Thursday, September 10, 2009

Advice from a friend

195 pounds
After my exercise and television post last week, my friend Carrie wrote to me and made another wonderful suggestion for squeezing exercise into a workday that is too busy for a full-blown trip to the gym or the walking trail. And Carrie's idea is so inventive that I just had to share it with all of you.

Carrie told me that she does "toe raises" while brushing her teeth most nights. Can you imagine?! She said she picked up the habit when she was a gymnast and has never stopped.

I always feel like the minutes I spend brushing my teeth are wasted time (sometimes I even read while I'm brushing), but now I know exactly how to fill that dead zone with something that will make me feel even better about myself.

Carrie says that to do a toe raise, we should stand with our feet together and go as far up on our tippy toes as we can (making sure to keep our ankles together) and then come back down. She usually does about ten to fifteen of these toe raises with her feet together and then five on each individual foot, though she mentions that a one-footed toe raise is a bit harder to balance while brushing but still totally doable.

The good news? As Carrie says, though these mini-workouts are short, they're always enough to make her calves burn.

Carrie also points out that the benefits of toe raises include strengthening calf muscles and ankles, which "prevents ankle rolling when running or falling" and "can help improve balance" if you stand up straight when you do them: with your "back and tummy flat" and "hips rolled flat."

So the next time you manage to go through a whole day without ever finding the time to exercise, consider this little trick when you get out your toothbrush at night.

And thanks a million, Carrie! I really appreciate the tip.