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Mini Workouts Throughout the Day

by Jeri

Aside from my normal scheduled workouts, I incorporate what I call "cardio mini workouts" on a daily basis - whether it be using the stairs, parking my car farther away from store, speedwalking through the mall, or walking to pick up lunch during work at far away restaurant (at least 15 minutes).

However, I've been noticing a lot of articles in fitness magazines & on-line lately taking it one step further - calf raises while standing in the line at the bank, squats while brushing your teeth, lunges with weights in the hallway, push-ups in the kitchen while waiting for the water to boil, etc.

I'm all for incorporating more activity throughout my day. However, I'm concerned about doing these types of strength-training moves because none of the articles I've read address the issue of warming up.

Is it just me or shouldn't you warm up before attempting any of these moves to prevent injury? Or can you skip the warm up because you're only doing one move? Or would you suggest doing these workouts later in the day because your body is already warmed up? I would appreciate any insight you may have on this subject.

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Mini Workouts Throughout the Day

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Quickie Workouts & Quick Exercise Tips
by: Monica

Hey Jeri

As always great question!! Your mini-cardio workouts sound awesome and they are a great way to boost metabolism, improve endurance, and keep energy levels and motivation high.

Those articles in fitness magazines that recommend that people do calf raises while standing in line at the bank or squats while the water boils are aimed at people who don't want to make time to workout.

This kind of mindless exercise is really pointless and it won't help people get or stay fit but there is a way to incorporate quick exercise into your day that will actually make a difference IF you already workout consistently (I know you do).

1. Address weak areas but give them 100% of your attention. For example when I'm waiting for my son to get dropped off at his bus stop I practice glute activation or scapular retractions or perform neck rotations. This is important for me because it keeps my body from falling apart. The important thing is that I give it 100% attention. A great one for most people would be ab contractions (also called ab bracing). I'll see if I can find a video.

2. Lengthen tight areas. Most people rarely stretch so taking 1-2 minute here and there to loosen tight areas will do wonders for posture, energy levels, performance, and fatloss.

3. Practice other skills. Balance and stability are skills we rarely focus on but they come in handy for walking lunges or pushup rotations. A few of my clients have terrible balance so I recommend holding tree pose for 30 seconds while their coffee brews. Kneeling stability ball balance or heel walking is also great if you need a break from computer work.

Just think of quickie workouts like supplements. They can work to support your existing workouts but are not a substitute for planned workouts.

Quick Exercise for Core Stability & Balance
by: Monica

The stability ball kneeling balance is a great quick exercise that you can do when you have a couple of minutes of free time and you feel like being active and practicing core stability, balance, or you fantasize about joining the circus (like my son and I do).

Remember when doing quickie workouts to always choose exercises that are relevant to your goals and that compliment your existing workouts.

Another Great Quickie Exercise: Stability Ball Pelvic Tilts
by: Monica

The stability ball pelvic tilt is so awesome for people who need a quick break from office work, or computer work. You can even do them standing or kneeling.

This is probably an exercise most people don't include in regular workouts but is great for quickie workouts.

Use Quickie Workouts to Practice Progressions
by: Monica

Quickie workouts are a great way to practice progressions. For example if you want to do the single leg squat, also called a pistol then take a minute or two every now and then and practice the progressions.

This can work for any exercise that you are having trouble with including pushups, planks, pullups. This is actually something trainers do a lot at the gym in between clients.

Use Quickie Workouts As A Moving Meditation
by: Monica

My favorite type of quickie workout is fluid yoga movement like the sun salutation.

It relaxes me, lengthens tight muscles, strengthens the core and triceps, improves lung capacity, boosts energy levels, and changes your mood quickly. Just two of these is all it takes. Great while morning coffee is brewing or while waiting for a client to come in or when your kids are driving you insane!

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