Friday, February 13, 2009

Let's Get Physical, Physical...

Are you singing it? Don your headband gals and channel your inner Olivia Newton John. Winter is such a hard time for me to work out. I would much rather be outside taking walks, but the winter weather isn't conducive. Enter my friend Tracy. Mother of 5, works out 6 out of 7 days - and frankly with 5 kids, the 7th day is a workout too. I asked Tracy if I had 15 minutes a day, what should I do? Here is her beginners guide.

There are a lot of reasons to not feel our best at this time of year. Over-indulgence of the holidays, cold weather, sick kids that keep you from the gym. But we need exercise. Not only does exercising boost our energy and give us more confidence, but it can actually change our brain chemistry and make us happier. Who wouldn't want to be around a happier mom/wife/co-worker/friend?

According to the Mayo Clinic there are at least 7 reasons to exercise.
1. Exercise makes you happier.
2. Exercise decreases your risk for some chronic diseases.
3. Exercise helps you keep your weight in check.
4. Exercise improves your heart and lung strength.
5. Exercise promotes better sleep.
6. Exercise can improve your sex life.
7. Exercise is fun!
For more details go here. (

Already feeling motivated to get up and move? Do you have 15 minutes? Try this mini boot camp to get your blood pumping and your energy flowing (you should always check with your doc before beginning a new exercise regime).
Repeat each of these moves for 1 minute each:

Jumping Jacks: Stand up tall and pull your belly button in toward your spine. As you jump out, make sure your toes and knees point in the same direction. Modification: do one leg at a time.

Walking Lunges: Step forward with your right leg. Your feet should be about hip width apart and your toes and knees should be pointing forward. Your front knee shouldn’t extend beyond your front toe. Keep your upper body tall. Draw your left leg up to meet your right. Repeat on the left leg.

Push ups: Your finger tips should point forward and your hands should be wider than your shoulders. You should have a straight line from heel to head. Lower down until your elbows are at 90 degree angles. Return to starting position. Modification: Do them on your knees. You should have a straight line from knee to head.

Squat Jumps: Beginning in a squatting position. Toes and knees pointing forward. Knees behind toes. Your weight is in your heels. Jump up and reach over head with your arms. Modification: Just lift your heels off the ground as you reach over head.

Plies: Step your feet out wider than your shoulders. Your toes and knees should be out at a slight angle. Keep your upper body tall. Lower down as far as you can without changing your posture. Modification: Place your hands on the back of a chair as you lower up and down.

Tricep dips: Sit on a chair or step. Place your hands palm down and finger tips forward right next to your hips. Lift up your hips and walk your feet forward slightly. Lower your body by hinging through your elbows. Raise your body up. Modification: Bring your feet in closer to your body.

Burpees: Drop your hands to the ground and jump both feet behind you into a lower push-up position. Jump your feet back between your hands and reach your arms over head. Modification: alternate extending one leg at a time behind you.

Repeat the above sequence. Then finish off with one minute of crunches.

Crunches: Lay on your back. Bend you knees and place the bottom of your feet close to your behind. Relax your head and neck into your hands. Pull your belly button in toward your spine. Drop your low back toward the floor. Lift your upper body by engaging through your abdominals. Lower slowly down to starting position.

Congratulations, you just completed a 15-minute boot camp routine!
How are you feeling after this? Was this a challenge? Did you breeze right through it?

So people, what do you think? Is this useful information to you? I am going to do it. I barely get 15 minutes to myself, but my four year old may join in. I'm ready to feel the burn. Tracy will be back with more tips, and we will have more along these lines each week.


suzana said...

Thanks for the reminder! I have been thinking a lot about how much happier I feel when I am excercising regularly. When Mama's happy, everyone's day is a little smoother ; ) I will try out the 15 minute boot camp (the burpies alone will wear me right out) Thanks for the inspiration I needed to get back to the gym!

Mitch and Lacey said...

Great tips! Thanks! The only thing I would add is to take a few minutes to stretch before and after the workout. It seems like I always pull a muscle during these types of workouts, only because I forget to stretch.

Christy said...

You had me at #6.

LC said...

Yes I need to do this - no promises that my lazy-of-late self will follow through though. Love, love, love, the new blog - you are my creative, witty, awesome hero.