Want to get fit but don’t like the gym? Or is it just a matter of not having enough time to get to a bike path?
sets the scene for the rest of the day in a positive way. I am always more productive on the days I train.”
Australian physical activity guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week and short workouts are an ideal way to reap the circulatory, respiratory and muscular rewards.
So, to help you out, Caitlin Dodd, an accredited exercise physiologist from Move Me Healthy, outlined the best six exercises you can do right now to work your whole body – whether you’re at home, in the office or travelling.
High knees, 30 seconds
Start with this exercise to increase your heart rate and warm up your muscles. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Run in place, quickly driving your knees up towards your chest alternately while moving your arms in a running motion.
2. Push-ups x 10
Start with an easy variation of the push-up to begin building your upper body strength. Place your hands, with straight elbows, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on a desk, table or bed. Move your feet back until you form a straight line from your head to feet.
Maintaining this position, bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the desk until your elbows reach 90 degrees. Exhale as you push away from the desk back to the starting position. Alternatively, you can perform full-length push-ups on the floor for a more advanced variation.
3. Touch down jumps, 30 seconds
This cardio-based exercise strengthens the major muscle groups in your legs. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart, squat down as if you’re going to sit in a chair and touch the floor with your hands, then drive upwards, reaching above your head and extending your legs to jump in the air. On landing, immediately return to a squat position and touch the floor.
4. Lunges x 10 each side
Ideal for strengthening your gluteal muscles, hamstrings, quads and calves, lunges are also great for hip stability and balance. With your feet hip-width apart, step forward on one foot and lower your hips until both knees are at a 90-degree angle. Push up through your heel to return to the upright position. Repeat on both sides.
5. Mountain climbers, 30 seconds
Perfect for working your abdominals and lifting your heart rate at the same time, this exercise also improves shoulder stability. Start on the floor in a push-up position, with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your hips low, bring your knees towards your chest as though you are jogging on the spot.
6. Plank, hold 20 to 60 seconds
The plank exercise will help strengthen your abdominal and lower back muscles. With your forearms and toes on the floor, lift your body so that it forms a straight line from your head to your feet. Squeezing your gluteals, hold this position for 20 to 60 seconds. Make sure you keep breathing throughout.
Harriet Edmund is a Melbourne-based freelance journalist.