By Denise Foley
Don’t you dare tell Valeri Orsoni that you don’t have time to exercise. The fitness coach, founder of LeBootCamp, and author of Le Personal Coach: A French Trainers Simple Secrets for Getting Fit and Slim Without the Gym, will tell you nicely — and in a French accent — that you are full of it.
“A study that came out in 2011 showed that cardiovascular-wise people who are active all day — who take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk to see their colleague at the end of the hall instead of emailing — have hearts that are in better shape,” she points out. “There are plenty of people who go to the gym twice a week and are couch potatoes the rest of the week.”
In other words, consider your life one big gym. Orsoni recommends sneaking in a few great toning exercises while you’re doing other things, like these:
While you’re filling up your tank: Try the gas station stair-stepper. “When I’m filling up my tank, I’m not sitting on my butt in the car,” says Orsoni. “I’m stepping up and down on the island. I had my Dad with me one day and he was making fun of me, but I did about 800 steps. That may seem like nothing, but as someone who is toned, I can tell you I felt it!”
While sitting at your desk: Get your butt in gear and avoid what used to be called “secretary spread.” “When you’re on the phone, contract and release your glutes nonstop,” advises Orsoni. You can do this move while sitting or standing.
While standing at the kitchen sink: “Suck in your abs when you’re washing the dishes,” she recommends. You can also do pushups — or to be more precise, push-aways. Put your hands on the counter about shoulder-width apart, take a couple of steps back and push away. You’ll feel this one in your shoulders and upper arms.
While emptying the dishwasher: Don’t bend over — squat, says Orsoni. With your knees and feet pointed outward instead of forward, slowly squat down plie-style to remove plates and utensils and slowly rise up. This exercise will save your back and do wonders for your buns.
While you’re brushing your teeth: Improve your balance. Lift the right leg while you brush one side of your mouth for 60 seconds, and then lift the left while you brush the other side for another 60 seconds.