I wish I were still running at 30 weeks pregnant, but there ARE things I can still do.
I was approached a couple of weeks ago by Jim Rollince, the head of the creative writing department for Gym Source to do a guest post. I was excited about his ideas and had him write an article for those of us who are struggling to stay motivated as the weather cools down. He wrote the following article with some easy tips that we can all benefit from:
Don’t let your Motivation Level “Fall,” Stay Active and Healthy with Seasonal Exercises
You probably found it easy to stay active and energetic throughout the sunny days of summer, but how are you doing now, with cooler weather and shorter days? You may be finding it difficult to get outside for a jog or even to get motivated to go the gym. Not to mention that with Halloween and Thanksgiving just around the corner, seasonal sweets are all too accessible and much more appealing than a kickboxing class or a weight-lifting session. Fortunately, focusing on strategic muscle building can help you maintain your fitness level even if your daily activity levels decrease a bit. Exercises that improve your posture through strengthening your back and that maximize calorie burn by focusing on large muscle groups can provide results like lifting your buns and narrowing your waist. Try the following exercises:
The single-leg dumbbell, straight-leg deadlift: This exercise strengthens your legs, back, and buns. Start by holding a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip. Place your feet a hip’s width apart and slightly bend your knees. Keeping your arms extended in front of your thighs, raise your left leg while you lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor. Pause for a moment before raising your torso back to the start position. Repeat with the same leg for 15 reps. Try two sets of 15 reps per leg.
Two-arm kettlebell swings: Kettlebell swings are the foundation of kettlebell workouts, which are notorious for burning fat and building strength. You will get a cardio benefit with this exercise, as well as building strength. Place your feet about six inches outside of shoulder width, pointing each foot outwards slightly. Set your shoulders by pulling them up, back, and down to set your posture. Hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of you. Keeping your shoulders behind your knees, lower your body as if you’re going to sit on a chair. As you come up, pop your hips forward and squeeze your glutes while swinging the kettlebell to shoulder level using your momentum—not your shoulder strength. Try for two sets of 20 reps.
The plank pose: This exercise is great for strengthening abs, lower back, and glutes. Get into push-up position with hands under your shoulders. Pull your stomach in and your shoulders down your back. Squeeze glutes and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Then, shift to a side plank by putting the weight on your right foot and right arm while raising the left arm to the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides. Work up to 90 seconds per pose.
A key to staying fit and motivated this fall season is to make exercise accessible. Sneaking in some push-ups or lunges when you have a burst of energy can help keep your metabolism going and keep you focused on your health, not the bowl of chocolates in the break room. Home gym exercises and using home gym equipment like treadmills and ellipticals can make working out so convenient, you can’t come up with an excuse to skip.
I love these three exercises because they are all things I can do from home, and don’t take long. I love plank poses in all of their forms because they are so effective. A little bit of strength training goes a long way, so get to the gym, or set up on your living room floor today!