Five ways to work up a sweat in the comfort of your own home

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Make things easy: Exercise at home.

With each of the following five workout exercises, the bonus is you don’t have to even leave your own home!

These are the perfect physical movements to boost your heart rate, bust calories quickly and work key muscle groups throughout the body.

To make things more comfortable, get your workout mat at the ready so you’re not putting any unnecessary pressure on your knees back and lower leg joints. This is the only equipment you’ll need.

Take 30 minutes out of your day and kick off your weekend with a health kick.

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RESISTANCE TRAINING

Typically, you think of lifting weights and pumping iron when you hear this training term – but there’s another way in which you can create resistance – simply use your own body weight.

A mixture of push-ups, tricep dips (find a window ledge or the edge of your bed), burpees, squats and lunges will see you use your own body as resistance and build strength.

Complete up to 10 repetitions and three sets with each exercise, factoring short breaks in-between.

RUNNING ON THE SPOT

Start in a standing position and begin to jog on the spot, whilst staying light on your toes.

Keep the top half of your body straight and tall and work your arms in a fast and fluid motion, mimicking something like what you’d see a sprinter do during a race.

The great thing about this exercise is that there are several adaptations which will equally help spike your heart rate.

High knees and butt kicks work the big muscle groups like your quads and hamstrings. Complete various intervals with rest sandwiched in between.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

These are tough.

Adopt a high plank position with your hips high and your hands and feet rooted to the floor.

Engage your core, keep your shoulders arms width apart and form a straight line from the top half of your body to your ankles.

One leg at a time, lift each leg off the floor and raise your knees to as close to your chest as possible, then land on the floor and switch legs.

You can actually make this exercise harder by twisting your knees and hips inward.

LEG LIFTS

These are especially as efficient if you want to tone up and work your abdominal muscles.

Lie on the floor on your back and press your lower back against the mat, keep your hands beside your hips and lift your legs together straight up to a 90-degree angle.

Hold for a couple of seconds and lower them back down so you’re just about hovering above the floor, and repeat the exercise.

VERTICAL JUMPS

And finally, a fun exercise to finish.

The goal – to jump as high as possible. Slightly bend your knees and keep your feet hip width apart, arch your upper body and swing your arms behind you to build momentum.

Swing your arms forward, jump forward and aim to land around a metre in front of you. Try to land
lightly and then repeat.

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Five things you need to know about stretching

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Stretch and go.

Stretching has many benefits that can really help your body to stay fresh, active and feeling good.

From warming up properly to warming down, to a few stretches as you get out of the bed in the morning and go to sleep at night – stretching can pay dividends in a variety of different ways.

Whether you’re targeting your leg muscles, such as the quads, hamstrings, abductors and glutes – or upper body muscles like deltoids, biceps and pectorals – it’s the best way to work every aspect of your body.

Here are Sport360’s five stretching pointers

STRETCHING HELPS TO AVOID INJURY

Indeed, focusing on areas of your body that feel tight and need work can help reduce the risk of injury and generate greater blood flow, reducing the build up of lactate acid.

Regular stretching will also rapidly improve your flexibility and get rid of aches and niggling pains.

HOLD THE STRETCH

If you’re playing football or running a marathon, stopping for a quick stretch can really help you. Ideally you want to try and hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds – and often – a bit more.

This allows your body to ease into the movement and gives sufficient time to strengthen and lengthen a tight muscle.

Try not to bounce, wobble and avoid sudden movements of the body or you could end up tweaking or pulling a muscle.

TRY DYNAMIC STRETCHES

Essentially, this means stretching with movement – the opposite to static stretching.

Lunges, squats, step-ups, twists, kicks and jumps are all great ways to activate key core muscle groups and add a freeflowing feel to your workout.

Stretching can also help improve your balance and co-ordination.

A short burst of dynamic movements before exercise, such as a 10km run, will help to get your body moving quickly and with greater efficiency.

TAKE YOUR STRETCHING TO THE NEXT LEVEL…JOIN A YOGA/PILATES CLASS

With an improvement in your flexibility and a renewed sense of what your body can do, why not start a flexibility class such as yoga and pilates. It’s the best way to learn new exercises and routines, and at the same time, meet new people.

STRETCHING CAN ALLEVIATE A POOR POSTURE

We can all get stuck in a rut of sitting in the office, often slouching, for hours on end.

Sitting down for extended periods can cause extreme tightness in our hip flexors (known as the tightest muscle group in the body) and glutes.

In turn, lots of computer work can contribute to tired shoulders and compressed chest muscles.

Luckily, stretching is a great way to improve your range of motion and get your body moving.

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Dubai's Maria Conceicao completes first of six Ironmen across six continents

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Dubai resident Maria Conceicao has completed the first of her attempts to complete six Ironmen across six continents.

The charity founder – who has broken six Guinness World Records – is currently taking on the challenge to raise awareness and funds for her Maria Cristina Foundation in Bangladesh, which supports nearly 200 children from the slums of Dhaka.

Ironmen are known to be among the most challenging endurance races in the world, pushing the body to the extreme with a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run.

Athletes spend years conditioning their bodies to complete only one Ironman, let alone six in quick succession. Remarkably, Maria’s successful finish in South Africa last week was her first ever.

Speaking to Sport360 after returning from Johannesburg, Maria said: “It was extremely tough. I was so nervous at the start as I really didn’t know if I could make it.”

“Ironman have cut off times throughout the race and they are really strict, if you don’t make the time you are out.”

“For example on the swim you have 2hours 20 minutes to swim the 3.8km, I know that in normal conditions I can make it ok but I’m still not a strong swimmer so if its a little bit rough it really slows me down, this race was a little bit choppy but i made it ok.

“Also with the bike, I am not strong as I’m relatively new to cycling so have limited strength and confidence on a bike.”

For Maria, the lengths that she goes to preparing for such a physical challenge, is nothing compared to the daily struggles of the Dhaka children that she supports and is helping to put through education.

Maria Conceicao.

Maria Conceicao.

“I am always seeking challenges that are a bit different. If I keep doing the same type of challenges people can get bored and the only reason I do them is to keep people’s attention and to raise funds for the children’s education,” she said.

“Quite often people don’t know the story from the beginning so if they see me doing another challenge running marathons they assume that I am some gifted runner and that it comes easy for me. But this is definitely not the case. I start from zero every time and basically have to re-invent myself.

“When I decided to summit Mount Everest I had no experience in mountain climbing and it took me a year of intense and extreme training to get there. The same with my marathons and ultras and the same with my English channel swim.

“I learnt to swim in 2015 and triathlons seemed like a great progression from running after that and to try to keep the same theme of competing on all continents this is the perfect challenge for me at the moment.”

While many would wince at the idea of running a marathon, Conceicao has ran over 50 so far. In 2015, she completed seven marathons in seven continents over 11 days, raising over Dhs275,000 for the charity. She could have achieved this in seven days but bad weather forced her plane to divert 20 minutes from landing in Antarctica.

Her next race will be in Texas on April 22, before flying to Taiwan, Australia and the Canary Islands. She will finish in Brazil on May 28.

Maria Conceicao has recently released an autobiography, which charts the story of the Maria Cristina Foundation. All proceeds from the book will go towards the children’s education in Dhaka.

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