8 Gym-Free Ways to Sneak in More Toning

Q: I want to get my body looking toned and fit by summer, but my busy schedule doesn’t allow much free time for hitting the gym. Help!

A: Unfortunately, many of us feel that we don’t have the time to fit toning exercises into our daily routine. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Perhaps it’s true that a trip to the gym won’t fit into your game plan — but your muscles don’t know if you’re in a fancy gym or in your kitchen!

My advice? Turn idle time into toning time! These tips are designed for busy lives — a minute here and a minute there can really add up!

  • To get a firm bottom when you’re walking up stairs, always skip a step. You’ll feel it more in your rear end. And always remember to squeeze your bottom!
  • Keep a pair of 3- or 5-pound dumbbells at your desk and do lifts while talking on the phone, in between meetings, and so on.
  • In your car, do tummy tighteners. Pull in your stomach muscles and tighten for 5 seconds. It’s equivalent to one sit up.
  • Do squats while you blow-dry your hair in the bathroom or while you put on makeup. Do leg lifts in the kitchen while you are chopping veggies, stirring pasta on the stove or preparing a salad.
  • Jog or walk in place while waiting for the bus or train. Be sure to hold your abs in too!
  • Bicycle at your desk. As you sit at your desk, bicycle your legs quickly. Think of how many calories you’re burning with each bicycle pump (you’re toning your tummy too!).
  • Sit on a balance ball at your desk to help engage your ab muscles. Then you can roll back and do a few sit-ups at the office too!

These are great ways to sneak in toning exercises anywhere, anytime. You’ll see and feel the results soon, I promise!

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