May 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM ET
If crazy mornings make exercising before work out of the question, and you’re too exhausted after work to even think of hitting the gym, what can you do? Plenty, if you know a few tricks. No matter where you are, there’s always — always! — something you can do to burn a few extra calories and strengthen your muscles. Sneak in these stealthy exercises as you go throughout your day.
While waiting for the bus or train…
Planks and crunches aren’t the only ways to strengthen your core. You can get a good ab workout simply by challenging your balance. Try this whenever you’re stuck waiting for the bus or train: Stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground. Slowly lift up one foot a couple of inches off the ground and hold for 60 seconds, then switch. Go back and forth. Too easy? Go up on your toes! Challenge yourself further by increasing your time. Tighten your core to help stabilize yourself each time – those abs are what’s holding you upright.
Bonus: This exercise strengthens a muscle that supports the knee — which is especially important if you’re a runner.
While sitting at work…
Get your arms ready for summer by tightening up your triceps (backs of your arms). Scooch to the edge of your chair and, with your hands at your sides, palms facing the back wall, grip the front of your chair and lift yourself off the chair an inch or two. You don't have to be full dips (where you reach your bottom all the way to the ground). Just do small pumps — and inch up and down — to fire up the triceps. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
While getting upstairs…
Stairs are practically a ready-made cardio machine. Take advantage of them whenever you can to get the blood flowing: Find a flight of 10 or more steps at work/home/school etc. Walk up all 10 (or 12 or 15 or 20) steps. Walk back down. Walk up 9. Walk back down. Walk up 8. Walk back down. Walk up 7. Keep going until you get to one and DONE. Want to hit more glutes? Try going up two stairs at a time. Do that once a day... it'll wake you up, burn a few extra calories, and break up a boring day!
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