"We all need 30 minutes or more of physical activity most days of the week," says Julia Valentour, a personal trainer and program coordinator for the American Council on Exercise. "So when it isn't practical to be walking outdoors, it's important to find creative ways to get moving inside."
Valentour suggests inviting a friend over and following the 30-minute plan below to increase your energy and keep off the pounds during the cold winter months.
Indoor Walking Routine
Heel taps: Alternate tapping your right and left heels out in front of you.
High knees: Lift your right knee and raise both arms overhead. Continue, alternating legs.
Jumping jacks: Keep it at a low intensity.
Stairs: Go up and down a flight of steps. If you don't have stairs, consider investing in an exercise step.
Brisk walk: Move around your home quickly, focusing on your breathing.
Squats: Stand with legs shoulder-width apart (hold on to the back of a chair if necessary). Lower your body so thighs are parallel.
Bird dogs: Get on all fours with hands directly below your shoulders. Slowly raise and straighten your left leg out and your right arm forward so they're parallel to the floor. Repeat with your opposite leg and arm.
Glute bridge: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Gently contract your glutes and raise your hips, forming a straight line from your shoulders to knees. Lower and repeat.
Plank: Lie on your stomach. Lift your body into a push-up position (arms straight but not locked) while maintaining a straight line from head to toes. Avoid sagging your lower back, raising your hips, or bending your knees. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Lower and repeat.
Cool down with these three yoga poses.
Downward dog: Get on all fours with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, and toes curled under. Lift your buttocks and straighten your legs. Relax your head and neck between your shoulders and attempt to put your heels flat on the floor. Your body will form an inverted V.
Cobra: From the previous position, lower onto your stomach, legs flat on the ground and toes pointed.
Straighten your arms and lift your chest away from the ground so your lower back is arched.
Child's pose: End by bringing your body to a kneeling position and sit on your feet, which should be pointed outward. Reach your arms forward and place your forehead on the floor.
Originally published in the November 29, 2010, issue of Family Circle magazine.
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