Fitness + Well-being

Denise Austin on How to Exercise Anytime, Anywhere


 (Courtesy of Denise Austin)

The holidays are right around the corner — and you know what that means: shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, partying, and so much more!

So where do you fit in the time to work out? It’s easy.

With the following tips, you’ll be able to fit short, simple exercises into your schedule all day long. Then, you’ll have plenty of time after work to worry about holiday shopping!

Try an office “deskercise.”

Tension can build up in the neck and shoulders simply from sitting at your desk, and it gets even worse as the long workday drags on. But did you know that you can stretch at the office without ever leaving your chair? I call it "deskercising" and it's truly effective! Stretching encourages those tense muscles to relax and counteracts any tightness from poor posture and tired muscles. Give these two stretches a try:

1) Shoulder Rolls: Lift your shoulders to your ears, inhale, then lower your shoulders and exhale. Repeat.

2) Side Stretch: Interlace your fingers and lift your arms over your head. Press your arms back as far as you can, then slowly lean to the left, hold for a few seconds, and then lean to the right.

Break your workout down into 10-minute mini sessions.

Since you’re completing your stretching at your desk – you can definitely work your cardio into your lunch break! Walk 10 minutes before or after your lunch break, or both if you can swing it. Who needs the elevator? Take the stairs to and from your 10-minute walk to get your rate pumping and your leg muscles warmed up. Super busy on the weekends too? Don’t worry – you can still fit in 10-minute sessions at home between running errands or prepping for holiday parties! Pop in my latest DVD, "Fat Burning Walk," which has four segments – and they’re just 10 minutes each! Plus it has a 10-minute bonus ab-slimming workout, for days when you want to zero in on your core.

Multi-task throughout the day to fit in toning exercises.

Keep a pair of three- or five-pound dumbbells at your house and do lifts while talking on the phone or waiting for dinner to cook. (They’re not a huge investment! You can find affordable dumbbells from my Forever Fit! line at Rite Aid for just $5.) While driving in your car, pull in your stomach and tighten for five seconds — that is equivalent to one sit-up! Do squats while you blow dry your hair in the bathroom, do leg lifts in the kitchen while chopping veggies, or walk to talk to a co-worker instead of sending an email — these are just a few great, easy ways to sneak in toning exercises throughout the day.

Skip happy hour and meet friends for a workout date.

I know it’s so easy to catch up with friends over cocktails and appetizers, but when your day is jam packed, I say skip the drinks and meet them for a walk instead! You can still gab away, but you’ll be fitting in fitness at the same time. Plus, you’ll be saving lots of calories by passing on the drinks!

Run errands on foot or by bike.

Try to think of all of the errands you run while driving. Are there any that you can complete with a short walk or bike ride? For instance, could you walk your kids to school rather than driving them? Or walk them to soccer or lacrosse practice? If so, go for it! You’ll have more time to bond with your children and you’ll help them establish healthy habits as well.

It’s easy to fit in these short, effective exercises when you plan it out ahead of time! How many of these tricks do you think you can accomplish this week? I challenge you to do at least three out of the five, and keep it up! Remember, regular exercise helps to combat stress and keep you energized — just the medication you need for the holiday season!