How many minutes of your day do you spend just waiting around for something to happen? Whether we’re waiting for the traffic light to turn green or waiting for our turn at the checkout line, we spend a good portion of our days simply waiting. Why not turn that waiting time around into something much more constructive? Work out while you wait! Here are some mini workouts you can incorporate into your daily life to break up the doldrums.
1. Time-Killing Calf Extensions. While waiting for the train, subway, or children’s school bus to arrive, get up on those toes and do some calf extensions. Try to do 3 sets of 12 repetitions. On your 12th repetition, stay up on your toes, and hold it for 12 seconds, then release. (Added bonus: if it is cold outside while you are waiting, you will be keeping your body warm by circulating your blood.)
2. Chef’s Squats. As the saying goes, “A watched pot never boils.” So, instead of simply waiting for the water to boil, why not throw in some squats? Try to do 3 sets of 12 repetitions. On your 12th repetition, squat down slightly lower and pulse for a count of 12 seconds.
3. Laundry Lunges. Waiting for those last few minutes to expire until your laundry is done can feel like forever. Use that time to work on some lunges! Try to do 2 sets of 12 repetitions for each leg. (Extra challenge: hold your laundry basket with both hands out in front of you and do walking forward lunges.)
4. Microwave Tricep Dips. Instead of standing around, salivating over your food heating up in the microwave, try some tricep dips. Find an open area on the counter (do no stand in front of the microwave) to perform your tricep dips. Go for 2 sets of 12.
5. Seated Leg Raises. While waiting for your turn in the doctor’s office (or in any waiting room), throw in some seated leg raises. Alternate each leg, and try and do 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each leg. (To increase the difficulty of this exercise, do not let your feet touch the floor, and try and lift both legs off the floor at the same time.)
6. Rush Hour Glute Squeeze. While sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, prevent your glutes from falling asleep while toning them by squeezing your glutes for a count of 12 seconds. Repeat for a total of 3 sets.
7. Conference Call Belly Button Tuck. Those lengthy phone calls that you cannot escape burn a lot of time in your day. While waiting for the call to end, straighten your back and draw your belly button in tight. Hold this for 12 seconds, release, and then repeat 2 more times.
8. Copy Machine Balancing Act. Work on your balance while standing at the copy machine or printer. Simply raise one leg slightly off the floor for 12 seconds; then switch legs. Repeat this 2 more times for each leg.
We only get 1,440 minutes in a day, so use them wisely: work out while you wait!