On the blog today, I am leaving it all up to a pro on health and wellness. Jessica Ferrucci will be walking us through her daily movement routine to keep our metabolisms going, whether we have the energies to make it to the gym... or not. Enjoy her incredible article!
Ever have one of those weeks (or every week) where it feels like every atom in the universe is working against your will power to go to the gym? I know the story way too well… You plan to go every day after work, then Monday a report goes out late and you’re stuck in the office until 9PM. Tuesday your roommate locks herself out and begs you to come home and let her in. Wednesday you get an unexpected, but un-bail-able, invitation to see an old friend, and at this point even if you made it to the gym on Thursday, your week is not lining up to fulfill your commitment to lead a healthy lifestyle.
There are ways to sneak activity and quick workouts into your day without ever letting your schedule know the difference! The upside: every additional movement helps your body get a little more of what it craves to keep it healthy and strong.
At this moment, resolve to make three movement changes: morning pyramid, mid-day work breaks, and night-time detox.
Morning: The pyramid
2 mins stretching | 3 mins strength | 1 abs | 2 plyo | 3 stretching
This 11 minute routine is designed to wake your body up, and get your blood moving. Morning movement tells your metabolism and muscles to get to work, and even a few simple moves while you wait for your coffee to brew or your roommate to get out of the shower can be powerful in changing your metabolic rate (that’s your calorie burn rate – and we girls can all use a boost!).
The pyramid can be whatever works best for you, but here are my general guidelines:
2 Minutes of Stretching:
- Sit crossed-legged and extend each arm over your head for a nice side stretch (pictured above)
- Bend over hands and hang holding elbows
- Place hands on the ground and stretch into downward dog
- Bring each foot up 1 at a time into runners lunge and open hand to the side
3 Minutes of Strength:
- 20 push-ups (pictured below)
- 20 mountain climbers
- 20 dips
- 20 boxing punches
- 10 push-ups (pictured below)
1 Minute Abs (Pick One Below):
- Bicycle crunches
- Leg flutters
- Boat pose (pictured below)
2 Minutes Plyo:
- 30 jumping jacks
- 20 jump lunches (pictured below)
- 20 jump squats
- 20 high knees
3 minutes stretching:
- Slow your heart down with some rocking side lunge
- Sitting straddle (pictured below)
- Side bends
- Cat/ cow pose
I specifically designed this workout for mornings where there’s no chance I’m making it to the gym because it’s fast, and doesn’t get you so worked up that you’d HAVE to shower after 11 minutes, to then get dressed to go to work.
Once you’re at work, it’s important to keep your metabolic rate moving at its newly implemented happy pace. We working girls spend hours a day sitting at our computers, in meetings, in transit, etc - chasing our dreams and climbing company ladders. Unfortunately, this doesn’t allow a lot of time for making sure we take care of our health. A few changes can make a huge difference, so during my first year working I've devised 5 simple steps which are now my work religion to keep me moving at the office:
Mid-Day: 5 Steps for a Healthier Work Day
1. Get up once an hour
You don’t have to get crazy with your phone alarm, or let this concept distract you from working. Just don’t feel bad about getting up and moving around. Go the long way to the bathroom and get water any time your glass gets low. Make coffee and tea, or offer to drop things off when someone needs something.
2. Walk for 10 minutes straight during lunch
Set a timer for this one. Whether you bring your lunch or go out and buy it, step OUT OF THE OFFICE and walk for 10 consecutive minutes during lunch before you head over to your destination. This takes us back to our metabolic rate. Walking reintroduces movement to your body after a morning of productivity.
3. Stretch at your desk
Roll your neck, flex and point your legs, cross your ankle over your knee, pull your fingers back over your wrist, or use your chair to take a light spinal twist. I know what you’re thinking: my co-workers will think I’m weird. They won’t. They’ll probably join you after watching for a few days because you’ll be feeling better and looking brighter. Stretching keeps our bodies young and we can always find time for it at work.
4. Sit up straight and pull in your abs
This suggestion isn’t just a fitness tip, it’s crucial for good posture. We’ve all seen the dreaded “old lady hump” and sitting up straight + engaging your core is the best way to train your body against hunching over.
5. Walk up and down the stairs whenever you can
Almost every office has stairs that no one uses. Try to take the stairs when you’re walking between floors at work or even instead of the elevator in the morning. This goes hand in hand with just walking more in general.
Following the morning and midday steps make even your busiest days filled with movement and a focus on health. Although pushing your body through extended cardio (30 – 60 minutes), strength training (3 sets of 10-50 reps), and stretching are important to fit into your schedule as much as possible, you don’t deserve to beat yourself up when you get busy and can’t make it to the gym. Compensate the movements above with lots of water, tea and veggies and remember that movement is as simple as a few extra steps wherever you can fit them in.
Finally, when you get home from your marathon day reward your mind and spirit with a few minutes of detox stretching. This is designed to settle your racing mind and bring it to a place where deep sleep can settle.
Find a clear floor space next to a wall and place down a yoga mat if you have one. Dim or turn off the lights, hide your cell phone, and wear something comfortable. Place your tush as close to the wall as possible and extend your feet up the wall, with your back flat down on the floor. Breathe deeply. Think of clear space, a happy space – the ocean, a grassy field, a mountain top. Sit in your clear space for 3-5 minutes. You are there, you are free, you are. And that’s enough.
When you go to bed on this busy day, it wasn’t like the ones before where you beat yourself up for not making it to the gym. You took the time to increase your activity level, in the morning, at work, and to decompress at night. You introduced strength, light cardio, and some stretching. These are the tools to more movement every day. Happy Fitness, ladies.