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If I can give you ONE fitness tip, it would be to never go a day without alotting time to incorporate some form of fitness or exercise into your Fit Soul and Spice lifestyle.

My schedule is crazy busy, so believe me, I sympathize with those who say that some days it’s hard to find the time or energy to get to the gym.  I, too, have days where I just don’t have it in me to go for the hour long run, or make it through an intense kickboxing class.

However, I do not sympathize with those who claim there’s never any time, so they just don’t work out.  This is your life, your body, and your mind, and you deserve good health, balance, and well-being.

Working out doesn’t mean going to the gym and doing an all out workout every single day.  However, there are many other options for taking a few moments to get your metabolism working.  This is important for both your mental and physical health and well-being.  Get your heart rate up, and get those endorphins flowing.

Have you ever said, or heard anyone else say, “I wish I didn’t fit that workout in today.  Yuck, gross!”  No, I didn’t think so. 😉

Here are some suggestions for quick fitness alternatives on those days here and there when you just don’t have the time or energy for an all out, booty kicking workout.

1.  A brisk walk.  Walk out your front door, and walk for about 15-20 minutes at a brisk or fast pace.  If you have any hills or inclines around, try to incorporate them, as they will tighten the booty and boost the burn.  My block in Hoboken leads me over a hill and leads me to the Hudson River, where I can walk for a few minutes on the waterfront.  Not only is this quick, easy, and a chance to stretch/lean out the belly and legs, but it may also be good for you to get out for a few minutes, take in some fresh air, and reflect on the positive things that happened throughout your busy day.

walking can inspire, motivate, and calm you

walking can inspire, motivate, and calm you

2.  Stretching.  When you roll out a ball of dough, it stretches and becomes flatter.  Compare this to the result of a good, hard stretch.  Many people think stretching is a pre/post workout habit and not a form of fitness, but it most definitely is!  In fact, research shows that people who practice stretching based fitness like yoga or pilates each day can become so much leaner, that their height may increase by 1/2 an inch or so! Do each of these stretches for 30-60 seconds.  You’ll feel awake, energized, and leaner.  1) Stand, legs shoulder length apart, with your arms extended above your head, and pretend you’re reaching to pull a rope.  2) Standing, spread your legs as far as you can.  Head and neck down, stretch down to the middle, to the right, and to the left for 20 seconds each.  3) Cobra position, a yoga stretch that is highly effective and energizing.  Stretch your back, legs, arms, and abs by laying flat on your belly, palms down by your ribs.  Push your body off the floor and put your neck back.  Hold for 15 seconds.  Repeat 5 times. 4)  Downward facing dog, another yoga position, stretches the back, legs, and arms, and tightens the abs.  Form an upside down V with your feet shoulder length apart and flat on the floor, and your arms shoulder length apart, palms flat on the floor.  Hold stretch for about 15 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog

3.  Lean-it-out belly rubFirst, lay flat on your back.  Extend your arms over your head and behind you, stretching out the abdominal muscles for about a minute.  Remember, you’re not laying down, you are challenging your body to stretch and lean out before you rub your belly.  It should feel as though someone is pulling at both your arms and your feet, providing a nice stretch.  Next, taking the tips of your fingers, work in small circular clockwise motions around the abdomen (the area surrounding your belly button).  Apply some decent pressure as your massage the area for about 30 seconds.  Repeat these two steps about five times, and when you stand up you’ll leaner, more energized, and more awake.  This practice also decreases bloating and constipation.  It is a mental and physical cleansing exercise.

Yoga mats are wonderful for stretching

Yoga mats are wonderful for stretching

4.  Quick circuit workout.  In the morning before the shower, or at night before bed, do these cardio and strength fat burning exercises.  10 burpees, 20 squats, 30 alternating lunges, 40 bicycle crunches, 50 jumping jacks, 60 second plank.  Repeat circuit 3x (more if desired) with one minute of rest between sets.  Do a quick stretch after, then continue getting ready for work or for bed.

Squats - keep your back straight, your feet flat on the floor and shoulder length apart, and your arms in front of you.

Squats – keep your back straight, your feet flat on the floor and shoulder length apart, and your arms in front of you.

So next time you have a crazy, hectic, busy day, try Fit Soul and Spice‘s examples for quick fitness fixes, and decide which one applies to and defines your healthy lifestyle.  The important part is that you’re moving, you’re active, and you’re making an effort towards fitting fitness into your life.

Be well.  Be fit.  Be healthy.  Much love 🙂