Written by: Lauren Frederick
Hey all you fitness fans! Hope you’re keeping warm, working out, and eating right. I think it’s safe to say that winter has made its way to Hiroshima. I envy all of you near the coast who may still be enjoying pseudo-autumn temperatures. It is downright freezing up in the mountains!
But that’s no excuse to end your path to fitness. Remember, we may be bundled up now, but swimsuit season is closer than you think. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the colder months will keep the flu and colds at bay. I know I mentioned that in my last article, but I thought you might need a little reminder.
I am ready to provide you with another wonderful workout. You know how I love my quick routines, right? Well, this time, I am going to tell you about a longer workout that will work every part of your body. Don’t worry, you will still be done within 45 minutes.
During my college years, I took a fitness class that appeared to have no rhyme or reason. We would turn up twice a week in the evening and this middle-aged, Jane Fonda-esque woman told us to do strange moves and exercises while she played some 80s songs. When the tracks changed, she would give us another set of exercises to do. It took me a few classes to realize she was working each muscle group through the use of dance moves, calisthenics, and bodyweight strength training. The best part was that we never used equipment except for a mat during cool down.
Over the years, I find myself going back to a similar routine when I’m in a workout funk or want to focus on a certain muscle group. I’ve tailored my routine to meet my fitness goals, but you can easily alter the routine to fit your own workout needs and style. You can also split the workout into two routines, focusing on different muscle groups each day.
So, without further ado, I give you the One-Song Workout! Pick 6 of your favorite songs that are at least 3:30-5 minutes long (go for the 5 if you want a good workout) and have fun shaking up your workout routine!
- First song: warm up
- 35 jumping jacks
- 30 seconds of high knee running
- 50 jump ropes (you can use an imaginary jump rope)
- 30 seconds of jogging
(Repeat until the track changes—you can use the last 30 seconds of the song to rest before the next set.
2. Second song: legs
- 30 squats
- 20 lunges (do full a rep set on one side before switching)
- 10 jump squats
- 30 calf raises
(This one is intense as it’s a large muscle group—repeat set until the song ends OR you can rest for up to a minute before the next song. Song two is the sweatiest!)
3. Song three: chest and back
- 20 push-ups (or take this time to do your push up challenge! Remember that from the last article?)
- 30 second plank
- 25 “Supermans” (lie on your stomach, extending your arms out, and gently lift your torso and legs. Practice this a few times, do fewer reps, and go easy until you master the range of motion.)
- 30 second plank
(You can repeat one more time if you are feeling ambitious. If not, rest until the next song. Make sure you rest for at least 30 seconds, giving your back a good stretch.)
4. Song four: arms
- 20 triceps pushups
- 20 chair dips
- 30 second rest
- 30 bicep curls (if you have weights) OR extend your arms while standing with your feet shoulder width apart. You can move your arms and bend your elbows, just do not drop your arms! You do this until the end of the song or at least for one full minute. Looks silly, but trust me, you’re gonna feel this!)
Rest after holding your arms up for that long. Take an extra 30 seconds before the next song if you need it. That one is killer
5. Song five: abs
- 50 sit ups or crunches
- 50 reverse sit ups (lay on your back with your legs vertical or bent at the knees. Use your lower abs to lift your butt off of the floor. Do not use momentum to help you along or you will not get the maximum benefits.)
- Plank and/or bridge for a minute (30 seconds each if you do both.) How to do a bridge: lay on your back with your legs bent and feet shoulder width apart. The closer your legs are to your butt, the better. Use your core to slowly lift your torso from the ground. Pulse in this motion (yes, it is an interesting position to say the least, but you’re doing it in the privacy of your own home, and it is a great core workout!)
Rest or skip to cool down.
6. Last song: cool down
Use this time to stretch out all of your muscles that you just worked really hard. Be sure to use proper stretching form for whatever you do (the Internet is your friend.)
And that’s the class in a nutshell! I figured some of you who are used to longer workouts may be finding your time getting cut shorter as the nights grow longer. I know my workout routine has been all but confined to my apartment until next March. This workout ensures I get all of my muscle groups in while providing the fun task of picking out different songs!
Want something to cook while you’re working out? There is nothing better than a hearty soup on a cold winter’s night. You can use your rice cooker to whip up a tasty soup without using gas or having to hover over the stove!
I recently attended my school’s festival. There, I fell in love with tonjiru. It’s a pretty commonplace dish in Japan, but for those of you not in the loop, it’s miso soup with vegetables and pork. Hearty, warm, and very healthy, it is the perfect post-workout meal! Best part is if you’re using a rice cooker, you can pop in all of the ingredients and have a warm meal an hour later! It will also keep your delicious soup warm while you do other things. After falling in love with this dish, I researched my recipe options. I am a very lazy cook, so after reading a few I drafted my own especially simple version. The original recipe is already easy, so mine is practically foolproof!
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
- 2-3 cups of dashi stock broth—this stuff is plentiful in supermarkets right now. You can add more dashi or water to make as much soup base as you need.
- 1 packet of sliced pork—use any type of pork you’d like for this. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the meat and/or adding tofu.
- 2 tablespoons of miso—use whatever kind you like. I usedshinsu for a mild, sweeter flavor. Really works well with the pork!
- Any vegetables you like—seriously, go wild! The volume of your pot is the limit! I put daikon, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and sweet potatoes in mine. Very nice combo, if I do say so myself! Probably not traditional, but I’m not cooking for anyone else, and I greatly approved of this combo!
Place all of the ingredients in your rice cooker, putting the potatoes, daikon, and other things that take longer to cook on the bottom. If you’re putting in cabbage, remember that stuff shrinks after cooking, so feel free to fill your pot to the top. It won’t overflow! Put the stock in last and save the miso. After about 20 minutes, check the progress of the ingredients and stir in one tablespoon of miso. Close the lid and let rice cooker finish it’s work.
Once it’s done, you can remove the impurities of the miso and check to make sure everything has cooked properly. Add in the last tablespoon of miso, stir well, serve, and pat yourself on the back for making a healthy dinner choice!
That’s it for now, everyone! You’ve got your workout and your meal, so you’re now set to continue battling the cold. Spring is just around the corner, but for now, keep healthy and happy!