7 Workouts For Lazy Days That'll Actually Enhance Your Downtime
Some days are just not meant for a hardcore, heart-pumping workout. Whether you're feeling tired, or simply want to go at a slower pace for the day, it's good to keep in mind that exercise doesn't always have to equal high levels of intensity. In fact, there are plenty of workouts for lazy days that'll actually make your downtime and your connection to your body even deeper than if you were to simply push yourself through a cycling class, despite your body's craving for a slower pace.
After all, while some days are totally just meant for staying put and relaxing, there are also the times when, despite not wanting to go hard, you still want to move a little bit, just to get yourself off the couch for at least a little while.
"There are days for everyone, even trainers, when you don’t want to work out, even though something in your head says you need to move," James Shapiro, an independent trainer in New York City and owner of Primal Power Fitness, tells Elite Daily.
Your fitness and energy levels are important to regulate and keep consistent, Shaprio explains, but keep in mind that you can definitely still reach your goals through a low-key, yet progressive path forward.
"Even if you find yourself in that lazy mood," he says, "there are definitely great things you can do to feel refreshed and maintain a daily movement habit."
1. Go For A Walk
Shapiro recommends starting with a walk to your local park, and as you do so, focus on stretching your arms to the sky from time to time, and breathing through your stomach.
And, listen, a walk is enough, Shapiro tells Elite Daily. It's always enough. However, he adds that, if you feel like it, you can also aim to do one set of simple exercises when you reach your destination: maybe a set of 10 to 20 modified push-ups, for example.
2. Do An Unusual Stretch
During your lazy day workout, Shapiro suggests trying some stretches you might not normally make time for, like one of his personal favorites, called the ulnar-bicep tendon flex.
"You can do this move seated or standing," he tells Elite Daily. "Extend your arms out to the side to create a T. With palms facing up, extend your fingers down to the floor for one second, and bring them back up. It’s a fast, but controlled repetition."
You should feel this in your wrists, shoulders, and your neck, he says. For an added bonus, tilt your head up and relax your jaw.
3. Focus On Mindfulness
On those days when you need to prioritize downtime, Shapiro recommends focusing on your well-being through a simple mindfulness practice, that still serves to ignite a little bodily awareness.
"Align yourself against a wall with your heels, hips, shoulders, and back of the head making contact with the wall," he explains. "Close your eyes, and focus on 10 deep breaths, inhaling from the nose, and exhaling through the roof of your mouth. Make each and every successive breathe longer."
4. Do A Few Sun Salutations
“A set of strong sun salutations will give you everything you need to get yourself moving," Kelly Isaac, a yoga teacher and co-founder of Fierce Grace, tells Elite Daily.
You can do one sun salutation, or you can do 10; it's totally up to you. The only real thing to keep in mind here, Isaac explains, is moving at the pace of your own breath so you don't feel too overwhelmed by each movement.
5. Try New Breathing Techniques
According to yoga and meditation teacher, Veronica Parker, a specific type of breathing technique, which comes from the practice of kundalini yoga, can be a perfect addition to your short, lazy-day workout.
"It’s called ego eradicator," Parker tells Elite Daily. "It helps clear your mind, and yes, move the ego out of the way."
To do it yourself, sit down on a chair and close your eyes, she explains. Bring your gaze to middle of your forehead. Raise your arms on either side of your ears, with your thumbs sticking up to the sky, and your fingers plucked into your palms.
Begin doing breath of fire, she says, which is an equal inhale and exhale, in and out of the nose, while pumping your navel, for about three minutes total.
To finish this off, inhale deeply through your nose, hold your breath for a moment, and bring your thumbs together to touch on top of your head. Spread your fingers wide, and exhale your breath as you rain your fingers all the way down to the ground.
6. Commit To Just 10 Minutes Of Movement
"Set a timer for 10 minutes, because you can do anything for 10 minutes, right?" personal trainer and cycling instructor, Kyra Williams, tells Elite Daily.
During those 10 minutes, Williams recommends doing as many rounds as you can of the following moves: 30 bicycle crunches, 20 glute bridges, 10 lying-down, straight-leg raises, 20 mountain climbers, and 30 superman back extensions.
You'll be on the floor the entire time, but those 10 minutes will definitely get the blood flowing, Williams says.
7. A Good Ol' Backbend
Kevin Yang, vice president of fitness and partnerships at POPiN, suggests doing some supported back-bending during your lazy-day workout.
"Lying on your back with a yoga block or bolster, so that you're in a supported backbend, is a great way to relax and counteract the hunched posture most of us are in all day," Yang tells Elite Daily. "It will help improve thoracic spine mobility, as well as breathing capacity, without a whole lot of physical effort."
That whole "without a lot of physical effort" part is definitely appealing, no?