It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out why regions with the highest heat and humidity also have the highest levels of obesity. When the mercury outside your door is hitting 95-degrees or more, the last thing you feel like doing is going for a jog. Here, Greg Ryan, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer in New Orleans shares moves that let you burn calories without stepping beyond the deliciously frigid, five-foot space directly in front of your A/C or fan.
1. Try helicopter twists. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms raised rigidly out to either side at shoulder height, like helicopter blades. While keeping your hips and head facing forward, tighten your stomach muscles and rotate your torso left and right. Do 30 twists. Rest a minute. Repeat 3 times.
2. Get your hula on. Hula hooping suffers from a frivolous reputation—it’s actually a great fitness activity that can really get your heart racing. Spend at least five minutes trying to keep it in orbit around your hips. Too easy? Consider investing in a weighted hoop.
3. Test your balance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms straight down by your sides. Move one foot out in front of you and tap your toes on the floor (lean slightly in the opposite direction to keep your balance), then move that foot behind you and tap the floor again. Do 15 reps without ever putting that foot down, then switch feet. Keep it up for 5 minutes to strengthen your abs, hips, and ankles. Too easy? Tap further out to the side.
4. Work your core. Lie on your back and bend your knees so your legs make right angles. Exhale and squeeze your stomach mucles as you reach your hands towards your toes and roll your head, neck, and shoulders off of the ground. Inhale as you slowly roll your way down. Start with 3 sets of 15 reps, resting a minute between each set.
5. Take a leap. You can get a surprisingly intense workout by hopping side-to-side over a rolled-up towel. Keep your feet together and your hands on your hips, and do as many jumps as you can in 15 seconds. Rest. Repeat at least 3 times. Note: Sneakers required to avoid dangerous slips.
6. Build a bridge. Lay face-up on the floor with your feet spread slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed. Engage your stomach muscles to draw your belly button into your spine, then squeeze your glutes (a.k.a. butt muscles) and raise your pelvis an inch or two off the ground. Lower it down and repeat, aiming for 3 sets of 15.
7. Do jumping jills. To do jumping jacks without smacking your light fixtures, try this tweak: Place your right foot in front of an invisible line, and your left behind it. Next place your arms in the opposite positions (left one in front, right one behind). Now quickly switch your hands and feet back and forth. See how many you can do in 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
8. Pump iron, er, aluminum. Stand on one foot while holding a soup can in each hand, arms resting by your sides. Slowly raise the cans to shoulder height, then return to your starting point. Do 10 reps, switch feet, then do 10 more. Rest a minute, then do 2 more sets. Too easy? Try bigger cans or bottles.