In the military they have this phrase, “Hurry up and wait.” The truth is that it applies to almost every aspect of life. We’ve all been stuck waiting in line, waiting for the train, waiting for bank tellers or grocers. So, why not use that time to our advantage in order to burn fat and build muscle? If we are going to “waste” our time waiting around, why not make it at least semi-productive?
Isometric exercise is a great way to exercise using “stealth” while in public. Here are a few ways to exercise when you are stuck waiting around.
1. Calf/Quad: You can really add definition to your calf muscles and quad muscles by spending some time pushing those muscle groups to their limit. Yes, you might look silly standing in public doing calf raises, but this one is more incognito. Start by trying to tighten your calf muscles and quads together. Hold the muscles tight for at least thirty seconds. Once you’ve got the hang of this, try to do each muscle group individually. It’s harder than it looks!
2. The Silent Clap – This one is as simple as it sounds. Put your hands together like you’re clapping in excitement of something you like. Like maybe losing weight? Grasp each hand with the other, and use equal force to push one hand against the other. As you are straining your arms, tighten the muscles in the different sections of your arms, and hold the pose for at least thirty seconds. If you can control your breathing and facial expressions, nobody will be the wiser!
3. The Full Body Flex – This one is great. It will actually help you increase your heart rate, and fat burning potential, without hardly moving! If you are stuck in a long commute, on the bus or train, you can start at your toes, and flex each muscle group. Try to start off holding each set of muscles for at least ten seconds. This seems like a short time, but you can always increase the length of time as you move forward. Work your way up your body, starting at the toes, moving to the legs, quads, pubic area, abs, arms, and even neck and shoulders. This is like a complete body workout, all while sitting on the train reading your favorite book!
Any activity can be a positive activity. Just start off by making simple movements, and by using muscle contractions to help tone your muscles, improve your flexibility and stamina, and burn fat. Watch out for muscle fatigue! The last thing you want to do is wear out your muscles before making that final walk into the office! Start slow, give it a try, and see what works for you.