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8 Exercises for a Full-Body Workout You Can Do Anywhere

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Squeezing in a workout when you’re traveling can be hard enough without also having to figure out how to literally squeeze it into your small hotel room or Airbnb. Amy Opielowski, CorePower Yoga’s Senior Manager of Quality and Innovation, tells Mental Floss that if you have enough room for a yoga mat, you can fit in a full-body workout. “All it takes is a yoga mat, one yoga block, and a few hand weights to get a solid workout anywhere,” she says.

She breaks down eight easy exercises you can use to get your blood pumping, whether you’re on the road or in your apartment. “Complete this routine three consecutive days a week. Rest 30 seconds between each exercise, just enough time to transition to the next move. Repeat the whole routine two to three times,” Opielowski says. Do each exercise for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and you’re guaranteed to break a sweat.

1. SPEED BLOCK TAP

Target: Cardio

- Stand in front of a block with your feet hip distance apart and a slight bend in your knees.

- Tap the ball mound of your foot on the block, then quickly switch feet.

2. SQUAT TO STANDING ROTATIONAL PRESS

Target: Legs and Shoulders

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- Stand with your feet hip distance apart and hold a weight in each hand. Draw the weights up to your shoulders, with your palms facing in, draw your hips back and down into a squat position.

- Exhale, engage your core, and press the right weight up to the ceiling as you pivot off the heel of your right foot and rotate your torso towards the left.

- Inhale and return to start position. Alternate to the left side and repeat.

3. ALTERNATE REVERSE FLY

Target: Legs and Back

- With a weight in each hand, stand with your feet hip distance apart, lower your hips back and down into a deep squat position. Hinge forward from your waist until your torso is parallel to the floor.

- Extend the weights under your shoulders with your arms straight and your palms facing in.

- Exhale and draw both weights out to the side, up to shoulder height. Maintain a soft bend in your elbow.

- Inhale and bring the weights back down to the start position, extended under your shoulders.

4. PUSH-UP PLANK FALLING TRIANGLE

Target: Core and Chest

- From a high plank position, shift weight onto your left hand and lift your right hand off ground.

- Rotate to the right and kick your left foot out to the right, coming into fallen triangle pose. Tap left foot with right hand.

- Return to start position and lower down into a push-up. Repeat on the other side.

5. SIDE FOREARM PLANK WITH KNEE-TO-ELBOW PULSES

Target: Core

Woman doing a side forearm plank exercise
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- Form side forearm plank with your elbow under your right shoulder and your heels, hips, shoulders, and head in one straight line.

- Inhale and extend your left arm overhead with your bicep aligned with your ear and your top left leg parallel to the floor.

- Exhale and draw your top elbow to your top knee and pulse three times.

- Inhale, extending the arm and leg once again.

- Repeat for one minute and then change sides.

6. ONE-LEG GLUTE BRIDGE WITH ONE-ARM CHEST PRESS

Target: Glutes, Hamstrings, and Chest

- Take a seat on your mat with your block in front of you.

- Hold a weight in your right hand and place your left foot flat on a block with your knee over your ankle. Extend your right leg out in front of you.

- Slowly lower down to your back, and raise your right leg so your knees are parallel to one another.

- Press your weight over your chest, palm facing forward, and press your left foot down into your block to lift your hips up towards the ceiling. (Keep your left arm on the ground for stability.)

- Lower your hips to hover above the floor as you bend your elbows out to a 90-degree angle at shoulder height.

- Exhale and press your weight back over your chest as you lift your hips up; inhale as you lower back to your start point.

- Repeat for one minute, then change sides.

7. V-UP BLOCK PASS

Target: Core and Chest

Woman doing a V-up exercise
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- Lie down on your mat, place the block in-between your hands, and extend the block over your head behind you. Extend your legs out long and hover your legs a few inches above the floor, with your feet flexed.

- As you exhale, pike your legs up and lift your torso, forming a V with your body. Place the block from your hands into your inner ankles.

- Inhale and slowly lower back to start position, but this time your block will be between your ankles. Repeat, switching the block from your hands to your legs each time.

8. BELLY-DOWN OPPOSITE ARM LEG RAISE

Target: Lower Back

- Lie on your mat on your stomach with your legs outstretched behind you.

- Reach your arms forward overhead with your thumbs slightly rotated up. Keep your head aligned with your spine.

- Push your hips into the ground and lift your right arm and left leg off the ground. Hold for a four-count.

- With control, switch sides.

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The Most (and Least) Expensive States for Staying Warm This Winter
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It’s that time of year again: Temperatures outside have plummeted, while your monthly heating bill is on the rise. If you want an idea of how much heat will cost you this winter (perhaps you blocked out last year’s damage to your bank account), one reliable indicator is location.

Average energy expenses vary from state to state due to factors like weather, house size, and local gas prices. Using data from sources including the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, WalletHub calculated the average monthly utility bill totals for all 50 states plus Washington D.C. in 2017.

Source: WalletHub

The personal finance website looked at four energy costs: electricity, natural gas, car fuel, and home heating oil. After putting these components together, Connecticut was found to be the state with the highest energy costs in 2017, with an average of $380 in monthly bills, followed by Alaska with $332 and Rhode Island with $329.

That includes data from the summer and winter months. For a better picture of which state’s residents spend the most on heat, we have to look at the individual energy costs. Michigan, which ranks 33rd overall, outdoes every other state in the natural gas department with an average bill of $60 a month. Alaska is close behind with $59, followed by Rhode Island With $58.

People living in Maine prefer oil to heat their homes, spending $84 a month on the fuel source. All six New England states—Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts—occupy the top six spots in this category.

So which state should you move to if you want to see your heating bill disappear? In Florida, the average household spends just $3 a month on natural gas and $0 on heating oil. In Hawaii, on average, the oil bill is $0 as well, and slightly higher for gas at $4. Of course, they make up for it when it comes time to crank up the AC: Both states break the top 10 in highest electricity costs.


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Don't Pour Alcohol on Your Bed Bugs—Try These Tips Instead
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Getting bed bugs is a nightmare experience, one that’s sure to cost you oodles of time, money, and emotional distress. The bugs are painfully hard to purge from your household, and it’s getting even harder as they become more resistant to common insecticides. Unfortunately, home remedies are often no match for these parasitic insects. Dousing them with rubbing alcohol (a tip you'll often hear) won’t kill them; in fact, it might just burn your house down, as a woman trying to rid her Cincinnati apartment of bed bugs found out recently. As The Washington Post reported, the alcohol in that case was too close to the flame of a candle or some type of incense, and ignited. It wasn't an isolated incident.

In the last 10 years or so, people trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol have started several house fires across the U.S., including a different incident in Cincinnati just two weeks ago. So short of burning down your entire house and starting over, how do you get rid of them?

The short answer is: Give up on the idea of saving money and call an exterminator. According to 2014 research, plenty of DIY bed bug-killing remedies are woefully ineffective. Rubbing alcohol, in fact, only killed half of the insects sprayed by the Rutgers University researchers in that study. Researchers have found that other recommended home remedies, like moth balls, foggers, or ultrasonic bug repellers, are even less effective. And don’t even think about using “natural” type products that use essential oils as the main ingredient. They might smell nice, but they won’t help your bug problem.

But before you call in the big guns, there are a few effective, concrete steps you can take to reduce your infestation. As Rutgers bedbug specialists Changlu Wang and Richard Cooper wrote in their bed bug fact sheet, putting your belongings in plastic storage bins or garbage bags is a good place to start. Since the bugs don’t like to climb on smooth plastic, this can help contain the infestation. Just make sure to treat whatever you’re putting inside the bags or bins first by putting them through the hot laundry, steaming, heating, or freezing them.

You’ll need a mattress encasement, too. This will keep the bugs that have already infested your mattress from escaping, meaning they won’t be able to feast on you anymore and will die of starvation. Nor will any new bugs be able to get inside to nest. You’ll want to make sure it’s a scientifically tested brand, though, since not all mattress encasements are bite-proof or escape-proof for bed bugs. (Most experts recommend the Protect-a-Bed BugLock encasement, which costs about $81 for the queen-sized version.)

Next, pick up some bed bug traps. Set them up under the legs of your furniture and around the perimeter of rooms to help detect new infestations and reduce existing ones. According to Wang and Cooper, a one-bedroom apartment might need eight to 12 of these traps, while bigger apartments will require more.

You’ll want to expose all your belongings to extreme temperatures before you even think about touching them again. Putting them through the washer/dryer on its hottest setting will do the trick to kill both bugs and their eggs, but if you need to eradicate bugs lurking in items you can’t wash, you can freeze them in plastic bags (as long as your freezer gets down to 0°F). You can also kill them with a steam cleaner, especially if you need to purge them from your couch or other upholstered furniture.

If you’ve still got a large number of bugs lurking in your house, you can tackle them with a vacuum cleaner, sucking them out of seams, zippers, trim, and other furniture crevices. But you’ll want to use a stocking or some other method of protecting your vacuum from being infested itself. (See Figure 6 here.)

Some research has also found that desiccant dusts that dehydrate bugs to death, like diatomaceous earth and silica gel, can be effective at controlling bed bug infestations (silica gel in particular) when spread around the perimeters of rooms, on bed frames and couches, and on furniture legs.

As we mentioned before, you’ll probably want to consult a professional even if you do all of the above, because if you miss even one bug or egg, you'll be back to where you started. The cost of an exterminator pales in comparison to the cost of throwing out everything you own, moving homes, and then realizing you’ve brought the bed bugs with you anyway.

The bad news for anyone who’s already infested is that prevention really is key when it comes to bed bugs. So brush up on what the pests look like, make sure to check your hotel room for them when you travel, and if you spot them in your apartment, make sure to warn your neighbors.

[h/t The Washington Post]

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