Taking care of your body and ensuring your heart keeps a-tickin’ unfortunately won’t happen while you’re on the couch watching re-runs of Girls. You’re going to have to exercise.
But workouts aren’t only limited to 6am gym sessions, according to Virgin Active Health Club personal trainer Dan Andrews. Even a Sunday stroll with a pal can get your heart rate up. “It’s a great way to socialise at the same time,” he explains. “By the time you’ve caught up on the latest goss, you’ll have raised your heart rate before you know it.”
And with that, Andrews gives us more workouts so damn easy, you could even start them this Sunday.
The worst part about getting out of bed to do a workout is getting out of bed. But we’ve found a way around that: stay in bed and work your core.
What to do: “Lie on your back with your hands holding your head. Raise your legs, bend at the knee, and move them in a bicycle motion,” instructs Andrews. “On each movement, touch your elbow to the opposite knee before alternating.” Keep doing this exercise for five minutes and you’ll really feel your abs burning. Ready to step it up a notch? Andrews suggests doing a leg workout. “[Lie] on your side, propping your head up with your elbow and your legs in a straight line, one on top of the other. Lift your top leg to a 45-degree angle and slowly lower it back to the starting position,” says Andrews. Aim to do three sets of 12-15 reps for a solid workout.
Firstly, high-five for getting from the bed to the couch. Now seeing as you’re up, make the most of it. “There are some great, effective exercises you can do while on the couch or watching TV,” says Andrews.
What to do: “Try using the ad breaks for a two-to-three minute set of sit-ups, squats or push-ups, or use the end of the couch for tricep dips,” he explains. “Sit on the sofa with your feet on the floor. Position your arms shoulder-width apart with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your knees to form a right angle, then slide your bum off the couch and lower your body towards the floor. Keeping your shoulders back and elbows pulled in, push your body back up and return to the starting position.” Try to do 15-20 reps per set.
Since you’re feeling super productive, you decide to use your day off to dive into that pile of work you’ve been putting off for weeks. To keep those brain juices flowing, don’t stop moving.
What to do: “Arm exercises are easy to do at your desk,” says Andrews. “Start with some basic bicep curls. Sit up straight on the edge of a chair and, engaging your core, hold a lightweight or a full water bottle and bend your elbows, curling the weight in towards your shoulder.” Aim for three sets of 15-20 reps and remember to alternate arms. If you’re really getting into it, try throwing in some overhead tricep extensions. And if you’re feeling up to an even bigger challenge, swap your chair for a fitness ball. “The instability of the ball will give you a great core workout,” Andrews says.
The best part of the weekend has to be catching up with a bunch of mates. While talking does burn a certain amount of kilojoules, we’re afraid that doesn’t quite cut it (trust us, we asked Andrews). Although, you don’t have to pass on the wine and olives (phew!).
What to do: “If you’re meeting up with friends for a drink, try adding a walk beforehand,” Andrews says. “It’s a simple way to increase your daily exercise.” He also says that, if you’re seated, pay attention to your core and use your posture to keep it activated. Easy-peasy.
Image: Milan Markovic / 123RF.com
Text: Rikki Hodge