Sometimes I think to myself, “Maybe bears are onto something by hibernating in the winter months.” This thought usually occurs when I’m piling on layers of clothes just to go outside and scraping the ice off of my car in sub-zero temps. Winter can be tough. Staying active can be tough. Staying active in winter? You get the idea. Living in Wisconsin has forced me to get creative with winter workouts. But no matter where you live, having your own at-home workout that you can follow when you can’t (or don’t want to) head to the gym is a great way to stay active. Check out these two mini-workouts that can help energize your day. Both workouts include one movement* and only take about 4 minutes, so they’re perfect for work breaks, commercial breaks or any time you feel like getting moving. Both workouts follow the Tabata method. To do a Tabata, pick one of the following movements and perform 20 seconds of work, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat this 7 more times for a total of 8 sets. You can set a timer or you may want to download a Tabata timer on your phone. If these movements are too challenging, choose an exercise that feels less difficult and try performing the exercise following the Tabata method.
Movement 1 – Jumping Jacks (difficult level: intermediate)
- Stand with your hands at your sides, feet under your hips, and knees slightly bent.
- Simultaneously jump your legs wide apart while you bring your arms up over your head; then jump your legs back together as your hands return to your sides.
Movement 2 – Mountain Climbers (difficult level: advanced)
- Start in pushup position, on your hands and toes, hands shoulder-distance apart. Bring your right knee up under your chest, toes touching the floor.
- Keeping your hands on the ground and your core tight, quickly bend your left leg and “jump” it forward under your chest as you jump your right leg back. Then jump back to your original position, jumping your right foot forward and your left leg back.
*These movements and many more are included in TOPS Fitness Cards, available to members. The information presented in this blog is educational and may not suit an individual’s particular health situation. Always check with your doctor or healthcare provider before beginning a new program.