Simple exercises help students keep New Year's resolutions

GADGETS

While technology can lure people into being couch potatoes, it also can be a great friend to have when getting active.

Band Aid

Fitness wristbands, like Fitbit, monitor physical activity and even sleep. According to fitbit.com, the product tracks steps, distance, stairs climbed, calories burned and minutes of the day being active. It’s waterproof and safe to wear in the shower as well as impervious to sweat.

A digital display on the wristband shows statistics and the time. The Fitbit can sync with smartphones and has its own app. There is a sleep monitor that can wake up the wearer with a silent alarm.

Other similar fitness wristbands include the Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up and AIRO.

Rise and Rep

The alarm clock dumbbell is just as it sounds, a combination of the two. Shape Up’s device works as a morning motivator. Once the alarm goes off, you must do 30 bicep reps to get the alarm to turn off.

An App Pal a Day

Health apps like MyFitnessPal helps users set concrete goals and track their progress.

According to myfitnesspal.com, the app helps people set daily calorie goals and record what they eat. It also serves as a log for physical activity and tracks calories burned.

MyFitnessPal also can generate graphs to show weight loss progress and a calorie breakdown pie chart.

GET MOVING

Nicole Koontz, an exercise science instructor and assistant director of Ball State’s Adult Physical Fitness Program, said people’s biggest excuse to not work out is not having the time, but getting fit doesn’t necessarily mean spending three hours at the gym every day.

BOOK SMART

It’s time to put all those old textbooks you were unable to sell back to use. Fill up a backpack with 10 to 20 pounds of books and adjust the straps to closely hug the bag to your body so that it’s secure and not loose or sagging off the back.

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Standard Lunge
Works: Thighs, butt, abs, lower back, calves, hips and obliques

Begin by spreading your feet about 6-12 inches apart. Bring your right foot forward, then slowly bend your left knee down. Keep your weight on your right leg and go down as low as possible without your left knee touching the ground.

Slowly bring yourself back up into the starting position with your feet spread apart and alternate to bending your right knee in the same motion. Repeat on each side for a total of 10 reps.

Lateral Lunge

While working many of the muscle groups of the standard lunge, the lateral lunge works more hip, ankle and knee flexibility.

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Spread your feet shoulder length apart with your hands on hips. Step to the right while shifting your body weight to your right leg. Keep squatting until you’ve reached a 90-degree angle with your right knee.

While keeping back upright as possible, drop butt downwards in sitting motion. Then push off from the right leg and bring it back next to the left leg in one step. Alternate sides for 10 reps.

PUT ON SOME WEIGHT
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Use two 5- or 10-pound dumbbells; you can get them at Target for as cheap as less than $11 a piece. They shouldn’t be too easy to lift, but you shouldn’t have to struggle to pick one up either.

Wall Sit
Works: Arms, thighs, glutes and calves

Slide back down a wall by slowly bending your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Your knees should line up with your ankles for best results. Hold the position and use the weights to do bicep curls, extending your arms in front and curling the dumbbells to your chest. Try to hold for 60 seconds.

Reverse Fly
Works: Chest, abs and back

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Bend slightly forward from the waist so you can feel it in your abs and extend your arms slowly side to side at the same time. Repeat for 10 reps.

Begin by standing straight with one foot in front of the other. Your front knee should be slightly bent. Bring the dumbbells in each hand together in front of you, arms extended, with your palms facing each other.

STEP IT UP

Workout equipment is built right into your home in the form of a staircase or stoop.



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Tricep Dip
Works: Shoulders and arms

Sit in front of the step facing away, with knees together slightly bent in front of you. Reach arms back and grab the edge of the elevated step with arms bent back into a 90-degree angle. Slowly straighten them, pushing yourself up and then lowering yourself down again. Repeat 10 reps.


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