Go To It! Put a Little Spring in Your Step

I don’t know about you but I’m ready for Spring! Despite the lack of snow this season, I still feel like I have been hibernating for the past 3 months, eating and sleeping my way through the bleak winter days. The thought of having to get into shorts soon makes me cringe.

Below are some simple exercises I am doing to get my legs into shorts shape without having to hit the gym.

1) Walk instead of ride.
I know it’s easy for me to say, given I live in New York City and happen to live within two blocks of my office, but I really try to walk as much as I can. Any time I visit friends or family in other neighborhoods, I strap on a backpack filled with a change of shoes and some make-up and head out the door in sneakers. My friends and family have gotten used to me arriving out of breath and looking a little bedraggled, but I find that walking lifts my spirits, gives me more energy, and strengthens and tones my legs.
If you must ride, get off the bus or subway a stop or two before yours or park your car a few blocks away from your destination.

2) Climb the stairs.
I work on the 7th floor and every morning I try to take the stairs. It’s hard to motivate before I have had my coffee and it sucks to arrive at my cubicle wheezing, but the more I do it, the easier it becomes and the better I feel. So, get off the elevator a few floors below yours; you’ll notice the difference in your stamina and your physique within days.

3) Do squats
I took my sister’s brilliant advice and do squats while brushing my teeth. Squats strengthen your quads and hamstrings and, maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think they are making my dreams of having a JLo Backside a reality. Watch this Mayo Clinic video for the proper technique so you don’t strain your knees.

4) Raise and lower your heels.
I do these while washing dishes to strengthen and define my calf muscles. Added bonus: they seem to help counteract the ill effects of wearing heels for 8 hours straight!

5) Stretch your calf muscles
When I was a runner (by that I mean someone who was forced to run in grade school but wound up being pretty good at it), I had the worst shin splints ever. I was told to constantly stretch my calf muscles and I find they help strengthen other leg muscles too.

So, go to it! Get those legs into shorts shape and tell us about your favorite workouts for shorts season.


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