An Easy Workout for Busy Lives
Finding time for the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise can be a challenge. And that doesn't include the twice-weekly resistance training of your major muscle groups recommended by the American Diabetes Association for people with type 2 diabetes. Let's get real: Fitting exercise into your schedule can feel downright impossible. Here are ways to incorporate simple exercises into your everyday life -- without having to drive to a gym or block out an extra hour in your schedule. Adding these easy movements can tone muscles, improve balance, and make your body more efficient at burning calories. Before you know it, these moves will be a natural part of your routine.
When you wake up, start your day with some crunches and twist crunches:
1. Before you get in the shower, strengthen your abdominal and oblique muscles. First, lie flat on your back on the bedroom floor (you can even stay in your pajamas) and pull your belly button toward your spine.
2. Place your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent and your hands on top of your thighs. Exhale as you lift your shoulders off the floor and move your hands toward your knees. Inhale as you lower back down. Lead with your chest, not your chin, to keep your neck neutral (you should be able to fit your fist in the space between your chin and chest). Complete 10-15 repetitions.
3. For a twist crunch, start in the same position as the crunch, but move both your hands to the outside of your left leg. Exhale as you raise your right shoulder off the ground and reach both hands toward your left heel; inhale as you lower back down. Do 10-15 repetitions. Repeat on the other side for 10-15 repetitions.
While waiting for the coffee to brew, do some active stretching:
1. Stand tall with your shoulders squared over your hips and elbows bent with palms pressed together in front of your chest, fingers pointed toward the ceiling.
2. Take a deep breath in; continue pressing your palms together as you exhale and reach your arms overhead, palms still together, lifting through the rib cage.
3. Keeping your arms straight, reach up and away from the body. Inhale as you lower your arms down by your sides, pressing your shoulders down away from your ears.
Before eating lunch, remind yourself to do quick plie squats with biceps curls:
1. Stand with your belly button pulled in toward your spine and feet wider than hip width apart.
2. Keep your toes angled out and arms long by your sides with palms facing forward.
3. Bend your knees and elbows, keeping your knees in line with your toes and bringing your palms toward your shoulders with elbows at your sides.
4. Lower your hips and shift your weight back into your heels, tucking your tailbone under and contracting your thigh muscles.
5. Press through your heels and stand up, straightening your arms into the start position without locking your knees or elbows. Repeat 20 times, then dig in to lunch!
During your afternoon break, squeeze in a few wall push-ups:
1. Stand tall with your belly button pulled in toward your spine.
2. Extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height, slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
3. With your hands on a wall, inhale as you lean your body forward, leading with the chest and forehead and bending at the elbows, keeping your heels on the floor.
4. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees between shoulder and rib height.
5. Exhale as you push through the palms and press away from the wall. Repeat 20 times, taking breaks as needed.