There’s always time to fit in some exercise. Sarah Maxwell, Nivea’s International Fitness and Lifestyle expert and spokesperson, has devised an all-round fitness programme to help you to improve your body shape without crash diets, extreme exercise regimes, or disrupting your already hectic life. Whether you want to lose weight, improve your fitness or tone targeted areas of your body, there are exercises which can be done from home, from your office or anywhere, for that matter! Get out there and burn some calories and have some fun! Be the best you can be.
Exercise is cumulative, so by doing 10 minutes in the morning, during lunch and again after work, it adds up to 30 minutes for the day! Every bit counts. So no more excuses!
Exercises you can do at home
Do these while watching TV, it’ll only take a few minutes.
1. Abdominal curls
Lie on your back, with knees bent and feet comfortably flat on the floor. Adjust your pelvis so that your lumbar spine is in the neutral position. You should feel a slight gap between your back and the floor. Curl up your head and bring your chin towards your chest, fixing your neck position as if you were holding an orange between your chin and neck. Place your hands by your ears and fix your arms open with your elbows pointing out to the side. Concentrate on your abdominals; curl your upper back off the floor. Stop before your upper back is off the floor and return back to starting position.
Repeat 3×10. Try to do these three times per week with a day rest in between. Take your time building up your abdominal curls. You may find in the beginning that you feel this in your neck rather than your abdominals; take time to rest and build up your strength gradually. Try to avoid pulling on your head, concentrate on using the abdominals.
2. Full plank
Lie facing down on a mat resting on your forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Pull in abdominals and keep contracted throughout. Hold for 10-20 seconds, lower and repeat for two to three repetitions. Rest for one minute and repeat again.
Try to do these three times per week with a day rest in between.
3. Triceps extension (works the back of the arm/triceps)
Stand with legs slightly bent and feet hip-width apart, abdominals pulled in and hips tucked under. Position weight/water bottle over head with arm straight up. Lower weight/water bottle behind neck or shoulder while maintaining upper arm’s vertical position throughout the exercise then extend back up to the starting position and repeat.
Aim to do 10 on each arm to start with then gradually build up to 3×16 on each arm. Try to do these three times per week with a day rest in between.
Keep the working arm held in position by holding gently with the other hand, as this will stop your arm moving around and enable the triceps to work correctly.