As the icy slush of winter melts into spring, it's time to think outdoors. Personal trainer Andrea Metcalf says getting ready for the green growth of spring provides a budding opportunity for another kind of workout, which she calls Garden-lates.
Like my other Pilates-inspired routines, Garden-lates provides tips on getting your body ready and aligned. Working in the yard can be a great form of exercise. Mowing a lawn with a power mower can burn around 300 calories per hour (for a 150-pound person). Raking the lawn burns around 270 calories per hour. Planting seedlings can burn around 306 calorie per hour.
Keep in mind, however, that the bending, pulling, raking and pushing can wreak havoc on your sedentary body. Try these five simple Garden-lates exercises to be ready for your garden experiences.
Wide Posture Pulls
Using a piece of tubing or exercise band, start with your arms extended in front of you and your shoulders relaxed. Slowly pull your arms to a wide position and hold for 3 to 5 seconds. This exercise helps strengthen the upper back muscles.
Lunge and Twist
This stretch is great for the hips and waistline. Start in a low lunge position with your back knee on the floor. Press the hips forward and hold for three to five seconds. Then, rotate your upper body across the front leg. Hold for three to five seconds and release the stretch. Perform five to eight stretches on each side. This stretch focuses on opening the hip flexors and tones the core muscles with emphasis on the obliques.
Start by crossing your right leg to the left corner into a mini-lunge position. Reach toward the ground with the opposite hand and lift your right hand extended high and back. Perform 15 repetitions on each side. This focuses on strengthening the hips and lower back muscles as well as the backs of the arms.
Start with your head and shoulders on a ball or short bench, keeping your weight in the mid- to upper back. Lower and raise your hips with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can add a small therapy ball or playground ball to keep your knees open and engage the inner thigh muscles. Perform 20 repetitions. This exercise helps strengthen the lower back.
Start seated on a ball or on the edge of a chair. Extend one leg to the side and other knee bent for stability. Slowly stretch down while lifting the elbow up toward the ceiling. Make the elbow lift and stretch the main component of this movement. This stretch helps open the core muscles and hamstrings.
Burn more calories while you walk
Align your body with all of Andrea's Live-alates workouts
Printed from Oprah.com on Saturday, March 8, 2014
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