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Sit Down, Shape Up: Getting In Shape While Sitting/Lounging Around The House

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

If you’re anything like me or most of us, you probably don’t have the luxury of working only minutes from your house, in a job that allows for holidays (and weekends) off, an hour lunch break (perhaps enabling you to do your (food) shopping midday), a workday that lasts from 7 to 1 or 8 to 2:30, and the opportunity to be home early enough to “unwind” and prepare for the evening repast and some rest and relaxation after dinner. In fact, you’re likely scrambling for time wondering how you’re ever going to fit in all you “have” to do in a mere 24 hour period. And now health, nutrition and fitness professionals are telling you that for a healthy mind, body, and spirit, its imperative for you to find time to work out.

When and how are you going to find time to get to the gym? Unless you plan at eating (dinner) around 10 in the evening or hitting aerobics class on a full stomach and compromising your family life, squeezing into your gym clothes and squeezing in a workout routine may mean squeezing into your lifestyle.

Sit down, cuddle up (on the couch) and turn on your favorite show, at least that’s what the experts are suggesting as a means for keeping fit, well, at least partially.

Experts realize that it’s hard to get motivated after a long day at work and perhaps a crueling commute, and they understand the need to “tune out” as you “tune in” to some of your primetime favorites. But, they add, that watching TV doesn’t mean you have to remain sedentary and inactive, at least not for the duration of your favorite show or shows.

They remind all of us that every hour long show is padded with at least six commercial breaks, lasting six minutes each. Instead of flipping the channels, hitting the mute button, or getting up for a drink or snack, they suggest using this “down time” to get up off the couch and exercising.

Use each break to work out a different set of muscles and to work on toning up different body parts.

They recommend 10 to 15 reps of each exercise, followed by an aerobic component (during each break) until your show comes back on.

Break #1: Couch push ups for “couch potatoes:

Turn to face the couch and kneel in front of it about two feet away. Cross your ankles and place your hands about shoulder width apart on the edge of the cushion. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering your upper body until your chest touches the couch. Repeat and finish by doing jumping jacks.

Break #2 Couch Potato Crunches: (For Toning Your Obliques):

Lie across your sofa or on the floor (on your left side) legs together and knees bent. Put your right hand behind your head with your elbow pointing upwards (toward the ceiling). Place your left arm across your waist. Tightening the oblique muscles in your right side, lift your shoulder off the couch, lifting your rib cage toward your hip. Hold, lower, repeat. Once you’ve completed your reps on your left side, switch sides and repeat the entire exercise.

Wrap it up with crossover punches. Standing feet shoulder length apart, twist from your waist and alternate punching your fists diagonally across your body.

Break # 3: Buttocks Buster And Thigh Toner:

Sit on the edge of your couch or chair and place your feet shoulder width apart. Without using your arms, push into the floor with your feet, then stand, tightening your rear muscles as you raise yourself off the floor. Repeat, but make sure to never touch the chair, couch, or floor, when lowering yourself.

End this set by walking or jogging up and down a flight of stairs.

Break # 4: Triceps Toners:

Place yourself at the edge of your chair or couch and situate your hands (on the edge) on either side of you. Make sure your feet are also properly placed so that your tusch doesn’t touch the chair and so that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Bend your elbows so that they point behind you and lower yourself as much as possible. Hold, then carefully press up again.

End this set by circling your fists in the air.

Break #5: Achieving Outrageous Abdominals:

If you have a firm couch lie on it on your back (otherwise lie on the floor) with your feet up and your knees bent, hands behind your head. Press your lower back into the floor or couch and gently lift your head, shoulders, and upper back. Hold, then slowly lower yourself again.

Finish up this set with knee lifts. Standing, alternate bringing your right knee up to meet your left elbow and vice versa.

Break #6: Get Rid Of Thunder Thighs:

Lie on the floor (or your couch, if it’s firm enough) on your back placing your hands (palms down) beneath your butt and lifting your legs straight up in the air. Make sure to keep your knees slightly bent and your feet flexed. Now, slowly spread your legs at least should width apart, hold, and slowly bring them back to center, resisting as you squeeze in.
For the “grand finale”, step to the side with your right foot, sliding your left foot in to meet it. Repeat on the other side and moving as quickly as possible.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Sit Down, Shape Up: Getting In Shape While Sitting/Lounging Around The House

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