Get fit­ter in a sin­gle day

NO GYM RE­QUIRED

Llanelli Star - - HEALTH & LIFESTYLE -

WE ALL know ex­er­cise is good for us – it keeps the body fit and healthy, boosts men­tal health and can help with weight loss.

Yet we’re doing less than ever. A new re­port has re­vealed 42% of Brits say they don’t have time for fit­ness. And it’s es­ti­mated we spend a huge £4bil­lion a year on un­used gym mem­ber­ships.

Here we’ve asked fit­ness ex­perts how you can fit ex­er­cise in, even if you’re the busiest per­son around.

7am: RISE AND STRETCH

AS SOON as you wake up, take the time to stretch out in bed, says per­sonal trainer Damian Gilder (dami­angilder per­son­al­train­ing stu­dio.co.uk).

“Stretch your arms over your head and lengthen your body. Take a few deep breaths, then pull your knees tightly into your ch­est.” This wakes up the body while en­gag­ing your mus­cles.

Next, give your core a quick work­out with some re­verse sit-ups. Lie flat on your back, bring knees to ch­est, then stretch your legs out and lower them to tone the ab­dom­i­nals. Re­peat 10 times.

7.30am: TRY SOME TOOTH­BRUSH SQUATS

DO THE Tooth­brush Squat Chal­lenge, sug­gests den­tal sur­geon Dr Guy Bar­well from the Im­plant Cen­tre in Hove, East Sus­sex. “Dur­ing your two-minute brush, aim to do 50 squats – or build up to that if you strug­gle at first.”

Place your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees and send your hips back­wards, as though sit­ting in a chair. Then push up through your heels and squeeze to work the big mus­cles in the legs and bot­tom.

7.35am: WORK THE STAIRS

DON’T walk down the stairs, says Damian. In­stead, give your legs an ad­di­tional work­out.

“Sit on the top step, put your feet on the sec­ond step down, then stand up. Re­peat un­til you’re down­stairs. This sit­ting-to-stand­ing move is great for work­ing the legs,” he says.

8am: AC­TI­VATE YOUR COM­MUTE

GIVE your ne­glected pelvic floor mus­cles a work­out while wait­ing for the train or bus. Draw your pelvic floor mus­cles up and squeeze and re­lease 10 to 15 times. Aim to hold each squeeze for 10 sec­onds.

If you’re driv­ing, play the red light

game, ad­vises Vicki An­stey, founder of Bar­reworks. “Ev­ery time you stop at a red light, con­tract and slowly re­lease your pelvic floor mus­cles to a count of 10.”

9am: SKIP THE LIFT

RE­SEARCHERS at Geneva Univer­sity Hospital found peo­ple who reg­u­larly took the stairs at work had lower blood pres­sure, re­duced levels of choles­terol and de­creased waist mea­sure­ments than col­leagues who took the lift.

So when you ar­rive at the of­fice, head for the stairs, and as you walk up take two at a time. This en­gages the hip and but­tock mus­cles more than taking steps one by one.

10am: THE WALL WORK­OUT

FANCY a mid-morn­ing cuppa? Then do some wall push-ups while you’re wait­ing for the kettle to boil, sug­gests Damian.

“Stand with your hands straight out against the wall, arms shoul­der­width apart.

Bend at the el­bows and lean in, as close to the wall as you can, then push back out. The fur­ther from the wall you stand, the harder arder it will be.”

1pm: LUNCH WITH BEN­E­FITS

RE­CLAIM your lunch break and go for a walk lis­ten­ing to your favourite tunes.

“Mu­sic is a great mo­ti­va­tor and pace-set­ter for ex­er­cise,” says per­sonal trainer Scott Lai­dler ( scot­t­lai­dler.com). Studies show walk­ing at around 100 beats per minute is the op­ti­mum pace, so make a playlist that in­cludes Sweet Home Alabama (100bpm) and work up to Moves Like Jag­ger (128bpm).

Al­ter­na­tively, visit an out­door gym in your lo­cal park. Suit­able for peo­ple of all ages and fit­ness levels, there are no mem­ber­ship fees to pay. Visit tgogc.com/gyms to see if there is one near you.

If you’re at home, get gar­den­ing. Re­searchers at Kansas State Univer­sity found gar­den­ing can strengthen limbs, help the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem and de­velop flex­i­bil­ity.

No gar­den? Help out with dig­ging, plant­ing and path-clear­ing at one of 100 free Green Gyms, run by The Con­ser­va­tion Vol­un­teers.

Visit tcv.org.uk/greengym for more de­tails.

2pm: WALK AND TALK

THERE’S no need to slump in a chair when you’re on the phone, says David Wiener, train­ing spe­cial­ist at fit­ness app Freelet­ics ( freelet­ics. com).

In­stead, walk around the of­fice as you chat, or try this quadri­cep-strength­en­ing ex­er­cise.

“Press your back flat against a wall and lower your body by bend­ing your knees to a 45 to 90° an­gle.

“Hold the po­si­tion for as long as you can, then stand up.”

3pm: KEEP IT MOV­ING

SWAP your desk chair or the sofa for a sta­bil­ity ball, sug­gests David. “Sit­ting on it will help strengthen your ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles as you bal­ance.”

David also ad­vises you to make sure you stand up ev­ery hour – even if it just to go to the toi­let, make tea, phone your mum or go and say hello to a col­league.

5.30pm: MAKE SURE YOU STAND YOUR GROUND

RATHER than rac­ing for a seat on the train or bus, stand on the com­mute home, ad­vises Jade Lancashire at Virgin Ac­tive.

“It might not in­crease the num­ber of steps you take, but it gives you the op­por­tu­nity to work on bal­ance and ac­ti­vate your glute mus­cles.”

6pm: TRY TO BEAT YOUR BEST SCORE

WAIT­ING for the microwave to ping or the wash­ing ma­chine to fin­ish? “Chal­lenge your­self to see how many press-ups or squats you can do,” sug­gests El­liott Up­ton, per­sonal trainer at Ul­ti­mate Per­for­mance.

“Keep a note of your score and try to beat it the next time.”

7pm: AD BREAK AC­TIV­ITY

AD BREAK? Get up from the sofa and sit back down with­out using your hands. This will work your abs. Re­peat this 10 times.

Then use the edge of a chair to per­form tri­cep dips to ban­ish bingo wings.

8pm: DO FIT­NESS WITH YOUR FRIENDS

RATHER than go­ing out for an­other din­ner or drink in the pub, plan a fit­ness-based out­ing with friends.

Try an evening at a health club, horse-rid­ing or play­ing tennis or bad­minton.

Then treat your­self to a post-ac­tiv­ity drink.

9pm: BATH­TIME BI­CEPS

HANG a re­sis­tance band on the bath­room door­knob and use it to work your arms and shoul­ders while your bath fills.

10pm: GET SET FOR TO­MOR­ROW

SET your alarm – then put it out of reach for the night.

Once you have got out of bed in the morn­ing to turn it off, you might as well keep go­ing and get up.

AS RE­SEARCH RE­VEALS NEARLY HALF OF US SAY WE’RE TOO BUSY TO KEEP FIT, MICHELE O’CONNOR EX­PLAINS HOW YOU CAN SQUEEZE EX­ER­CISE INTO THE BUSIEST OF SCHED­ULES

Any move­ment helps to get you fit­ter – why not have a quick dance to that track on your phone?

Taking the stairs in­stead of the lift is a great form of ex­er­cise

Play­ing sport or work­ing out with friendswil­l make it seem like less of a chore

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