1 Minute Exercise: Superman


Difficulty: Easy
Active Time: 1 minute

This might also be a yoga or pilates exercise. I know I did not make it up. But it is fun to channel Superman’s energy while doing it.

Equipment:

  • Timer (courtesy of my computer this time)
  • Yoga mat or blanket on the floor

Instructions:

  1. Set timer for 1 minute.
  2. Lie down on on your belly.
  3. Hold arms outstretched in front of you, lifting upper body slightly off the floor. At the same time, stretch legs straight behind you, lifting them slightly off the floor. You should look like Superman in flight. If you want, think brave Superman-like thoughts.
  4. Hold for a count of 12, then rest for a count of 3.
  5. Repeat until the timer sounds.

Muscles Used:

  • Core muscles

Calories Burned:

  • I think I should lose this category. I haven’t had a chance to figure out how to estimate this yet.

Reward for Self:

  • 1 super star!

1 Minute Exercise: Boat


Difficulty: Medium
Active Time: 1 minute

I think this might be a pilates or yoga exercise. I rate it as medium, because my abs started to burn by the end of the minute. It took some self-discipline not to give up the last 10 seconds!

Equipment:

  • Timer (courtesy of my computer this time)
  • Floor space

Instructions:

  1. Set timer for 1 minute.
  2. Sit on the floor, with legs outstretched.
  3. Lift legs while leaning backwards to form a V-shaped boat with your body, balancing your body on your rear end. Lift your arms so that they are parallel to the ground, forming the sides of the boat. Bend knees so that lower half of your legs are parallel to the ground. Hold.
  4. For extra intensity, alternate between lifting your legs so that they form a straight line (making a V with your body), and bending your legs so that the lower half of your legs are parallel to the boat.
  5. Recite a positive mantra to yourself, such as “You can do this!” or “You are strong!” to get you through the last few seconds.

Muscles Used:

  • Definitely abs! Mine burned.  My legs also seemed tired afterwards.

Calories Burned:

  • Who knows?

Reward for Self:

  • 1 more star!

1 Minute Exercise: Animal!


Difficulty: Super Easy
Active Time: 1 minute

Today, I took some inspiration from improv. I asked my husband for the name of an animal and made up movements inspired by the animal. I think this would be a fun exercise game with kids.

Equipment:

  • Timer (courtesy of my cell phone)

Instructions:

  1. Choose an animal (something that moves!)  My husband suggested a Tyrannosaurus.
  2. Set timer for 1 minute.
  3. Wander around your home like an active version of that animal, until the time sounds!  Try to use both your arms and legs.
  4. Laugh at your own silliness.

Muscles Used:

  • In my version of a Tyrannosaurs, I found myself using my arms a lot and clenching my biceps.  I also stomped around with my legs.  My heart-rate definitely went up, as I was a bit out of breath after a minute.  I found myself stretching my jaw and face too, in my imitation of big predator.  I think part of the fun of this “exercise” is figuring out afterwards what body parts I used!

Calories Burned:

  • Once again, I have no idea. It did seem more animated than yesterday’s “extended table.”

Reward for Self:

  • 1 more star!

1 Minute Exercise: Extended Table


Difficulty: Super Easy
Active Time: 1 minute

Today’s improvised exercise focused on developing my core strength.

Equipment:

  • Timer (courtesy of my cell phone)
  • Floor space

Instructions:

  1. Set timer for 30 seconds.
  2. Get down on hands and knees, to form a table.
  3. Extend right arm and left leg, so that they are parallel to the ground.  Hold until the timer sounds.
  4. Set timer for another 30 seconds, and repeat with opposite arm and leg.

Muscles Used:

  • Core muscles.

Calories Burned:

  • Eh, probably minimal. This didn’t raise my heartbeat or make me break a sweat. But I did feel satisfied that I spent a little time today trying to strengthen some muscle groups.

Reward for Self:

  • 1 star! Can’t wait to make up something new tomorrow.

1 Minute Exercise: Sitting and Standing


Difficulty: Super Easy
Active Time: 1 minute

After developing a habit of exercise for the first time in my whole life last November until February, I got exhausted in March and fell off the wagon. The past few days, I have been trying to convince myself to just take a walk for 15 minutes per day. No success.

Today, I decided to be kind to myself. I looked at myself honestly and realized that I only have the willpower to make myself do 1 minute of exercise. So that is the micro-change I am making this week: 1 minute of exercise per day. I know next to nothing about fitness, but I figure that any amount of movement is better for my heart and my body than no movement at all. I got the idea of sitting and standing as a “legitimate” exercise, from one of last season’s episodes of The Biggest Loser.

Equipment:

  • Timer (courtesy of my cell phone)
  • A Seat (my ottoman)

Instructions:

  1. Set timer for 1 minute.
  2. Stand, and raise arms over head.
  3. Lower arms as you sit down on the seat. I found it amusing to sweep my arms to the sides as I brought them down, to mimic a breast-stroke. Similarly, I raised my arms with my hands pressed together.
  4. Repeat, until the timer sounds.  My husband laughed at my improvised exercise, but he still congratulated me when I reached my goal.

Muscles Used:

  • As far as I can tell (very unscientifically), I used my legs, butt, arms, and heart. More muscles will speak up if any are sore tomorrow.

Calories Burned:

  • No clue!

Reward for Self:

  • 1 star, which I drew on the calendar for myself immediately after the timer rang! Right now, the star and the sense of accomplishment were satisfying enough, as it was the first time I achieved any of my exercise goals in a while. I may translate the star into a point to earn something for myself in the future.