As busy people, sticking to a fitness routine is always a challenge. Missing one workout quickly turns into two and before you know it, it’s been a week since you’ve done a sit-up. Beverley Hills-based personal trainer, Gunnar Peterson, says while an hour-long workout at the gym with a trainer is ideal, squeezing in even two minutes of exercise a few times a day is better than skipping your workout entirely. For these short bursts of activity, he recommends doing small movements that attack specific muscle groups.
“There’s blood rushing to those working muscles so they feel a little tighter, mentally you feel better about yourself and you’re going to carry yourself better,” says Peterson.
Here, Peterson offers his suggestions for fitting in a workout anytime, anywhere.
In the elevator. While taking the stairs instead of an elevator to get your heart rate up is a great way to squeeze some cardiovascular fitness into your day, it’s not ideal if you’re running to a meeting and don’t want to break a sweat. Instead, Peterson says standing with your back against the elevator wall and dropping down to a 90 degree sitting position for the duration of the ride to engage your quadriceps, glutes and core to make use of your ride time.
In the washroom. While washing your hands, make use of the time at the sink by resting your forearms on the counter and doing single leg squats. Lift one leg off the ground and bend into a squat position with the other leg, making sure to keep the knee from going too far over the toes. Do 10 squats on each leg while lathering and rinsing your hands.
At your desk. Who says you need to lie on the floor and do sit-ups to work your abs? Peterson says ab vacuums can work your abs even while sitting in a meeting. Draw your abdominals in, pulling the naval towards the spine. Hold for a count of three and release. Ab vacuums target the transversus abdominis – the deep abdominal muscle that supports your posture and aids in stability.
If you want to make the most out of your desk time, try some leg raises. Sitting back in your chair, bring your legs up and lower them without allowing your feet to touch the floor. Start with sets of 12 to 15 and build up to sets of 20. This targets the lower part of the abdominal wall, close to where the belt buckle is. For an arm workout, scoot your bottom forward so it comes off the chair, hold onto the chair and lower your body for tricep dips.
In the car. Take advantage of your commute by sneaking in some ab work, doing your ab vacuums. For an arm workout, try isometric contractions. Holding the steering wheel with your hands at the bottom of the wheel, flex your biceps and hold for a few seconds while you wait for the stop light to change, or change your grip to 10 and 2 and flex your triceps.
In the airport. Business trips can wreak havoc on your workout schedule. Squeeze in some cardio by walking the airport concourse. Many airports are now equipped with walking paths, yoga rooms or even full-service gyms, allowing travellers to sneak in a workout on the fly.
This article originally appeared at www.entrepreneur.com