02/01/14 12:57pm
02/01/2014 12:57 PM

Ah, the cozy joys of winter. You’re hibernating at home — drinking hot chocolate, staying warm and catching up on all five seasons of Breaking Bad.

Unfortunately, you’re also gaining weight in the process.

What do you do? Read on to find out how you can burn calories without changing your daily routine. Here’s five suggestions from The Body Smart Studio in Southold.

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1. Planking (otherwise known as Reading Your iPad)

Want flatter abs, stronger shoulders, better balance and more endurance? Start planking.

An excellent exercise for building core strength, planking is fun and free. And the best part: you can still enjoy that mystery novel you’re reading on your iPad or your friends’ Facebook pages while doing it.

As its name suggests, your body should resemble a plank of wood  — straight and firm — when this exercise is performed properly.

Start by laying face-down with your hands and feet on the ground. Push your body up so that you’re resting on your forearms. Make sure you maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, pull your belly button in toward your spine, and hold this position for as long as you can. Try to get to that next chapter in your book!

For a slight variation, try a side plank (otherwise known as watching a movie): rest your weight on just one forearm at a time, turning your entire body to the side.

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 2. Squats (otherwise known as Getting Out of Your Kitchen Chair)

Squats are an extremely effective way to tone your thighs and butt, and fit into your favorite pair of jeans again.

For this exercise, stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Shift your weight back so that it’s on your heels.

With a flat back and your belly button pulled into your spine — this engages your core muscles — bend so that your lower legs and back are parallel to each other. For more of a challenge, grab the nearest child (we recommend a baby), hold him or her out in front of you, and squat into your kitchen chair.

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3. Push-ups (otherwise known as Looking Under the Bed for Your Lost Keys)

It’s the old standard in calisthenics – with a domestic twist. The next time you misplace any of those essential items that just love to go missing at inopportune moments (keys, wallets, glasses, etc.), you can turn your search into a opportunity for fitness.

Instead of simply getting down on your hands and knees to look under your bed or table, try a push-up: start in an elevated plank position, up on your hands, with your hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend your elbows and lower your chest, forming a 90-degree angle between your upper and lower arms.

Even if you’ve already found your keys, try this one a few times — and never feel stressed about losing them again.

Who knew misplacing things could actually be good for you?

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 4. Lunges (otherwise known as Heading Down the Hall to Get Your Laundry)

Laundry doesn’t have to be a bore! Whenever you find yourself taking that long dull walk to the laundry room, don’t walk at all. Lunge your way there instead, and enjoy the toned legs and perfect balance that will result.

To properly perform this move, think of it as a slightly longer walking stride. Step forward with one foot and drop down at your hip so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Move forward and switch legs, keeping your abdominal muscles tight the entire time to help develop balance.

And while you’re at it, why stop at laundry lunging? Lunge across your backyard when getting your snow shovel. Lunge down the driveway to retrieve the mail. Ignore your neighbors’ stares as you lunge to your car in the morning — your new shapely legs will speak for you.

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5. TRX Sprinters (otherwise known as Pulling Your Kids Across the Snow in a Sled)

Developed by a former Navy SEAL, the intense TRX workout has been gaining popularity in gyms across America for almost a decade.

Its suspension-based training not only strengthens major muscle groups, but also builds stability, balance and flexibility. If you can’t make it to the gym this winter, however, the snow in your yard and that sled in your garage will work just fine!

Round up the kids and head outside for some family fun; pulling them up hills and across snowy fields will not only do wonders for your body, it’ll also make you the coolest parent on the block.

•••

For those of you looking to step up your fitness routine even more, come join us at The Body Smart Studio in Southold.

You’ll benefit from small group instruction, personal attention, certified instructors, top-notch equipment — and a whole room full of fellow lungers and plankers.

Check out the video below for a demonstration of our high-energy Real Ryder cycle — a spin cycle designed to move just like a real bicycle. You know, the one that’s sadly stuck in your garage until April.

For more information, visit our website at thebodysmartstudio.com or call Chris at 631-765-8442. And remember our motto: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”

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