Like a lot of women (and some men) I know, I find myself getting lazy about my workout routine as the summer winds down. After all, it’s way easier to hide a few extra pounds with a comfy sweater than it is with a bikini. Because I made a personal vow to myself not to get sucked into that pattern this year, I was particularly interested in an email I received in which health expert Sheila Cluff, the founder of The Oaks at Ojai, shares five fun and easy fitness tips to help maintain that summer shape into the fall:
• Biceps: For an effective bicep workout, hold a soup can in each hand and bring your upper arms close to the body. Bend elbows and slowly bring your hands up to your shoulders. Release and bring your hands down to your thighs, keeping your arm muscles contracted throughout the routine.
• Abs: Laughter is an amazing ab workout that exercises your diaphragm, abdominal and respiratory muscles all at the same time. It is estimated that hearty laughter can burn calories equivalent to several minutes on the rowing machine or exercise bike.
• Glutes: When shopping, working or anywhere you find stairs, take them to burn a few calories and give your fitness level an extra boost. It’s a free and easy way to get a great backside.
• Back, Shoulders & Chest: Take a 5-minute break during the day to stretch and help build strength in your upper body. While sitting in your desk chair, touch your ear to your shoulder and hold it there. For a chest opener, stretch your arms back as if you were trying to grab a pencil between your shoulder blades. Keeping muscles loose will ease tension and keep you energized throughout the workday.
• Brain: While not technically a muscle, it is important to exercise your thoughts on fitness in the same way you exercise the rest of your body. Be realistic and ready for the fall season by understanding food labels, strategically making time for exercise, and combating the urge to be lazy during the colder months.
For more tips, be sure to check out our special “Exercise in Fitness” section in our upcoming September issue of American Spa.