I’m in Florida this week on vacation! And while I may be on vacation, it doesn’t mean I can just use this as an excuse to eat whatever I want and lay around all week without exercise.
Exercise is extremely important and needs to be a regular part of our lives. Staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy. Plus, weight bearing exercises are important for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age… and whether we like it or not, we’re all aging!
With a busy lifestyle, making time for exercise is a challenge. It can be even more challenging if you travel on a regular basis. I’ve put together a list of exercises that you can do anywhere. Many of these are weight bearing exercises that will help you tone up your body!
While weight bearing exercises may seem daunting or like something only bodybuilders would do, that’s not the case. Here’s why… As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass. For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem. When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it from your bones. Building muscle not only increases their mass but your strength.
Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time. At home, at the office, or on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises.
1. The Bridge Butt Lift
Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your derriere. Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart. Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body. Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor. Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.
Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps. If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted. Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair. Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight. Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release. At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning. Be careful not to let your knees get in front of your toes.
3. Reverse Lunges
Lunges work the quadriceps muscles. They can be hard for people with knee problems. A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee. Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot. From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor. Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.
This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles. If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees. Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body. Also make sure to keep your behind down. It’s not proper form if your tush is sticking up in the air.
Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone. Lying on the floor in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head. Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor. Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.
These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time. The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative. Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage. Set a goal to get a certain amount of each exercise done each day. My goal is to do 50 pushups a day for the next 2 weeks. I’ll try to do 10 at a time 5 times a day!
What’s your goal? Leave me a comment!