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Today’s Workout column: Cardio move also helps tone lower body

Marlo Alleva
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Daily Comet

Jumping back into a hint of normalcy can be exhausting, especially when your average daily pace was drastically slowed down for a while.

Sometimes you just need a quick boost to get your blood pumping, heart beating and energy to start the day.

Today’s move is called up and downs. All you need for this exercise is a short step: something sturdy such as a curb, front porch steps or any ledge that you can step up and down on quickly.

This exercise is a cardio move, but can also tone the lower body.

Begin this exercise by standing in front of your chosen step. Holding your chest tall and tightening your midsection, prepare yourself for a quick jog. To get a good feel of the motion, step up onto your ledge with one foot, then the other, like you would normally do. Then, with the leading foot, step back down to the ground, followed by your trail leg. Maybe do this slowly a couple of times to get a feel of your footing.

Now, let’s pick it up! Start a quick jog, up up, down down, up up, down down, etc. As you go, you can quicken your step to intensify this movement.

Shoot for at least 20 to 30 seconds with the same foot leading. Then stop back down to your starting point, take a quick break, then repeat with the opposite foot leading.

You can perform this exercise for at least three times on each leading foot. Or you can include this movement into your interval workouts!

If your balance is unsteady, keep it at a slower pace. You will still get your blood pumping, due to the small elevation change and movement itself.

Any way you choose to incorporate this quick and simple exercise it is sure to add a little kick in your step.

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.