Exercise Power Tips

Going harder yesterday, how did it work? If you’re as excited about it as we hope you are, we have prepared this “special edition” for those of you who would like to add more power to their exercise mindset.

By now you should be working out regularly, in the scheduled time, and we have no intention of changing that – it’s probably one of the most useful habits you’ll develop during this course.
As the time passes, you’ll probably be changing the activities, and we encourage that – practicing only one type of exercises (only jogging, only gym training, only a tae-bo class…) will surely do wonders for you compared to where you were before you started, but you should strive to ultimately combine more different activities so that all muscle groups in your body are worked, and that you’re flexible and balanced.

Naturally, you’re not an Olympic athlete (yet!), and we don’t expect you to include kick boxing, running, weight lifting and pilates to your exercise plan tomorrow, but there is a way you can increase the time you’re devoting to physical activities without taking it from your work or your other activities, and without getting exhausted – and you can start implementing it right now (or in a few minutes, after you finish reading the article).

1. Standing Desk Exercises

For those of you who spend most of your day sitting in front of the computer, this is THE most effective way to increase your physical activity – get a standing desk!

Standing desks can be just as functional as normal desks, with one important difference: they don’t force you to sit all day long. There are more and more studies and researches that show that sitting during the work day increases the chances of a heart attack, and as BBC reports, just standing up for three hours extra a day burns off 8lb (3.6kg) of fat each year.

Just standing instead of sitting has many benefits: after a while your neck and your back will feel great, your posture will improve, you’ll be more focused on your work etc; but you can also accompany that with some simple exercises, like single leg lifts, side stretches, incline push ups, dips, squats, lunges, marching in place…

We don’t recommend that you stand up all day; you can be standing during work sessions, and sit during lunch and take an afternoon break of 15 minutes and sit, have a snack, something. This way you’ll give your body a chance to relax, and make your work more effective.

2. Take 100 Steps after Each Meal

There’s a Chinese proverb that says:
If you take 100 steps after every meal, you’ll live to be 99 years old.
This saying is a reminder that food isn’t meant to sit – it should be moved around. If your regular scenario is something like this: you drive to the restaurant, sit down, eat, then leave, drive home, and go directly into the house where you’ll lay down on the couch – you’re following a sure recipe for digestive disaster over the longer term.

Instead, try a 5-10 minute walk around the block, or if the restaurant is close to your home, you can walk instead of driving to it and back home.

Of course, you can substitute walking with a few minutes of any light physical activity, especially for those of you who have impaired glucose tolerance, who are at most risk of developing type 2 diabetes and early death – as a light exercise performed immediately after a high glycaemic breakfast can blunt the rise in blood glucose and insulin, an after-meal physical activity will benefit you greatly.

3. Jogging in Place

a woman jogging in place

Jogging is a great exercise for your heart, and another great routine you can establish in your everyday life. Many things you’re doing in the house are related to standing or walking – so, just start jogging in place while you’re doing them: while watching TV or preparing dinner in the kitchen, while dusting and vacuuming, while listening to the music.

You can’t do it all day long, of course, but try to think about it and to start jogging in place every time your mind remembers it (it’s good to have post-its all over the house to remind you at the beginning – simple “Start jogging!” should do the trick ;)).

4. Dance Your Way to Fitness

You listen to the music at home, or when you get out with your friends – and what do you regularly do while the music is playing in the background? You’re sitting and talking, and the only muscles that get worked are those on your tongue 😉 Why don’t you use the music to burn more calories in less time, without seeing it as an effort?

So, the next time you go out – dance! You don’t need to burn the dance floor, you can still be talking and having fun with your friends if you’re up and moving your hips in the rhythm.
For the music at home, you might feel awkward if you’d just start dancing with yourself – so here’s an effective tip: play some music that will make you want to dance. Listen to songs with a tempo of 125 to 140 beats per minute and lively lyrics.

Our recommendation: go now to YouTube and play “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera (128 bpm) and see if you won’t feel the urge to immediately start moving like Jagger 🙂 You can also try Lenny Kravitz’ “Are You Gonna Go My Way” (130 bpm) or “Hot and Cold,” Katy Perry (128 bpm)… or something else.

OK. You can now move on to Week 3. 🙂