Life is busy and sometimes it might seem hard to squeeze a workout into our already packed schedule. But it’s important to remember that every little bit helps when it comes to moving our bodies. Just because you don’t have time for a full 30 minute session, doesn’t mean you should just give up on it all together. Here is a quick 5 minute workout you can do in your kitchen (or wherever!) while you wait for your food to heat up or even during commercials. It’s also been shown that doing strength or bodyweight training before meals can improve blood sugar control and improve muscle sensitivity to insulin – which everyone could benefit from.
5 – 10 bodyweight squats. Whether your goal is to get stronger, tone up or lose weight, squats are one of the fastest ways to get there. They target every muscle in your body and do wonders at increasing flexibility. You’ll want to stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips with your toes pointed slightly out, keep your back straight and squat down as far as you feel comfortable. Aim to do about 5 – 10 each time. The key is to start small and build up.
5 – 10 calf raises. This exercise targets your calf muscles but works your entire body as you are using your whole body weight. You can do this on the kitchen floor or, even better, on the edge of a step. Lift as high as you can onto your toes and then lower your heels down as much as your ankles will allow. Try and push evenly through the entire width of your foot – you can hold onto the wall if you’re having trouble balancing. As a bonus, if you have stairs in your house, you could also add in 10 step ups on each leg at the base of your stairs.
5 – 10 press ups. An incredibly effective strength building exercise, press ups (or push ups) work both your chest and arm muscles. Place your hands approximately shoulder width apart and lower your chest down between them before pushing back up again. Start against a wall then, as you get stronger, against a kitchen worktop. Eventually you will be able to do them.
5 – 10 tricep dips. A fantastic way to really target the back of your arms, tricep dips can be done against the kitchen worktop or a stable kitchen chair. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on your chair or kitchen bench and move your bottom off the bench, extending your legs in front of you. Lower your body as low as you can go and then push back up until your arms are straight (try and keep a little bend in the elbows to keep your joints happy).
5 – 10 bodyweight lunges on each leg. Another excellent bodyweight exercise that works your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and core muscles. Try and keep your back straight as you go through the movement. Hold on for support as required. As you become stronger, you can add in a side rotation or lift bottles of olive oil above your head!