Squeezing fitness into your day

Jenny Hein, right, and Vicky Hallett workout while styling their hair. Image: Susan Biddle

Jenny Hein, right, and Vicky Hallett workout while styling their hair. Photograph: Susan Biddle

Many, many times I have written here about the benefits of exercise in cancer prevention and recurrence. While I may not be able to control whether or not my cancer comes back, it makes the best sense to me, to put those things in place, such as exercise and a healthy diet, to play my part in minimizing the chances of a recurrence. But, exercise! Sometimes you just don’t feel like you have the time to fit it in. That’s why I love the story of  Brigette Polmar and Jenny Hein, two women who discovered how to combine their daily chores with workouts, and have now put their exercises online.

Last September, the two friends were doing the coffee and girl talk thing on Hein’s porch in Ashburn, Virginia, when the duo had an incredible revelation: they both regularly did squats while styling their hair.

No one had ever told them that bottom-strengthening and blow-drying belong together, but for the busy mums looking to make every minute count, the partnership was natural.

“I’d been trying to squeeze it in,” explains Polmar (38). Realising that there were countless other ways to make exercise part of life’s daily chores and that there might be an online business opportunity for such advice, they rushed to see if the domain name Squeezeitin.com was available. It was.

Hein (36) is a certified fitness instructor, which has come in handy for demonstrating moves, while Polmar’s former career in TV means the production values are higher than you’d expect from a couple of self-described “crazy moms from the ’burbs”.

The free site is just over a month old, but there are already enough exercises to keep you sweating in any room of the house – hair-styling “hot squats” in the bathroom, “bag some biceps” curls with groceries in the kitchen, “get a leg up” lifts while lying on the living room rug playing with your kid.

Their cardio solution? Running up and down your stairs. If you can manage 10 minutes at a time, three times a day, that’s equivalent to setting aside a straight half-hour.

They recognise, of course, that this concept isn’t entirely novel. Loads of folks engage in unexpected exercise outside the gym, whether it’s dancing around to their favourite song as they get dressed or balancing on one leg while waiting to cross the street.

The women hope everyone will learn the lesson that muscles are always eager for some attention.

“A lot of people think if you don’t go to the gym, you fail. But every movement is a success,” Polmar says.

And although the site is still in its infancy, Polmar and Hein have plans to pump it up with ideas for squeezing it in on the playground, at the office, in the car and more.

It seems they’re even coming up with ways for me to add exercise to my reporting. As I grabbed my notebook off a table on my way out of Hein’s house, she said, “You know, you could squat while you’re doing that.” 

 (Source: LA Times/Washington Post)

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