42 One-Minute Better Body Tricks
33. Step up on the escalator.
You've heard it a million times -- take the stairs instead of the elevator. What about escalators? Walk up or down as if it were a regular staircase. You'll burn seven and a half times more calories than you would just standing there, says Joan Price in her book The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book (Adams Media, 2003).
34. Tone in the pool.
"Kicking drills can help increase your speed while firming and tightening your lower body," says Doug Stern, a swimming expert based in New York City. To practice, grab a kickboard and kick quickly with toes pointed for 60 seconds. Repeat eight to 10 times during your regular swim.
35. Pace while you work.
Walking back and forth while you’re on the phone, brainstorming or discussing projects with colleagues will burn more than one and a half times as many calories as sitting. That's 61 extra calories an hour, which (at two hours per workday) adds up to 30,134 calories -- or nine pounds -- per year!
36. Jump to a higher heart rate.
"Plyometric exercise -- jumping, hopping and bounding exercises -- will keep your heart rate elevated and improve your agility and coordination," says Lang. Replace one set of regular squats and lunges with plyo moves.
37. Change your riding position while cycling.
The smoother your rhythm at any resistance, the more calories you'll burn. While warming up for your group cycling class, try this drill from Lucinda Christian, director of education at Mad Dogg Athletics, creators of the Spinning indoor cycling program, Over a one-minute period, transition every 15 seconds from a seated flat (sitting with light but even resistance) to a standing flat (standing in the pedals with your hands on the handlebars and moderate resistance) and back to a seated position. Maintain your cadence during all transitions.
38. Power up your stair climbs.
"Instead of walking leisurely up a flight of stairs, gradually increase your speed and the number of stairs you take in one minute," says Anderson. "Take two steps at once -- if you're able to do it safely -- and you'll target your glutes even more."
39. Tune in to your acupressure pointsTo help reduce anxiety and increase energy, rub or press your temples, one side of the bridge of your nose or just beneath your bottom lip, suggests Biscontini. "Rubbing the temples is relaxing, because people tend to wrinkle their face when they get stressed."
40. Take long, deep breaths.
Before your workout, spend a minute doing deep belly breathing and visualizing energy surging gently to the muscles, joints and tendons, suggests Steven Ungerleider, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of Mental Training for Peak Performance (Rodale, 1996). "This will pump extra oxygen and blood through your system," he says.
41. Relax your muscles.
Tension is an energy sapper. To fight it, lie on your back and, one by one, tighten every muscle from your feet to your face, holding each for two counts and then releasing, suggests Leonard. "The contrast between the contraction and the relaxation helps relieve stress and loosen up muscles."
42. Rev up with aromatherapy.
"Add a few drops of eucalyptus, lemon, camphor or peppermint oil to a cool, wet washcloth, hold it in front of your face, and take several deep breaths,"; says Kent Burden, coauthor of Yin Yang Fitness: The Whole Package of Health (Amberwood Press, 2003) and the mind/ body program coordinator at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in California. Fold the cloth and wipe your face (don't get the oil in your eyes or on your skin, as it may cause irritation). "The combination of cool water and the invigorating scent will give you a quick energy surge."
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