Follow this plan to get fit around the house

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Being active doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym, taking up running or wearing spandex. There are lots of ways to be active.

• Walk the children or grandchildren to school, then jog home.

• Push the mower with extra vigor.

• Get an exercise DVD — and use it!

• Speed up the housework — vacuum harder and faster till you're warm.

• Put on some music for a 10-minute dance.

• Apply some real elbow grease when cleaning the car.

• Take the stairs, use them in your own home to run up and down and pump your arms.

Nothing can beat that natural high. Notice when you do something active that you tend to feel more positive about yourself and life. Laurie Iams, personal trainer for 19 years, provides an effective, quick 30-minute workout that will give you that high and that you can do anywhere — no fancy equipment necessary. Follow it three times this week on alternating days.

Start with a 5-minute cardio warm up:

• 1 minute speed skaters (opt: swing arms side/side or touch floor)

• 1 minute 3 speed skaters right, left, right with left leg off floor with 2-count hold. Then left, right, left with right leg off floor and hold.

• Repeat the above speed skaters series 4 times. Rest as needed.

• 1 minute jump rope (with or without a rope).

• 30 second, right/left 1 leg 4-count hop, front/back/side/side (great for the calves)

• 20 squats (keep heels on floor).

• Repeat the above jump series 4 times. Rest as needed.

• 1 minute frog hops. Wide-stance legs. Hop forward 2, hop back 1.

• 1 minute stationary lunges. Forward right, left. Reverse right, left.

• 1 minute jog in place.

• 10 second fast run in place. 5 second rest between. 10 times.

• Repeat the above jog/run series 4 times. Rest as needed.

Strength exercises with just your body weight: Repeat the following exercises for three circuits.

CHEST AND BACK/UPPER BODY

• 1 minute pushups. (opt: floor, or hands against the wall, alternate leg lift R/L )

• Another option for this move is the handstand pushup. Fair warning: this is advanced. Get set in a headstand position against a wall, bend elbows at 90 degrees, doing an upside down pushup head moves toward the floor and feet remain against wall. First-timer? Grab a friend to spot you -- safety first!

LOWER BODY: Wall sit: Who needs a chair when there's a wall? Slowly slide your back down a wall until the quads/thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the knees are directly above the ankles and keep your back straight. Go for 1 minute or however long it takes to turn those legs to jelly. Need more fire? Lift 1 leg and/or add some bicep curls.

CORE/ABDOMINAL

• 30 second abdominal crunch right leg lift, left leg straight floating. Upper body isolated an "up crunch" position.

• Roll over to "Superman or Superwoman," lie on stomach face down extend arms, lift toes off ground, hold for 1 minute. Cape is optional.

Nutrition tip: Something to think about. You are what you eat and your body and health reflect that truth. So, before you mindlessly start snacking remember what you put in your mouth will eventually show up in the mirror.

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com.