How often do you find exercise a chore? A guilt-ridden ‘have to’? For some it is even a filthy word! But if we only realised just a little bit often can have huge impact on how we feel, how we look and how we age, we might get over ourselves a tad! This week I share with you my Fab 4 In 5. Just 4 exercises done everyday in just 5 minutes, after all doing a little of something is better than a whole lot of nothing!
Resistance (strength) training helps promote human growth hormone (HGH), a great anti-aging hormone that boosts new cell growth. It also helps to boost your immune system, increase strength, shape and build muscle, burn fat and tone your skin. Research to date shows you don’t have to a lot of exercise for good results but if you at least do something every day it becomes a healthy habit that you will stay in for life.
However, many are constantly pushed for time, don’t want to spend any more money, maybe don’t like gyms, yoga or pilates or maybe don’t even like to sweat! In fact, there are plenty of excuses why people don’t exercise! This is why I created the Fab 4 in 5 some 20 years ago, which is a couple of great exercises to be done each day that only take a few minutes and can even be done naked! If you have been making excuses its time to stop, get up off your butt and give it a go. Take it on for 28 days and you might just love the results!
If you are reasonably fit, then start with whatever number is comfortable, maybe 20 or 30 of each. But if you haven’t done this sort of exercise for some time, or any at all, then start with just five of each. The next day try an extra one and so on. The key to doing these four exercises and with good results, is to do them slowly. Count slowly to three on the resistance and three on the release. The release is just as important as the resistance. If you wake the next day feeling sore (lactic acid is one of the by-products of over extended muscles) then lower the number you started with and build it up more gently.
Here are the fabulous four exercises that should take you just five minutes to perform each morning. Chances are at the end of 28 days you may even like what you are doing and who knows what that might inspire you to take on next!
Sit-ups are great for toning the stomach and lower back. You should be on your back with your knees bent. Wedge your toes under a chair or bed to hold yourself secure. Place hands behind the head and lift from the stomach only. Keep arms in one position and look at the ceiling. Only lift as far as you can feel resistance and hold for three seconds, pushing a little farther each time.
Press-ups are fantastic for firming and toning the chest and shoulder areas. They can be done with your knees touching the ground. Take each one slowly, counting to three as you take your nose to the ground and counting to three again on the way up. Once you feel strong enough in the back and arms, try one or two in the full press-up position, with legs straight, increasing the number by one each day.
Tricep Dips help give shape and strength to the shoulders and upper arms. A great exercise to reduce ‘ta ta’ arms (you know, the underarm bit that wobbles when you wave to someone!). Find a stable chair or low table. Sit on the edge and place your arms at your sides with hands on the table. Take your legs out to a comfortable distance and, taking your weight on your arms, lift your bottom off the table but keep it as close to the table as possible. Slowly lower your body as far as you can go, hold, then slowly come up.
Squats are brilliant at helping tone the butt and legs. Stand with your feet at hip distance apart. Stand tall with hands on hips. Take a large step out in front of you with your right leg, bending at the knee and taking your body as low as you can go, but making sure your right knee does not go past your right foot; if it does you have not stepped out wide enough. Hold, then bring the leg back to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg.
The key is to remember to do these exercises in a controlled manner and make sure you do them at least every second day. It will only take 5 minutes and could be the best investment in your health you’ve ever made. Check out Dr Google or follow your favourite exercise experts for more exercise ideas, photos and videos on how to do them correctly.
Most importantly ENJOY!
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