You're reading yet another fitness article while sitting on the couch eating a chocolate bar or chips wishing that you could look like the models while shovelling junk food into your mouth.
The headline looks interesting and the introduction catches your attention but the pictures on the page stay static. The only way that these visual demonstrations can lead to any type of exercise is when you flip the pages very quickly, creating the illusion of movement.
This article will be different. No sexy models or miracle cures ? just you and your body with this piece of writing to get you moving.
Lift your eyes off the page and think an exciting thought that gets your heart pumping and your endorphins activated. Your personal excitement may involve a sexual fantasy, weekend getaway, winning the Lotto or buying a new car. Whatever gets you smiling?
Now your heart rate should be raised and blood should be circulating faster to certain parts of the body, hopefully your brain! You've completed the first step to becoming less sedentary by raising your metabolic rate and preparing the body for the next few activities.
Drop the chocolate in the bin, turn the television down and remove all distractions and focus on your body and posture. Are you slouching? Pull your bellybutton towards your spine, lengthen the spine and relax your shoulders. Breathing should already be easier and focus on deep breaths from the abdominal area that causes the ribs to expand on inhalation.
Keep your head lifted so that you can breathe deeply and inhale enough air through the nose. Opening the chest by retracting your shoulders should widen the area of the ribs and lungs and make your boobs look bigger. Sit upright and make sure that the legs are not crossed or underneath your body as you should be in perfect balance.
Squeeze your butt cheeks together. Nobody is going to notice the movement if you are at work. If you get busted at the office, you will probably be in bigger trouble for reading this article than clenching your ass.
This simple movement causes the biggest muscle in your body, gluteus maximus, to contract. Hold the contraction for as long as possible without holding your breath or laughing. Practice this movement and proper breathing at regular intervals when driving, standing in the lift or speaking on the phone. Women can do more than one thing at a time!
If you are lying on your back, lift your head and shoulders while reading. Keep neck muscles relaxed and imagine that you are holding a tennis ball under your chin while activating abdominal muscles. Do not hold this position for longer than thirty seconds or less than ten seconds. Do 10 to 20 stomach crunches or hold the contraction.
Turn around and lift your arms (shoulders directly above elbows) while lying on your stomach. Lift your bum to the ceiling and lower slowly until your body is straight. Your weight should be distributed between the feet and forearms, which are the only body parts in contact with the ground. Keep the body in a straight line and do not arch your back as it will start to hurt. Keep the core activated which means the bellybutton is pulled to the spine (refer to step two).
Prop yourself up and put the hands under your shoulders and the article in the middle. Keeping the core activated, bend the arms and take your nose to the article. Push up and repeat six to 12 times. Exhale as you push up, making fog on the page or screen, but try not to drool.
Turn onto your back and hold this article about 20 centimetres from your face to avoid ruining your eyesight while multitasking. Keeping your lower back on floor, lift the legs and perform cycling motions with the legs using slow movements. Complete 10 revolutions and repeat four times, resting between sets.
Now you are ready for the ultimate test. Stand up! This is an advanced movement after clenching the butt cheeks but you need to rise from the seated position.
Stand on one leg. Stick your bum backwards, bend the leg you are standing on and repeat 10 times. Repeat this exercise on the other leg. This is called functional training and it mimics the actions we perform in our daily lives.
Eight steps to a healthy lifestyle which starts with an awareness of your body, breathing and posture. Now throw away the chocolate...