15_minutos_mas_sano

15 MINUTES TO A HEALTHIER YOU

Of all the excuses heard when it comes to reasons not to do exercise – and there are some very creative reasons invented – by far the most common is “I just haven’t got time”.

Normally, this excuse is given by people who do, somehow, find the time to spend 2 hours on Facebook/Twitter. Interesting, that… Now, what if we were to tell you that all you needed in the beginning was to set aside 15 minutes a day. Ten measly minutes in the space of an entire 24 hours. Try and find an acceptable excuse as to why you can’t find the time now, we challenge you! (“I don’t want to,” is, of course, a different reason altogether…)

Here is a mini-workout that pretty much anyone can do, whether it’s first thing in the morning, after the school run, during your lunch break or when you need to rest your eyes and step away from your desk for a few minutes. A much healthier alternative to a quick cigarette/coffee break.

You will need:

Yourself

Clothes that allow movement

Preferably a chair (without wheels)

With all these exercises, quality is always far more important than quantity. If you’re not doing the move correctly, doing 500 of them is less effective than doing 20 the right way. You’re also much more likely to injure yourself. Careful, conscious movements are a must.

Prepare yourself:

1. BREATHE

Properly. This means taking deep breaths in through the nose, and out through the mouth. It means taking in enough air to activate your diaphragm. Place your hands either side of your ribcage and notice how the space between your hands increases as you fill your abdomen with air. Close your eyes, lie on the floor if possible, but if not sit, legs uncrossed, back straight, on a chair. Feel the air enter your body as you count to 4 in your head. Hold the air for a few seconds, and slowly exhale to the count of 4. Repeat this 10 times.

2. CAT STRETCH

Great for increasing flexibility in the posterior chain muscles – including lower back, hips, hamstrings and core muscles (which, thanks to jobs spent sat at a computer, most people are in desperate need of), the cat stretch is a very useful exercise. Stand about a metre away from the back of a chair. Extend your arms and lightly hold on, arms shoulder-width apart, head between your arms, face down. Inhale and draw your stomach muscles in towards your spine as you arch your back, then exhale as you relax. Repeat 5 times.

3. SQUATS

No-one loves them, we know. But they work, they really work. Things to remember: feet hip-width apart. Keep your back straight – your abdomen, thighs and glutes need to do the work, not your poor back. Pull in your abs, and stretch your arms out in front of you at shoulder level to keep your balance (rest your hands lightly on the chair if it helps). Squat down carefully and engage your quads and glutes to slowly come back up, making sure you don’t lock your knees (they should always remain slightly flexed). Picture the shape of a typical dining chair as you continue; this is the shape to aim for with your body. Repeat 15 times.

4. PUSH-UPS

Choose from 1) Against a wall, 2) On the floor with knees bent touching the floor 3) On the floor with legs straight 4) Using just one arm at a time (for hard-core types) or 5) Using one arm while the other arm is taking a selfie and posting it to your Facebook page (for absolute legends). Keep hands shoulder-width apart, fingers spread to distribute weight evenly, and careful not to twist your wrists at awkward angles. Make sure your head and neck remain in a line looking straight ahead of you. Repeat 10 times.

5. LUNGE O’CLOCK

Imagine the hands on a clock. Start with your left leg behind, right in front, bent at the knee. Lunge as if to 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 o’clock with the right leg in front, then switch to the left in front to complete the clock. Keep your arms loosely by your side.

6. JUMPING JACKS/STAR JUMPS

However you like to call them, everyone knows what they are. Get your heart pumping with 20 jumping jacks – no stopping in between jumps – stretching your arms out firmly and taking care not to jolt your knees. Not advisable for anyone with ankle/knee problems.

Repeat steps 3-7 twice or 3 times, depending on your pace and enthusiasm.

To finish off:

7. SHOULDER & ANKLE CIRCLES

Relax completely and take it in turns to move each shoulder and ankle in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction 5-8 times.

8. NECK STRETCHES

Carefully lean your head to one side, stretching the side of your neck. Change sides and repeat, holding the stretch for 10 seconds each side. Lastly, move your head in clockwise circles 5 times, followed by anti-clockwise.

Respiracion

1. BREATHE

Estiramiento_Gato

2. CAT STRETCH

Sentadilla

3. SQUATS

Estocadas_reloj

5. LUNGE O’CLOCK

Salto de estrella

6. JUMPING JACKS/STAR JUMPS

tobillos

7. ANKLES

HOMBROS

7. SHOULDERS

Estiramiento_cuello

8. NECK STRETCHES

FLEXIONES

4. PUSH-UPS

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