As a personal trainer and fitness expert, I am passionately in the gym at least 4 times a week. I squat vigorously, curl until fatigue. The sweat is pouring off of my pink face! Then after a carefully timed rest break, I look down at the weights that once swung proudly over my head and I think “ugh, I have to put these things away?” I feel so lazy!
Whether it’s weight training or walking to work, there is a habitual pattern that so many of us get into of making our life less active because we have fabulous excuses that we have run out of time, we go to the gym, we eat healthy, we do enough already!
Aren’t we all culprits of this?
So let’s challenge ourselves to be a little bit more fit in a fun and unique way!
I propose a five day hands free challenge! Let’s increase our energy expenditure in the following ways:
Day 1: No hands to stand: no using hands to get up off of the floor, to roll out of bed, to support ourselves against a desk to lift up. By using our powerful legs to lift us, engaging our core to sit up, we expend more calories and wake up useful muscles that we may have forgotten existed.
Day 2: Chew Xantham or Stevia sweetened chewing gum: Chewing gum is a hands free way to rev up your caloric expenditure. Recent studies have demonstrated that one small piece of gum used for approximately 12 minutes can increase your caloric expenditure to 70 calories an hour. After 3 hours of chewing, this equates to just over 1 cup of brown rice. Make sure to choose a naturally sweetened type of gum to reduce harmful chemicals in your blood. Xantham and Stevia are both wonderful options
Day 3: Use the stairs hands free: That’s right, without the railing! If you don’t use stairs that often, make the conscious effort to take at least one set a day. This hands free method will increase your heart health while simultaneously increasing caloric expenditure.
Day 4: Use your legs more often: park farther away from entrances than you normally would. While increasing energy expenditure, the short walk will increase your lung capacity and mentally prepare you for your day.
Day 5: Make Friday “Backrest Free”: At your desk, in the car or while seated make a conscious effort to sit away from the backrests on your seats. This engages your core and focuses on increasing strength in important back muscles that get lazy over time, lead to bad posture and create back problems. The more muscles you use throughout the day, the more calories you expend.
If you feel daring add each previous days’ challenges to the new day’s challenge. By the end of the week you will have accumulated 5 great energy expending routines and 5 new healthy habits!
Good luck! Keep me posted on your success!