.
Congratulations, you just completed your first “no time for a workout” move.
2. “Weird” walking:
If you’re on the go literally and can’t stop for a workout turn your walk into an exercise session with “weird walking.”
When you switch up your standard one foot in front of the other steps you will end up working different muscles and giving yourself a mini workout. You can begin simply by picking up your pace.
Walking faster is the easiest way to give yourself a workout while walking. And as a bonus, you’ll get to your destination a bit early.
If you’re going to be traveling several blocks, you can try crab walking for a few feet every block. To crab walk you literally turn your body sideways and take side steps so you’re moving forward like a crab.
Another fun move is the grapevine. Every hundred feet or so stop and take one step to the right with your right leg and then take a second step with your left leg crossing it BEHIND your right leg.
Then take another step to the right with your right leg and then take a second step with your left leg crossing it in FRONT of the right leg this time. Continue walking regularly for another hundred feet or so and repeat the same but stepping out with your left leg first.
It’s easier to do than it may sound. Try it once and you’ll see how simple it is to get the hang of it.
3. Stepping up:
When there’s no time for a workout keep your eyes open for any small steps that are around six to 12 inches off the ground, such as curbs. When you spot one switch into step aerobics mode.
Stop and step up with your left foot, then up with your right. Then step back down with your left and then your right. If you have the time, repeat the move 10 times and then continue on your way.
If you manage to slip in just three of these sets during the day, you’ll be getting a nice little workout that takes up almost none of your precious time.
4. Stress-free pushups:
Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you get on the floor and do actual pushups. If you’re of a certain age, or not as flexible as you used to be, traditional pushups can be next difficult to do. Plus doing them wrong can cause injuries.
No, for your “no time for a workout workout” you’re going to be doing some modified, stress-free pushups.
As you go about your day be on the lookout for any solid surfaces that are about waist to chest high. Countertops, half walls and even the backs of park benches will work nicely. These will become your workout equipment.
Stand facing the counter or other surface. For an easier workout, you should be about eight to 12 inches away from the surface. For a stronger workout stand a little further back.
Place your hands on the top of the counter close to the edge. Gently lower your body down until it’s almost touching the counter, then push back up to an upright position. Repeat this move 10 to 15 times.
You aren’t always going to have time for a full exercise routine. But there’s always time for a “no time for a workout workout.” Whenever life gets in the way of exercise, try one of these four moves to sneak in a workout.