No More Excuses, it’s time to get moving

We are all aware of the benefits of regular exercise unless you have been hiding under a rock in some remote corner of the planet. I am not going to go through all the reasons just pick up any magazine and there is bound to be a list of reasons in it somewhere.

However if you are needing any further confirmation about the importance of exercise as we age, have a look at these pictures from an article from The Physician and Sports Medicine Website, they tell it all. The photo I’ve attached is from the article and shows MRI scans of the quads of a 40 year-old triathlete vs a 74 year-old man who doesn’t exercise, as well as a 70 year-old triathlete.

Now which set of legs would you prefer?

So what is stopping us? I think that list is even longer, which is your favourite excuse?

Too tired, no time, can’t afford a gym, I have kids to look after, when I lose some weight, I work long hours, I don’t like to get sweaty. I am sure you can think of a few more original ones, believe me I was an expert at them.

So lets keep this simple get your butt of the lounge and get it moving, yes eventually you will feel better for it. I admit the first few times you may not like it and think it is all too hard, but why do you think so many people get out there and pound the pavement or get on a bike, because after a short while they realise the benefits and how good they feel.

Here is the No Excuses Workout, to make it fun rope in a buddy as well then you can laugh together along the way and create a bit of healthy competition. I find my best time for exercising is as soon as I drop the kids to school I put my gear on first thing in the morning and go straight from school to a park and exercise. DO NOT go home and clean up the breakfast dishes or you will never get out they can wait for another hour. If you are working go out to a nearby park or book out a meeting room with a friend (preferably one that is private), there are ways around the excuses.

Find your best time and stick to it, you should be aiming for a minimum of 3 times a week. The routine below doesn’t require any fancy equipment, a yoga mat would be nice but not essential, just do it. I suggest you go to a park and enjoy the beautiful winter sunny days that are perfect for exercising; it is far more motivating than the lounge room, and no dirty dishes to distract you.

I have created a 1minute circuit routine that incorporates strength and cardiovascular exercises. Each round takes 20 minutes, if you haven’t exercised for a long time start week one with just one round then the next week do two rounds then aim for three rounds.

This can be done at an easy level to start off with and made more challenging as your fitness increases by increasing your intensity. I suggest you download an interval timer app on to your phone and set it to 45seconds high intensity and 15 seconds low intensity, this allows a short time for recovery and change over.

Start of with a 5 minute warm up this can be a power walk with arms swinging then pick up the pace a bit. This can also be done running on the spot or skipping, the idea is to start to get your heart rate up in a gentle way while your muscles warm up.

The interval workout below alternates between cardio and strength training. When doing the cardio section, this can be ant cardio exercise of your choice, you can run up and down the length of the backyard or hallway if you are inside, skipping, running on the spot, running with high knees, jumping jacks or if you are really keen one minute of burpees (I bet no one takes up this option).

  1. 45 seconds lunges left leg
  2. 45 seconds lunges right leg
  3. 45 seconds high intensity cardio
  4. 45 seconds bridge
  5. 45 seconds cardio
  6. 45 seconds leg raises left leg
  7. 45 seconds leg raises right leg
  8. 45 seconds cardio
  9. 45 seconds calf raises
  10. 45 seconds cardio
  11. 45 seconds Bicycle crunches
  12. 45 seconds cardio
  13. 45 seconds alt leg drops
  14. 45 seconds cardio
  15. 45 seconds plank
  16. 45 seconds cardio
  17. 45 seconds pushups
  18. 45 seconds cardio
  19. 45 seconds tricep dips
  20. 45seconds cardio

Rest for 2 minutes then repeat a second round. The pictures below will show you the correct form for the exercises. Most of all have fun.

Lunges: When doing lunges aim to get your back knee as close to the ground as you can pushing up through the front heel. Most of your weight should be in the front foot and the back foot is just for balance.

Bridge: Lay down on your back with your arms beside you both feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Now push up through your heels raising your backside off the ground and hold. To increase the intensity you can then raise one foot off the ground supporting yourself with one foot then swap.

Leg Raises: In class we affectionately call these the “Jane Fonda’s” or “Butt Burners”. Simply lay on your side have your hips and legs stacked on top of each other then raise the top leg and keeping it straight tap your heel to the ground in front then up and tap your heel behind. Repeat for 45 seconds then roll over and repeat on the other side.

Calf Raises: Standing holding on to something for balance if needed then simply raises up on to your toes making sure your weight is over your big toe then gently lower yourself but don’t allow your heel to touch the ground, repeat. To increase the intensity you can do this on one leg at a time.

Bicycle Crunches: Laying down with legs bent and both feet on the ground hands behind your head, raise your upper body and right leg so your left elbow reaches your right knee at the same time the swap to the other side alternating between the two. To increase the intensity you can keep both legs raised in the table top position the whole time. To lower the intensity lay on your back.

Alternate Leg Drops: Laying down on your back arms by your side, both legs straight up, slowly lower one leg to about 10 cm above the ground or as far as you can without raising your lower back off the ground. This exercise sounds easier than it looks so be careful to focus on not arching your back, this ensures your are using your core muscles and not your back.

If this is too hard to start with do the exercise with your legs bent. If you need an extra challenge you can do it with both legs together but remember if your back is coming off the ground you are not using the muscles that are required. Proper form is much more important than going to the next level.

The Plank: This is a great exercise to really work your core as long as it is done correctly. Lay face down on a mat then raise your body up on your elbows and toes. You need to have your body flat like a plank. Imagine that you are trying to pull your belly button towards your spine without lifting your butt. Hold for 45 seconds or as long as you can, if you can not hold for the whole time drop to your knees for the remainder of the 45 seconds, or to start with do the whole time on your knees.

Pushups: Pushups are a great exercise for the upper body and the core. Everyone knows what a push up is nut they don’t always do it properly. If you lay face down with your hands on the ground beside you at shoulder height, not forward when you come up the need to be at shoulder level but wider. Push up and hold that position with straight arms and your body in the plank pose with your belly button being drawn towards your backbone. Now the only part of your body that is moving is your elbows are bending and then pushing up through your chest. You do not drop your pelvis or bend your back in any way.

Again to build up to this start on your knees, your aim is to look ahead of you and for your nose to get close to the ground without dropping your head.

Tricep Dips: This is great for working those upper arms that most women in particular hate. Sit on a step or chair and place your hands either side of you on the step facing forward, now slide forward so you are resting on your hands and feet and slowly lower your body by bending and straightening your arms, do not use your legs to push you back up. For an easier version you can do this with your legs bent, for more advanced have your legs straight in front of you.

Good luck and get moving.

By Tracey Gronau

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before commencing any physical exercise.

About Vicki Law

Vicki Law is the Founder of SKN Complex, a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated skin care company committed to taking the clinical complexity out of the science of beauty and to provide an exceptional, inspiring range of products to Australian women. You can connect with Vicki via Twitter, LinkedIn or Email View all posts by Vicki Law ➞