Six-pack on the go


Exercises you can do anywhere!
By Cody McHaney, NASM CPT

What do you think is the number one reason people claim they can’t exercise?
Most people will say that they just don’t have time for it in their busy schedules, and this is understandable because who has time for an hour of exercise when they’re constantly working, taking care of kids and stressing about everything? Well, most people are unaware that exercise doesn’t have to take very long or require any equipment at all. You can exercise just ten minutes a day with a zero-dollar-budget, busy schedule, no equipment, and still enjoy some of exercise’s copious benefits. There are plenty of exercises that you can do anywhere at anytime to boost your metabolic rate, feel awesome, and improve your quality of life.

Among the vast benefits to exercise are some that deserve a little bit of extra attention. First off, the brain greatly benefits from exercise. In fact when you exercise your brain releases brain derived neurotropic factor, which stimulates neurogenesis, (the growth of new brain cells). This is something scientists used to think was impossible, but recently has been shown to occur in people of all ages!

Secondly, exercise reduces stress which is extremely important because stress not only makes you unhappy; it also compromises higher cognitive function and will power. This makes it harder to eat healthy while stress releases cortisol into the blood making you crave fats and sugars, and stimulates visceral fat storage. A combination of weakened will power and a hormone that makes you crave fats and sugars is like pouring gasoline on a bonfire! Stress can cause many illnesses, weakens the immune system and raises blood pressure.

Exercise also increases your Resting Metabolic Rate, (RMR). RMR is how much energy your body expends when you’re just resting. If you exercise regularly, it’s very likely that you burn more calories doing nothing than people who don’t exercise burn when they’re doing nothing. There are many things that contribute to the higher caloric expenditure, mostly relating to how the body brings itself back to a balanced state, recovering from exercise. However, to have access to these awesome features of exercise, you need to actually do the exercise.

When designing a routine, all the exercises should have a purpose. A good example is the squat. People squat every day, ideally using correct squatting technique every time they stand up, sit down, or pick something up. Adding squats to your routine is usually a great idea because it’s a full body, functional, useful exercise. It will strengthen you to move better during real life situations, while burning lots of calories, requiring no equipment, and giving you the ability to do your workout anywhere you may be.


Another thing to be mindful of when selecting your exercises is the way your core is being trained. Core is a very subjective term and can refer to many different muscles, but the main objective never changes. The core’s job is to stabilize the body while it moves. Your core exercises should be primarily focused on isometric stability in order to train your core to function the way it should throughout your daily routine. There are many options when selecting your core exercises. Attached to this article is a video of me describing how to do an exercise called the dead bug, which is an awesome option.

Lastly, when selecting your routine exercises, make sure that they are safe for you, and being preformed correctly.

Cody McHaney is a fitness trainer with Northwest Personal Training in Vancouver. He will be presenting a free exercise seminar entitled “Knowledge is Power” June 24 at Northwest Personal Training, 1011 Broadway in Vancouver.  For information, call 360-574-7292.