Tone in a Time Crunch!

“I’m a mother of four.” “I work twelve-hour days.” “I’d rather watch T.V.” (Hey, it happens.) “I hate working out for long periods of time.” One of these could be your reason for why it’s difficult to get motivated to strap on the workout shoes. It’s okay. I’ve been there. We all have. For a while, my excuse was that because I was sick for so long, I simply couldn’t DO long workouts – even the 12-minute HIIT workouts. I’m still working up to that time and intensity today. People have told me, “Ashley, you’re thin. You already have a hot body. Don’t worry about working out.” My response? “What’s the point of having a hot body if I can’t DO anything with it?” (They had a point when they said my fiancé could contribute to the conversation.) The way I’ve managed to look good even though I was chronically ill is because of two things: a) diet and b) incorporating these tricks below. So whether you are struggling to find time to work out or simply can’t workout for long periods of time, here are some ideas to easily incorporate fitness into your day. I used a lot of these tricks and still do!
  1. Do Squats in the Bathroom: It sounds goofy, but every time I’m in the office and use the restroom, I don’t leave without doing 20 squats. The toilet is a good frame of reference for gettin’ low. If you go to the bathroom 3x per day while at the office, that’s 60 squats! This is a quick and easy way to get those glutes going.
  2. Jumping Jacks Before Showers: While you’re waiting for the water to warm up, do some jumping jacks! What an easy way to get cardio in. You could also substitute this for pushups, squats, high knees, or whichever workout move you prefer.
  3. The Pushup Challenge: I know somebody who said they tried to do as many pushups as they could in one sitting. Then they add one extra pushup each day. This person worked up to about 230 pushups. When I started I could only do 5, but now up I’m to 15. (I haven’t kept up with it as much as I’d like to – plus I’ve started more intense arm workouts that incorporate pushups).
  4. The Plank Challenge: Doing full-body exercises like pushups or planks do not target just one area. For example, planks get shoulders and the whole core – back, abs, etc. – and even a little glutes. I’ve posted it below! It doesn’t take longer than five minutes to do this, even at the peak!
  5. Get Walking. Park a little farther away when you go to the grocery store. Take a five or ten minute walk during your lunch break. Walk around the house while you chat on the phone with your friends. We burn many more calories standing up, let alone walking around! Which brings me to number 6 –
  6. Spend an Allotted Time to Stand: Don’t sit at your computer all day; stand for a while! Burn more calories! Even for ten minutes is better than nothing.
Don’t limit yourself to this list. Be creative. Maybe do lunges around your house. Do one-legged squats while making dinner. Take the stairs. There are endless opportunities if you look for them. Alter the concept of working out. Make it seamlessly fit into your day. While I'm not as toned as I would like to be and still have progress to make (which is why it was uncomfortable for me to post this photo), these tricks worked to help prevent me from slipping too far!

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