You can add to it from there. No matter what you need to deal with—a meeting at work, a court trial, a hospital visit, or even just your morning carpool, this 15-minute routine will help you train your muscles and your mind while building strength, endurance, and flexibility, so you can face the world around you with a sense of calm and a take-charge attitude.
To begin, all you need to do is take a deep breath, grab a cup of java or green or iced tea if you want to, and find yourself a counter and a couch—something you can lean on and hook your feet under to perform the exercise regimen. Then, begin doing the following six exercises, one by one:
1. Calf stretch: Rest both hands on the edge of your kitchen countertop. Place one foot forward, with your knee bent. Extend your other leg straight behind you with your foot flat on the floor and lean forward to deepen the stretch. Take a deep breath and hold it for a count of 25. Then, over time, work up to a count of 50 and even 100 Switch legs to stretch your other calf. This exercise is also excellent for your calf and hamstring muscles after sleeping, carpooling, or sitting at your computer. Try it midday, and before bedtime, to work out the day’s tension.
2. Squats: Hold onto your kitchen counter with both hands, arm-length distance. Then, bend your knees with your feet and knees facing the counter. Drop your bottom, as though there’s a seat waiting for you, and stop when it’s level with your knees. Breathe and hold that position for a count of 25, working up to a count of 50. If you feel strong enough, lift your heels, resting on the balls of your feet, for another count of 25 to 50. Relax and shake your legs out. This exercise builds and strengthens your gluteus muscles, also known as your butt, and helps to strengthen your quad muscles located in your thighs and improves overall leg strength.
3. Oblique stretch: While standing facing a countertop, place your right foot on the edge of the counter, with both legs slightly bent. Rotate your body sideways, and with your left arm up to the ceiling, breathe and reach over towards the counter, feeling the stretch along your left side. Hold for a count of 25, and try to work up to 50, with time. Change sides. If you can’t place your leg on the counter, follow the same steps while keeping your leg on the floor. Reach up and over your side, as far as you’re able to stretch. Change sides. This exercise stretches your oblique muscles, which are located on the sides of your abdominal muscles, your torso, arms, triceps, shoulders, and neck.
4. Reverse sit-ups: Sit on the floor in front of a chair or couch. Bend your legs and tuck your toes under the chair or couch. (Any piece of furniture will do, as long as it has a few inches of space underneath.) Breathe and lean back slightly, until you feel a pull in your lower abdomen, while gently holding onto your thighs for support. Hold that position for a count of 25. Again, try to work up to a count of 50, then 100 over time. When you’re done, sit up, take a deep breath, and drape your left arm across to your right knee, and twist to the right so you’re looking at the back of the room for a lower-back stretch. Center yourself again and drape your right arm across your left knee and twist to the left, repeating the stretch on the other side. Doing this three-part routine twice every morning will strengthen your abdominal muscles, lower back, torso and upper arms.
5. Pushups: This exercise is no-frills but empowering. You can do it in two easy steps: Lie flat, face down on the floor, arms bent, with your palms flat directly below your shoulders. Breathe, and press to lift your upper body and torso off the ground, with an even, slow movement. Do 10 to 15 full-body lifts. Take a break and start again for one to two more sets. Start with your knees bent if that’s more manageable. This exercise strengthens your shoulders, back, and torso.
6. Calf raises: Stand on a step, with the soles of your feet flat, hanging off the step. With your knees slightly bent, push onto the balls of your feet and raise then lower your heels just slightly below the step line. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps. Take a deep breath and shake your legs out after your set. Your calves may burn with joy! Resume for another set. For a more challenging exercise, try one-leg calf raises on each leg for 15 reps. This leg exercise strengthens and stretches your calf muscles and your Achilles tendons.
And if you sweat even better! Sweating helps you to accelerate the detoxification process by speeding up the clearance of toxins through your body. You’ll notice changes in your appearance, physical, mental and spiritual well-being almost immediately because exercise encourages healthy circulation and elimination.
Any exercise you enjoy that causes you to sweat for a minimum of 30 minutes each day whether it is stretching, Pilates, yoga, walking, running, cycling or jogging will assist your detox by: