If today was like most days, you woke up and got out of bed to begin the day. Maybe it was with a great sense of excitement and enthusiasm about the things that were on the list to attempt and accomplish. Maybe it was with an overwhelming feeling of dread and disdain that overshadowed the thoughts of the upcoming day. Either one, you make your way to the bathroom and realize something. You want to get done as quickly as you can, without having to think about it much. But you do think about it, and are greatly bothered. Suddenly, rational thinking takes over, asking you the following: “Are you unhappy with the profile that you see in the mirror each morning just before stepping into the shower?” Do you keep telling yourself that you will seriously start acting on doing something about it later? When will later actually be? Are you at a loss as to what to actually do, considering the pace of your morning and daily schedule?
First, stop being ashamed and discouraged! It is possible to build up and tone a physique through regular exercise and sensible dieting. This does not happen overnight, and it does require getting used to setting up and sticking with certain routines and habits. The good news is that it does not have to take a great deal of time or fancy equipment to start out. What it takes is making up your mind to do this, first, and then following through on the commitment. A good start is in working on the upper body, the chest, arms and abdominals first. Fifteen to twenty minutes is enough time to begin a fitness program in the morning, and later on you will want to move on to do more in the way of a longer and more comprehensive workout and training routine.
The abdominals are a set of muscles that help the posture and along with other muscle groups are responsible for many of the tasks that we usually take for granted. Among these tasks are sitting, standing, and others involving strength generated from the middle body muscles, the core muscles. Unfortunately, these are often hidden under a layer of fat. To start with exercise, there are a few effectives ones that can be done quickly, but must be done properly. In order to stay under the overall fifteen to twenty minute limit, there are three exercises that can be done first. These are the situps, the crunches, and the leg lifts.
To do the setup, lie flat on the floor. While lying, place the soles of the feet flat on the floor so that the knees are brought together, pointed toward the ceiling. Bring the heels of the feet as close to the buttocks as is comfortable. Interlace the fingers of your hands behind your head, or cross your arms across your chest, and slowly raise your shoulders off the floor until your chest nearly reaches your knees. Breathe slowly as you do so. Use the midsection muscles to help you do this, but it may not be easy to do at first. After you have done this, lower yourself back to the floor, again using the midsection muscles. To start, do this 10-15 repetitions, which will make up a single set. After one set has been completed, repeat this for a total of two or three sets. If these are difficult to perform, do as many as you can without hurting yourself in a single set, and repeat this 2-3 times. As you get better at this exercise, you can always add more repetitions.
To do the crunches, lie flat on the floor. Interlace the fingers of your hands behind your head, or cross your arms across your chest. Using the midsection muscles, raise your upper body at the same time you are lifting your legs, folding them at the knees. Breathe slowly as you do so. When the legs below your knees are parallel to the floor, and your head and shoulders are above your chest, your midsection muscles will be contracted (“crunched”). Reverse what was just done, returning to a position of lying flat on the floor. As was done for the situps, perform this for 10-15 repetitions, for 2-3 sets. Again, if these are difficult to perform, do as many as you can.
To do the leg lifts, lie flat on the floor. Keeping the upper body rested flat on the floor, lift the outstretched legs to a 45 degree position, holding the legs close together, then lower them back to the floor. Breathe slowly as you do so. It may be easier to do this if the hands are placed under the small of the back, with the palms facing the floor. Do this for 8-10 repetitions, for 2-3 sets.
At this point, there are a couple of more exercises to go before the morning routine has been completed.
Pushups are a good exercise for both the chest and arms. To start the pushup, lie face down on the floor, with the hands a little more than shoulder width apart, palms flat on the floor, and the toes of the feet resting on the floor. If you wish, you can also perform this on your fists, with the joints of the knuckles resting flat on the floor. Inhale, and as you exhale, press your body straight up, fully extending the arms. You should be balanced on your toes at this point. If you have problems with your back, this can also be done from the knees, instead of the toes, on the floor. After the arms have been extended, inhale, then exhale again, lowering the body fully back to the floor. Do this for 10-15 repetitions, for 2-3 sets.
A variation of the pushup, good for strengthening the arms as well as the chest, is the one arm pushup. This is performed in the same manner as the regular pushup, only that the body is balanced on one hand. This may take a little practice in order to do it properly, but the same 10-15 repetitions, for 2-3 sets apply in this routine also.
In the space of fifteen to twenty minutes at the start of the day, an exercise and training routine can be performed that will start the busy man on a path toward the goal of a better looking, and conditioned, body. This is only a start though, as additional training and conditioning of the muscles are required, and careful attention has to be given to nutrition and what is actually eaten throughout the day.