Home > Get Ahead > Living > Health
5 steps to a great body
October 18, 2005
Part I: Travelling? How to keep fit
Does your diet and fitness regime go haywire every time you travel for work or pleasure?
You cannot take your gym with you, but with our 'no-equipment, do-anywhere workout', you can still keep fit while on the move.
Do one to three sets of each exercise, with eight to 15 repetitions per set.
Step 1: The warm up
Leg lifts: Stand with your feet apart at hip width. Place your hands on your hips. Bend both knees slightly and shift most of your weight onto your left leg.
Keeping your knee slightly bent, lift your right leg up and out to the side, about six inches. Lower to the original position. Repeat with the right leg, then with the left.
Arm curls: Use hand weights or dumbbells. Hold a weight in each hand, arms at your sides, palms facing forward.
Stand with your feet apart at hip width, knees slightly bent. Curl the weights up to your shoulders, then lower to the original position.
Step 2: Stretch exercises
Inner thigh stretches: Sit on floor; place the soles of your feet together. Drop your knees toward floor. Gradually, lower your torso towards the floor until you feel a gentle tension in your inner thighs. Release.
Modified hurdler: Sit on floor, right leg extended, left foot against the right knee. Lower your torso and reach for your ankle until your hamstring feels tight. Repeat on other side.
Hamstring stretch: Lie on the floor and stretch your legs. Raise your left leg, using a towel to assist, until you feel the tension in your hamstring. Hold. Repeat on other side.
Step 3: Floor exercises
Crunches: Lie on the floor with your feet hip width apart. Cradle your head in your hands without lacing your fingers together and with your elbows pointed slightly inward.
Tilt your chin a little bit toward your chest and pull your abdominal muscles in. Exhale through your mouth as you curl your head, neck and shoulders up off the floor. Hold this position for a moment, then inhale as you return to your original position.
Push-ups: Lie on your stomach. Bend your knees and cross your ankles. Bend your elbows and place your palms on the floor, in front of your shoulders and a bit to the side. Straighten your arms and lift your body so you are balanced on your palms and knees.
Tuck your chin a few inches towards your chest so that your forehead faces the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Bend your elbows and lower your entire body at once. Rather than trying to touch your chest to the floor, lower until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back up.
Squats: Stand tall with your feet apart at hip width, with your weight slightly back on your heels. Place your hands on your hips. Sit back and down as if you're sitting into a chair directly behind you. Lower as far as you can without leaning your upper body more than a few inches forward (this depends on your flexibility and your build).
If you can bend your knees far enough so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, stop. Don't allow your knees to travel out in front of your toes. Once you feel your upper body fold forward over your thighs, straighten your legs and stand up. Take care not to lock your knees as you complete the movement.
Step 4: Stretch exercises
Lunges: Stretch your legs a stride's distance apart. Slowly bend your knees until you are in a kneeling position with your knees not quite touching the floor. Don't look down; don't allow your knees to shoot out past your toes. Return to your original position.
Dips: Sit at the edge of the desk or on a sturdy chair. Place your hands with the palms facing your body. Slide yourself off the seat and support yourself with just with your hands. Slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, and then press yourself back.
Step 5: Face exercises
~ Tilt your head backwards. Let your upper lip cover your lower lip. Maintain the posture as you curl your tongue up inside the mouth and press it against your upper palette. Then smile.
~ Place the entire thumb inside your mouth, between the teeth of the upper jaw and the upper lip. Press the upper lip back into the teeth so that your thumb is squeezed.
~ This exercise helps to get rid of furrows and lines on the forehead. All you have to do is lift the eyebrows upward and open your eyes wider with each count.
Part I: Travelling? How to keep fit