Mindful Sodexo

Menu

The new year is a great time to recommit to taking care of yourself. To help you do that, we’ve created the 4-Week Total-Body, Tune-Up Challenge. Each week, you’ll get a 15-minute toning workout to shape your arms, flatten your belly, firm your butt, and sculpt your legs. There’s also a weekly cardio workout prescription to crank up your calorie burn and boost your fitness. Not only will you look good, you’ll feel more energized, improve your mood, sleep better, and reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. So, what are you waiting for?

 

week

 

Let’s kick off this challenge by building a strong foundation with moves that target your core muscles in your back, buttocks, hips, and abdomen. A strong core not only looks good, it makes everything you do easier. Practically every move you make—picking up kids and groceries, swinging a racquet or golf club, pushing a lawnmower or vacuum—depends on your core. Aim to do this workout three or four times a week.

Single leg deadlift

Stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. Raise your left leg behind you as you lower your head and torso toward the floor. Keep your head, torso, and left leg in line, lowering as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Hold for a second, and then slowly stand back up. Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.

Plank

Get down on your forearms and extend your legs so your body is in line from your head to your heels. Keep your abs tight. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat four to six times for a total of 60 seconds. As you get stronger, hold the plank longer for fewer reps, working up to holding it for a full 60 seconds.

Bridge

Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Contract your abs and glutes and raise your hips and back off the floor so your body is in line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

Step Up

Stand in front of a step or bench with your right foot on top of it. Press into your right foot, straighten your right leg, and lift yourself up onto the bench without placing your left foot down on the bench. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions with each leg.

Aerobic add-on: Aerobic or cardio exercise like running, walking, cycling, or swimming conditions your heart and lungs and burns calories and fat so the firm muscles your building will be more noticeable. This week do at least 15 minutes of your favorite a cardio exercise—even dancing around your living room counts—at least five days. Aim to work at an intensity where your heart is beating a little faster and you’re breathing a bit harder.

Way to go on completing the first week of the challenge! To keep the results coming, you’re going to add dumbbells to your workout. Lifting weights helps to build stronger muscles to power you through your day. This week’s moves will firm up your arms, back, chest, and legs for a more toned look. Use a weight that is challenging so that you feel fatigued by the last rep or two. Aim to do this workout three or four times a week.

Overhead press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your elbows bent so the dumbbells are above your shoulders. Extend your arms raising the dumbbells overhead. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

Lunge

Holding dumbbells down at your sides, stand with your legs split wide, right foot in front. Bend your knees and lower your torso and back knee toward the floor. Keep your front knee over your ankle. Hold for a second, and then slowly stand back up. Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.

Chest press

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie faceup on a bench or the floor. Bend your elbows so you’re holding the dumbbells by your chest. Extend your arms, raising the dumbbells directly over your chest. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

Row

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, hinge forward about 45 degrees so your arms are extended below your shoulders. Bend at the hips, not your waist. Keeping your abs tight and your back flat, bend your elbows and pull the dumbbells up toward your rib cage. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions. If you have a bad back, do rows with one arm at a time, placing the opposite hand on a table or chair for support.

Aerobic add-on: This week do at least 20 minutes of your favorite a cardio exercise—running, walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing—at least five days. Aim to work at an intensity where your heart is beating a little faster and you’re breathing a bit harder.

You’re on a roll! Let’s keep it going by trying a new tool this week: resistance bands or tubes. They provide an alternate way of strength training that challenges muscles in different ways. You’ll pull against the band’s resistance and then resist the pull of the band in the opposite direction. Resistance bands are lightweight, flexible, and packable, so you can take them along when you’re travelling. Aim to do this workout three or four times a week.

Diagonal arm raise

Anchor the band around something sturdy at floor level. Stand so the band is to your right and grasp the band with your left hand at about hip height. Pulling on the band, raise your left arm in an arc diagonally across your body and up overhead. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions with each arm.

Hip extension

With the band anchored at floor level, loop it around your left leg and stand tall, facing the anchor point. Squeeze your glutes and lift your left leg behind you. Keep your left foot flexed and don’t lean forward as you lift. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions with each leg.

Lat pulldown

Grasp a band with your hands apart and raise your arms overhead. Bend your elbows and squeeze your shoulder blades as you pull the band down behind your head. Hold for a second, and then slowly return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions. If you have any shoulder problems, pull the band down in front of you toward your chest instead of behind your head.

Squat with side leg lift

Loop a band around your thighs and stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Bend at your hips and knees and sit back into a squat. Hold for a second, and then slowly stand up. As you stand, raise your right leg out to the side. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Repeat, raising your left leg after you squat. Do 12 to 16 repetitions, alternating the leg that you lift each time.

Aerobic add-on: This week add intervals to your cardio exercise. Instead of exercising at the same moderate intensity as you had been for the previous two weeks, you’re going to push yourself to work harder for 30 to 60 seconds (breathing heavier but still able to talk) and then recover at a moderate intensity (easily able to talk) for two to three minutes. You’ll alternate these harder and easier intervals for your entire workout. You can increase the intensity of most cardio exercise by going faster or up an incline or hill. Do two 20-minute cardio interval workouts and three 20-minute moderate-intensity workouts this week.

Congratulations on making it to week 4! Now, it’s time to really up the challenge with some total body, combo moves. They are basically two moves in one to target more muscles in less time for faster results. The moves also require more balance so your core muscles will be working harder. Aim to do this workout three or four times a week.

Lunge with biceps curls

Stand with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides. Step your left foot forward, bend your knees, and lower into a lunge. As you lower, bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells up toward your shoulders. Hold for a second, and then push off your left foot to stand back up as you straighten your arms, slowly lowering the dumbbells. Repeat stepping forward with your right leg. Do 12 to 16 repetitions, alternating legs.

Squat with overhead press

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your elbows bent so the dumbbells are above your shoulders. Bend at your hips and knees and sit back into a squat. Hold for a second, and then slowly stand up. As you stand, extend your arms raising the dumbbells overhead. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower into another squat as you lower your arms. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

Step up with hip extension

Stand in front of a step or bench with your right foot on top of it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms down at your sides. Press into your right foot, straighten your right leg, and lift yourself up onto the bench as you raise your left leg behind you, squeezing your glutes. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Do 10 to 15 repetitions with each leg.

Plank with row

Get down on all fours and grasp a dumbbell with each hand. Extend your legs behind your so you’re balancing on the dumbbells and your toes and the balls of your feet. Keep your abs contracted, and don’t bend at your waist or hips. Your body should be in line from head to heels. While holding this high plank position, bend your left elbow and pull the dumbbell up toward your chest. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower. Repeat with your right arm. Do 10 to 15 repetitions with each arm. You can come out of the plank when you need a rest and then resume until you complete all reps.

Aerobic add-on: This week, do three 20-minute cardio interval workouts and at least two 30-minute moderate-intensity cardio workouts. Change up the type of cardio you’re doing to prevent boredom and work different muscles to prevent overuse injuries.

ca