31 Days of Health Tip #10 – Don't Just Stand There!

January 12, 2012

This is a trip that my trainer from long ago taught me, and I love to pass it on.

Let’s say you’re in the kitchen mixing up a batch of cookies, or talking on the phone, or even blow-drying your hair. These things all have one thing in common – you’re just standing there! There are some very simple exercises you can work into these activities that will give your legs a good workout and won’t interrupt what you’re doing:

1. Calf raises – stand with your feet comfortably apart, toes facing forward. Keep your knees straight and stiff, but not locked, and rise up on the balls of your feet. Then, slowly lower your heels down to a normal standing position. Do this for three sets of 10.  For a more advanced workout, try the exercise with one leg at a time.

2. Outer thigh leg lifts – again, this is a great exercise to do while you’re blow drying your hair or talking on the phone. If you’re in the kitchen, be sure that you’ve got enough safe space to do the exercise in comfortably.

Stand up tall with your hips lined up and your abs contracted. Soften the knee you are standing on as you slowly lift the other leg straight out to the side keeping your knee pointing straight ahead. Pause at the peak of the contraction and slowly lower to just above the floor. Perform 10 of these side leg lifts with one leg, and then repeat the sequence on the other leg. Do this three times each. This exercise works the muscles of the outer thigh and your glutes.

These are great exercises to do if you’re new to strength-training. They help to improve your balance and build up strength that can help you take your workout to the gym, either with free weights or Nautilus machines. There are many myths surrounding strength training, such as it can be dangerous or for men only – to learn about more of these myths and why they’re false, check out our Barnes-Jewish Hospital health library.
Now, get busy!

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Category: Fitness

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