Today's not just any old Wednesday; it's Leap Day. Having an extra 24 hours in 2012 is a good reminder that we have the time to make exercise a priority, even when lives are hectic. In honor of the day, use this extra time to your advantage with a full, effective workout. Here are five workout ideas to "celebrate" Leap Day.
- Perfect your squat: Or deadlift, or any other basic move that is a mainstay of your routine. When workouts become routine, it can be easy to do them on autopilot, so even if you've been doing these exercises for a long time, take a few extra minutes today to check your form in the mirror. Learn how to do a perfect squat here and how to do a deadlift here.
- Go longer: Having an extra 24 hours this year is a good reminder that we can always make time for exercise. Even if you can't double your workout, you can add a few extra minutes to your total. You'll be done before you know it and you'll burn a significant number of extra calories while you're at it. To get an idea of just how effective a few extra minutes can be, here's how many calories you burn from 30 minutes of different types of cardio.
- Try a new workout: If you're not branching out because you don't want to spend the time learning another workout, Leap Day's the perfect time to take a chance on a new workout. Peruse the class schedule at your gym, try a new intense elliptical workout, or otherwise change up your normal routine.
- Take time to stretch: When we're pressed for time, post-workout stretching is often the first to go. But tight, sore muscles the next day will only dampen your enthusiasm to stick to a workout. Spend time today on your muscles with these essential post-workout stretches.
- Slow down: Intense, calorie-torching exercises are great, but sometimes you just need a nice slow jog or restorative yoga class to combat a busy schedule. And what better time to refresh and re-energize than the middle of the week? If you need some ideas, here are some slow, low-intensity workouts to try.