Most of us have had to get creative in our exercise routines this spring. Gyms have been closed since the middle of March and unless you have a fully equipped gym in your home, you’ve had to stay active in ways you normally wouldn’t. If you’re like me, you’ve spent more time outside walking than you ever have in your life. Going for a walk is the simplest way to move and improve your mood simultaneously. Still restless even with daily walks? Me, too. What else can you do for exercise that doesn’t require much equipment? Intervals! Interval training is an efficient way to burn extra calories with less time.

This means you choose a handful of exercises, perform them for short durations (30 seconds to a minute) and move on to the next exercise. It increases your heart rate, and the harder you work, the more cardiovascular benefit you gain. Here is a simple interval routine if you’re itching for more than a walk. I recommend this for those who have experience working out regularly. If you are just getting started, don’t fret! Give us a call and we’ll get you going! Visit with your physician or physical therapist before starting an exercise program for safety and injury prevention. This routine involves compound movements (using multiple joints and muscle groups) and you must stabilize with your core. I recommend starting without weight to reduce the risk of injury. If you have experience using dumbbells and have a set at home, use them! If you don’t have dumbbells, use a heavy book or two, put them in a backpack, then stuff it with towels or jeans to soften the edges. Voila! You have weight. Warm-up for three to five minutes: walk or jog in place, march in place, or do jumping jacks for higher intensity. Warm-up your shoulders with big arm circles forward and back. Perform each exercise for 1 minute and rest for 30 seconds between each one. Once you get through all five, go back to the beginning and do them again. Keep moving for a total of 20 minutes; the higher your intensity, the shorter the workout will need to be.

Squats to overhead press: Keep your knees behind your toes to prevent knee pain. (Image credit: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a20698357/dumbbell-squat-and-overhead-press/)
Lunges: Same as squats; keep your knees behind toes to prevent knee pain. (Image credit: https://www.spotebi.com/exercise-guide/lunges/)
Bent over rows: Engage your core! (image credit https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/photo-gallery/35176832/image/35176856/Bent-Over-Row)
Romanian or straight-leg deadlift: Another one to engage your core! If you find your back arching as you move forward, decrease your range of motion and keep a slight bend in the knees. Do this WITHOUT weight first. (image credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/503769908315699895/ )
Prone (face-down) snow angels: These work your back and shoulder muscles. If this is too challenging on your stomach, perform this face-up instead. (Image credit: https://www.velopress.com/tom-danielsons-posture-correction-workout/)

 

And there you have it! Simple, right? None of these exercises should be painful and will improve your strength and mobility. As I mentioned, if you don’t have experience with any of these movements but would like to start, please contact us so we can program an appropriate exercise routine for you!

In the meantime, I’m going outside for a walk. By Laura Vroman