Stairs Aren’t Just for Avoiding
Those stacked up squares you have near or in your home? Stairs. It’s funny, I grew up avoiding the unique muscle burn that ten flights of stairs can give and now, I am genuinely sad that I cannot be in my local gym on the stair stepper. Funny how things can change, right? The simple act of walking up some stairs has MASSIVE fitness impacts on your body while engaging a great number of essential muscles in your legs and core. It is, essentially, a perfect workout option when you may be stuck at home social distancing.
Action Time: Start small and work your way up! Begin by walking as many stairs as you can and then start setting new goals every three days. You will be surprised how quickly you go from a few flights to amazing fat burning workouts. (Don’t forget the workout tunes!)
The one thing that I absolutely love about the internet age is the sheer amount of amazing workout content that exists… for FREE! Any kind of workout you can imagine is on YouTube and honestly, the BEST ones are dance tutorials and here’s why: Dancing is equal parts enjoyable yet challenging fitness AND artistic expression. Two things we all need more of in our lives. Have you ever learned the entire dance choreography to Janet Jackson’s It’s All For You? As a human with absolutely no rhythm, it took me two days with a video tutorial to figure out how to do even the most basic of moves. But I realized two things when I finally learned it all. First, I had learned an entire dance routine! The amount of accomplishment and inadvertent grace that I felt was so worth it. Second, I learned that dancing is an AMAZING workout. The amount of sweating I did… Whew boy! I encourage everyone to invest in their physical expression during these times of distancing. For your health AND for your mind.
Action Time: Think of your favorite pop or rhythm-heavy song. Now find that song on YouTube and search for a dance tutorial of it. Grab a special someone and let’s learn a dance!
Slow It Down
Growing up as a chubby kid who just wanted to be thin like everyone else, I feel like I developed a skewed sense of what being active actually means. I thought that working out meant you had to be wheezing, covered in sweat inside a gym full of jacked dudes who are yelling for reasons no one really understands. It took reaching adulthood, meeting with nutritionists and spending time with personal trainers to discover that being an active person is about exploring enjoyable ways to keep your body moving and healthy. Wonderful activities such as tai chi, yoga, pilates, qi gong, rhythmic meditation and more all feature low impact movements that can improve your body tone while also helping to support your total overall health. Explore your options to find out the activities that make you feel great. Sometimes, it’s sweating and going hard in your makeshift home gym. Other times, it is enjoying quiet, low impact options. Try it all!
Action Time: Wake up early and enjoy some yoga with the sunrise. Taking a moment to check in with yourself and your health can set the stage for a wonderful day.
Viva Le Squat Challenge
People ask me how old I am quite a bit and my best answer is: I’m Squat Challenge old. The early days of Pinterest saw the mass spread of a fitness challenge where you began with 25 squats a night and then added more each day until that number reached upwards of 500 squats, for the more intense among us. Aside from being a wonderful fitness phenomenon, it is also a truly effective and very simple workout that anyone can do at home. Additionally, the benefits are *chef’s kiss*. A standard squat engages almost all of your leg muscles as well as your core and back. With regular use, squats can build wonderful muscles in your lower body, burn a lot of calories in a short time and improve your cardiovascular health right in your own living room.
Action Time: I encourage you to start a simple 14-day challenge of squats starting with 25 squats a day and then adding an additional set of 25 each day until you reach the end. You might notice that your jeans fit differently and your legs will feel stronger. Awesome, right?
Note: If you have trouble with squats, wall sits are another low-impact activity you can enjoy.
So, what did we learn today? Healthy activity can take many forms and one of the most enjoyable aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is exploring ways to make moving fun. What are your favorite healthy activities during social distancing? We would love to hear!
Wishing You Health and Happiness,
Gabrielle @ SlimGenics