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GET ACTIVE WITHOUT HITTING THE OUTDOORS

Easy exercises to do without leaving your bedroom.

The winter months are settling in, bringing in the cold front with them. Perhaps you’re an outdoor vina during the summer, or never at all in any weather; it’s time to shake up your exercise routine with these effective and easy exercises—all from the comfort of the indoors!

BURPEES

This is one of the best workouts ever.  With every burpee, you are engaging your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs. Plus, no extra equipment is required (win).  For beginners, 10 burpees at a time are enough.  As you become fitter, increase the reps, but not the number of burpees per rep. For the right way to do a burpee, we consulted fitnessmagazine.com:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  3. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto them.
  4. Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  5. Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  6. Reach your arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air.
  7. Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.

SQUATS 

Do a squat challenge first thing in the morning.  There are a lot of variations on the internet, so choose the one you feel most comfortable with.  Don’t overdo it: start small at the beginning. Add dumbbells to your squat challenge as you grow stronger.  The correct way to do a squat is as follows:

  1. Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
  3. Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
  4. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
  5. Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.

 

YOGA

Yoga is definitely a must if you don’t like to go outside.  I love salutations.  It’s a full body workout and great for people with injuries who can’t do weight training or a lot of cardio.  It also stretches your muscles, tightens your core, and makes you feel extra good afterward.  While there are many forms of yoga, begin with a simple Sun Salutation sequence. Do a couple of reps to get a good flow going – but don’t push too hard; make sure your body is feeling energized and nimble, and stop once you’re at this point.  For the right way to do a full salutation, I consulted Yogajournal.com (watch their video above to follow along):

  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Stand with your feet slightly apart and parallel to each other. Stretch your arms (but not rigidly) down alongside your torso, palms turned out, shoulders released.

2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

Inhale and sweep your arms overhead in wide arcs. If your shoulders are tight, keep your hands apart and gaze straight ahead. Otherwise, bring your palms together, drop your head back, and gaze up at your thumbs.

3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Exhaling, release your arms in wide arcs as you fold forward. Bend your knees if you feel pressure on your lower back and support your hands on blocks if they don’t reach the floor. Release your neck so that your head hangs heavily from your upper spine.

4. Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend

Inhale and push your fingertips down into the floor, straighten your elbows, then lift your front torso away from your thighs. Lengthen the front of your torso as you arch evenly along the entire length of your spine.

5. Plank Pose

Inhale and bring your torso forward until your shoulders are over your wrists. Your arms will be perpendicular to the floor. Try not to let your upper back collapse between the shoulder blades: press your outer arms inward, and then—against this resistance—spread your shoulder blades apart. Firm your tailbone against your pelvis and press your thighs up.

6. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

Exhale as you bend your elbows and lower down to Chaturanga with your torso and legs parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders lifted up, away from the floor, and down, away from your ears. Lift the thighs away from the floor, lengthen your tailbone toward your heels, and draw the lower ribs away from the floor to avoid collapsing your lower back. Look down at the floor or slightly forward. If you can’t maintain your alignment, place your knees on the floor until you have built more strength.

7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose

Inhale, straighten your arms, and sweep your chest forward into Up Dog. Keep your legs active, firm your tailbone toward your heels, and press your front thighs upward. Draw your shoulders away from your ears. Look straight ahead or look slightly upward.

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)

Exhale back to Downward-Facing Dog. To finish the Sun Salutation, step the right foot forward into a lunge, then inhale back into Half Standing Forward Bend and exhale into Forward Bend. Inhale and roll your spine up to Upward Salute and exhale to Mountain Pose. Observe your body and breath.

COOL DOWN

Whatever exercise you choose to do, end by devoting at least 20 to 25 percent of your total practice time to Savasana (Corpse Pose). Lie down on the floor with hands and legs outstretched – let gravity take a toll and relax. This lets your muscles stretch out and cool down. If you’d rather follow a stretching video, this one from Popsugar is a great one.

Get into an exercise routine by enlisting your vinas as workout buddies; Download the Hey! VINA app to meet like-minded souls in the Athletes and Yogis communities!

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