So you’ve identified your fitness goals, and you’ve made a plan (see “Make a Solid Fitness Plan” in this issue of alive@work for more). Now it’s time to sweat with these effective exercises—but before you do, ask yourself: are there any missing pieces in my fitness puzzle?
If you haven’t considered nutrition specific to your workouts, then yes: there is a missing piece. If you’re serious about losing weight or reaching peak fitness, consult a dietitian or nutritionist, and follow these basic guidelines for what to eat before and after your workouts.
For sustained energy during your workout, eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, before you work out. Avoid simple carbs, like chocolate bars, jelly beans and sugary energy drinks.
Following your workout, replenish the energy stores you just burned with more complex carbs, but also include foods that are high in protein to repair muscle fibers. Foods like eggs, fish, poultry and nuts are all good options. And, most importantly, drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
Now you’re ready to sweat.
Walkout Push-ups (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Begin with feet hip width apart.
- Keeping your heels touching the ground, squat down as if sitting on a chair until your hands touch the ground in front of you.
- Allowing your heels to lift off the ground, slowly walk your hands out in front of you until you’re in a push-up position, with hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Complete a push-up, and then walk your hands back toward your toes until you can plant your heels on the ground again.
- Stand up to starting position.
Harder: Do it on one leg.
Trapeze Push-up Dips (3 sets of 8 reps)
- Begin in a push-up position with each hand on a chair. The chairs should be stable and shoulder width apart.
- Complete a push-up, and then, with straight arms, swing your lower body forward until your feet are on the ground and your legs are as if you’re sitting in a chair, feet slightly out in front of your knees.
- Complete a dip, bending your arms to almost 90 degrees at the elbows. Immediately after the dip, straighten your arms and swing your feet back to starting position.
Easier: Divide the leg swing into two motions, touching your feet down in between the chairs on the way forward and backward.
Bridge Row and Press (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Begin in a push-up position with dumbbells in each hand.
- While keeping your right elbow close to your body, pull your right wrist up to the bottom of your rib cage.
- Once your wrist gets to your side, twist your hips all the way open to the right side, allowing your feet to flip over on their sides.
- Keeping your hips up, press the dumbbell straight up in the air over your body.
- Bring it back down to your side, twist back onto your toes and then return the dumbbell to starting position.
- Repeat with the dumbbell in your left hand.