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How to keep fit in the city

Though you may not live in rural America where you can leave your house and run for miles down a dirt road, being a city gal doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit. Though city life is all about going hustle bustle, it also offers many convenient opportunities to get in a daily sweat. Here are the best ways to stay fit in urban locales – and you don’t even need to belong to a gym.

Fitness ball at deskExercising at your desk

Love the view from your 15th story office window? Ditch the elavator for the stairs to get to it. Climbing stairs tones your lower body while giving you a great cardiovascular workout. While at the 9 to 5 grind, get up and walk to colleagues’ desks rather than calling or emailing. If they are on a different floor, use the stairs, two at a time if you want to work a bit harder. Swapping an office chair for an exercise ball helps with posture, and the little bit of constant balancing works core muscles. Make sure that the ball is at a height that lets your legs bend at right angles and keeps your lower arms parallel to the desktop. Make and answer phone calls standing up, even standing on a wobble cushion to improve your balance.

Desk-side exercises

You can easily exercise at your desk, even doing some exercises without people noticing!

Twists – keep your feet flat on the floor and slowly twist your body and neck as far round to the right as possible, and then to the left.

Stretches and bends – raise arms in the air and lift one hand higher, and then the other, then bend to one side and then the other. Holding a water bottle in each hand adds a little extra.

Stretches – clasp your hands behind your back, stretch your arms out straight, and lift them as high as you can.

Squeezes – put a rolled up jumper or jacket between your knees and squeeze it between your knees, while also clenching your buttocks.

Lifts – lift one foot at a time a few inches off the floor, keeping the knee bent, then repeat, extending the leg out straight – be careful if you are using an exercise ball as a chair.

Presses – put your hands on your chair arms and lift your bottom out of the chair

Pushes and pulls – put your hands on the edge of your desk (if it is strong enough) and push your chair away until your arms are at full stretch, then pull your chair back to the desk.

Kegels – do your Kegel exercises (these strengthen your pelvic floor and prevent urinary incontinence) at your desk. No one will notice.

Next page: Indoor workouts that work

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