Posted On Monday, August 20, 2012 at 07:59:32 AM
Long work hours keeping you from a fitness regime? While nothing can substitute the recommended hour of daily exercise needed to stay slim, fitting fitness activities in your daily routine isn’t as tough as you’d imagine.
Take the stairs, instead of the lift; Use your chair as support for leg lifts; and lift water bottles as weights to tone your arm muscles. That much, you already know. But what of common household objects that can yield results to rival barbells and resistance machines? Read on.
It might seem like an exaggeration, but a well-devised strength training routine featuring the humble towel can have you sweating bullets in no time. With nothing but a towel, you can break into a slew of effective exercises like resistance repetitions, where you use your own strength to build and tone arm, chest, shoulder, thigh and leg muscles.
If you have been meaning to buy a resistance band, but haven’t got around to doing it, pick up your towel and start with a simple squat. Stretch the towel like a bar over your head and push your weight down. This helps strengthen your arms along with your thighs. Arm extensions and a single leg squat with the towel held under the other foot are other instances of strength training with a bathroom necessity.
Build your muscles
The next time you’re reading a tome, put it to another use. Balance it on your stomach to increase the load on your abs while performing stomach crunches. To turn the heat on your lower abs, lie flat on your back with your arms extended above you, holding a heavy book.
Use only your stomach muscles to propel the movement as you lift your shoulders straight off the ground, keeping the rest of your body flat. Here’s another exercise: Sit on a chair with your legs together and extended in front of you, with your feet eight inches above the ground.
Balance the book on your shins as you slowly lift your legs up, while keeping them extended. Lower the legs and repeat. Fill a satchel with books. Lift it bending only your elbows, and voila, you have for yourself a formidable dumbbell.
De-Stress your nerves
Who doesn’t want a genie to massage their feet after a particularly trying day? Believe it or not, a tennis ball is a wonderful substitute. While sitting, slide a tennis ball under your foot. Keep rolling it back and forth, as it massages your heel. Start with less pressure and progress to rolling the ball under your foot while standing. If it hurts, it means your nerve endings are not relaxed.
Switch to the other foot after five minutes. Load four tennis balls into an old legging, or a much-washed sock. Tie the end and roll this makeshift massager on your back (as you would a towel after a shower) for a soothing back rub. A tennis ball can also help tone your muscles. Hold one between your knees while sitting on the edge of a chair. Squeeze your legs together to work out your inner thighs.
While stress balls are terrific to shoot down muscle tension, they don’t come cheap if you want those with degrees of firmness.
Make your own stress ball by knotting a pair of cotton socks or stashing the sock’s toes with rice, pulses or foam beads.
You can also fill a strong balloon with corn starch. Let excess air escape, tie it with a thread and use.