Watching the Olympics is a great way to spend time with friends and family, and root for Team USA. This winter, watch all the excitement and feel like a part of the games, by including some fitness exercises to keep your waistline trimmed. Try these tips from Shana Schneider, fitness expert and Founder of FITWEEK, a fitness company dedicated to helping women turn any week into a fitweek.
I am always amazed by the agility, speed, and skill of Olympic athletes. The hours of training that they put in is remarkable! While there are only a select few who get the opportunity to compete on this world stage, here are a few fit and fun ways you and the family can feel like you’re part of the games while watching them on TV:
- Figure skating – Turn your living room into the rink. All you need is wax paper, rubber bands and carpet. Cover your shoes or slippers with the paper, secure it around your ankle with the rubber band, and you’re good to go.
- Speed Skating – Stand with your feet hip distance apart and arms to the right (one at shoulder height and the other across your body.) Pick up your left foot so you’re standing on one leg. Hop to the other foot and swing your arms to the other side. Another option is to hinge at the waist so your chest is parallel to the floor with your hands behind your back and stand with your legs slightly wider than your shoulders. Shift your weight to one side and step to that side then the other. Remember to engage your abs for this to protect your back. (Sound familiar? This is an actual exercise you may have done in a fitness class!)
- Mogul Skiing on the couch – Sit with your back nice and straight. Bend your arms like you’re holding a pair of poles and squeeze your knees together, then lift your knees up and move your feet to the right and then the left. See if you can keep this up for the length of the race down the mountain.
- Luge – Lay on your back with your arms at your side and your legs straight out. Do a small stomach crunch and hold it. Squeeze everything together with your legs out and your chin pulled in. (If you’ve done pilates, it’s like the very beginning of a roll up.) See if you can hold that position for a full run of the course. For the Skeleton races, do the same thing, but on your stomach!
- Bobsleigh – This one is fun for a group! Sit on the floor with one person in front of the other so that your arms hang over the person’s legs behind you. Then, when then buzzer goes off, lean side to side and follow the curves of the course on the screen. You can even have the person in front lead the group, then have everyone take a turn being the leader.
- Cross Country Skiing – This can be a great workout for your arms! Imitate their movement by swinging your arms front to back in opposite directions. Add some light hand weights to this for some extra oomph, but be sure to stay in control of the movement!
- Snowboarder – Strike a pose. You’ve seen them – one hand on the board, knees bent and one arm in the air. See if you can hold any of those poses with your two feed on the ground. Now just imagine doing that in the air!