When you have a busy life, like the dancers at Rhode Island Dolls in Woonsocket, RI, it can be hard to find time for a workout session. Many of the dancers have other things going on like second jobs, family, or college courses. But as a dancer, staying in good physical shape is important. Not only does your body have to look great all the time, but you have to be pretty fit to perform some of those moves they pull off on the stage!
When you can’t fit in a workout, here are some exercise hacks that will keep you in shape.
#1 Interval Stretches
We all have those moments of time throughout the day when we’re just waiting – waiting for the bus, waiting in a waiting room, waiting to get a ride. During those times, do some stretching. Stretching exercises help you with flexibility (which anyone who dances on a pole knows is important) but it improves your strength as well. All you need is a minute to stretch one side of your body and then the other. You can find loads of stretches online that can be done without any exercise equipment or you can use benches, curbs, or any wall surface.
#2 Interval Squats
Again, during those waiting times, squats and lunges are great exercises to do. You can do them with weights they are handy, but they aren’t necessary. Have a baby or a young child? Do squats with them in your arms and you’ll soon be feeling the burn. And they think it is hilarious! Three sets of 25 lunges or squats throughout the day can have a significant impact.
#3 The 1-Minute Workout
Can you do anything worth doing in 1 minute? Sure, you can. And the best thing about it is that you get to do it in bed. Before you even put your feet on the floor, take a minute to do some bed pushups. Your bed is unstable, which means that you really need to work your muscles to keep your body in the correct position, which intensifies your minute workout. Do as many pushups as you can, count to 10, and then do some more. Keep going until you’ve used up a full minute.
#4 Stairs Are An Opportunity
Whenever you have to go up a floor in a building, skip the escalator or the elevator and take the stairs. Malls are great for this if you have one with several floors in the vicinity. Make it a rule that before you go into a new store you have to go up or down stairs. Visit a store on the first floor, then one on the second floor. Go back down and do it again. Bonus points if you’re doing it while carrying heavy bags or have a child in your arms!
Walking can be low-intensity or high-intensity – it just depends on where you’re walking and how much you put into it. Walking can also be very relaxing and helps remove stress. If you have less time, try walking up and down a hill. If you can spare 20-30 minutes, walk where ever you want. If the weather is bad, head to the mall or an underground parking lot. If you’re somewhere safe, you can put on your headphones and blast some music, listen to an audiobook, or play a podcast for inspiration. Check out some of the awesome fitness podcasts on iTunes for inspiration.
#6 Ditch the Cart
When you go grocery shopping, ditch the grocery car in exchange for a basket. Switch arms when you need to and don’t just let the basket hang – flex your arms as you move about the store filling your basket. You’ll burn calories and build up those arms!
#7 Engage the Core Muscle Groups
There are lots of things you do each day that may require you to stand in one position. Brushing your teeth, doing dishes, dusting, walking from place to place – all these are things you’re doing anyway. But if you tighten your abdominal muscles as you do them, you’ll strengthen your core. Strong core results in better balance and we all know that means better performance on stage!
Even if you don’t have time to hit the gym, you can use these little hacks to ensure that your body stays in good shape. And if you forget to do these things throughout the day there’s still one more thing you can do to stay fit. You can get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep is one of the factors that makes you feel like eating during the day and at this time of the year we all need all the help we can get to avoid impulsively reaching for those holiday treats!