toilet squats anyone?

so - what's YOUR excuse for not exercising? Believe me, I've heard them all...

"My hair looks amazing today, and that rarely happens. Sweat would mess it up, and that would just be unfair to my hair"

"It's fine if I don't go to the gym today because I'll go for a run and then yoga and then barre on Saturday. It's just so much easier to work out when I don't go to work!"

"I don’t want to get sweaty"

"I haven't got a sports bra"

"I don't have any trainers"

"I'm on my period"

"I’ve got no time...I’m too tired...I’m too fat/unfit"

Let me just trash some of those excuses - to up your exercise levels you don't need trainers, you don't need special clothes and you don't even have to get sweaty! You just need to move more during the day. Sure, if you find that you want to take it to the next level, by all means invest in a pair of trainers and some funky gear, but in the meantime just put a bit of extra physical effort into your daily chores. Starting small and setting goals is a good way to start.

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Here are some ways to fit exercise into your daily routine:

Stairs - one of the greatest pieces of fitness equipment going! - Try climbing up two at a time on the way up, pulling your belly, shoulders back and down. Do this for 2 minutes and you will soon feel the effects.

Fast walking - if you need to walk anywhere during the day, just up the pace a little - as your heart rate goes up, you'll feel so good! Try to fit 20 minutes of this in a day.

Try to do at least 10 minutes of fast walking a day. Much better for your heart than 10,000 slow steps

Dancing – ok, maybe this isn’t strictly part of your daily routine but why not try dancing round the lounge with the kids rather than watching a film? Instead of meeting your friends for a drink, invite them round for a dance - school disco is best!

Ironing - use this time to pull up your pelvic floor muscles. Before you know it, you could be shooting out ping-pong balls with the best of them… I don’t iron (it’s too difficult and I don’t like it) so I do my pelvic floor exercises in the shower.

Toilet - you can do squats using the loo as a guide - stand in front of it with feet about hip (or shoulder) width apart, contract the abdominals and keep them pulled in as you bend the knees and slowly squat towards the loo. Keep your knees behind your toes as you lower yourself towards the loo but don’t rest on it. Return straight back to the starting position - on the way back up squeeze your buttocks together. The advantage of doing this in the loo is that you can lock the door (I still find someone wants to come in - dog, kids, cat, guinea pig, you name it). These are also great to do if you're stressed as it relaxes you and gets everything going.

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Exercise can be a way of taking back control of your life - see it as 'me time'.  Switch it up, add variety, make it fun. Before you know it you'll be losing weight, and toning up. Improving that self-esteem. Becoming strong.  Becoming confident. In short - becoming a better version of you.

Sarah x

www.sarahmaxwell.com

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