The 48-Hour Workout Jumpstart
Day 1: Workday ScheduleMorning
Breakfast. You've heard it before: Don't skip breakfast. This goes doubly so since you'll be working out more vigorously than you normally do. Try a yogurt parfait with plain yogurt instead of a flavored one -- once you wean yourself from sugar, you'll likely find that you prefer the taste, says Jackie Newgent, RD, CDN, author of The Big Green Cookbook. She recommends creating your own flavors with seasonal fruit and adding a tiny drizzle of honey. "You want to be excited about what you're eating, so pick your favorite fruit and your favorite nuts," Newgent says.
Before work. Try to sneak in a mini workout before your workday, like hitting a yoga class in the park or gym. "It's a good way to get centered on priorities and goals for next two days," says Dodge-Thews.
Make the most of your commute. If you can, walk or bike to work -- it'll give you a whole new experience in the morning while boosting your heart rate and metabolism.
However, if you have to drive, you can still do some Pilates exercises in the car (really!), says Emory Story, owner of Emory Pilates in Brentwood, California. "Since traffic schools now teach us to keep our hands at 9 and 3 on the steering wheel -- this is safer in the event that airbags deploy -- drop your elbows straight down so they point toward your thighs. Pull your shoulders back so your shoulder blades are plugged into the back, then lift out of your hips and lengthen your neck as if you are trying to touch your head to the top of the car," he explains. This works wonders for the posture and spine, and helps get you the oxygen you need to stay calm in traffic, Story says.
A.M. snack. Every three hours, eat a healthy snack that you really enjoy, be it your favorite fruit or a handful of almonds, which fill you up while supplying a great source of protein, carbs, and fiber. Snacking will also help keep you from being ravenous at lunchtime and will help fuel your afternoon workout.
Lunchtime. Rather than sit at your desk and read headlines on the computer or catch up on e-mail, try to recruit some colleagues and organize a half-hour office boot camp, suggests Dodge-Thews. All you'll need are jump ropes, handheld weights, and a stretch of grass.
- Begin with 3 minutes of jumping rope.
- Do 3 minutes of resistance training with your weights, alternating biceps curls, triceps overheads, and shoulder raises.
- Do 3 more minutes of jump rope.
- Do 3 minutes of push-ups.
- Do the final 3 minutes of jump rope.
- Do 3 minutes of squats and lunges.
Afternoon desk exercises. Give up your cushioned office chair in favor of an exercise ball -- it'll force you to sit up straight, which encourages you to engage your core.
Don't have an exercise ball (or, rather, can't risk having the boss see you sitting on one)? Try a 15-minute desk workout instead. You can tighten up some muscles without breaking a sweat with these quick moves, recommended by Pete Cerqua, author of The 90-Second Fitness Solution.
- Chair Dip: Women tend to neglect their triceps, so try targeting them while sitting at your desk. Grab the handles of your chair and push yourself up to a straight arm position (elbows slightly bent) -- hold that position for up to 90 seconds. "Your feet will be on the floor for support and balance, but don't be fooled," says Cerqua. "It's not easy and your triceps (back of the arms) will thank you for it."
- Wall Sit: Take a break to work your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Start with your back against a wall, walk your feet forward about 18 inches, and slide down the wall to a 90-degree position. Hold for up to 90 seconds.
- Magic Knees: If you've had trouble with your knees, try this: Sit in a chair and extend one leg out straight. Lift up just enough so your hamstring is off the seat. Don't lean back. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs. "It instantly makes your knee feel stronger," says Cerqua.
P.M. snack. When you find yourself hitting the 4 p.m. crash, have another healthy snack around 150 calories.
After work. Amping up your workout doesn't mean you have to skip happy hour -- just tweak it. In lieu of cocktails, Dodge-Thews suggests grabbing your friends and heading to the nearest juice bar, then hit the dance floor together. "Dancing burns about 290 calories an hour, based on a 135-pound woman," according to Christ Anderson.
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