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How to Get Fit Riding the Subway

Attention, all multitaskers: If you take the subway, you easily can turn your commute into a daily workout.


  • Step 1: Stand up Choose to stand even if seats are available, and hold onto a pole or strap only when you have to. Trying to keep your balance as the train lunges and lurches strengthens your core – the muscles in your torso.
  • Step 2: Tone your calves Tone your calves by slowly rising up on your toes, lowering, and repeating.
  • Step 3: Do some heavy lifting Turn your pocketbook, gym bag, or briefcase into a dumbbell by slowing curling it up toward your chest. Repeat 10 times, then switch arms.
  • TIP: Add weight to your bag with a big bottle of water.
  • Step 4: Get buff arms At arm's length, grasp the car's vertical pole with one hand. Bend your elbow and slowly lean in, keeping your feet planted and supporting your weight with the muscles in your shoulder and chest. Hold this position for one stop before leaning back out. Switch arms and repeat.
  • Step 5: Work your triceps Stand at arm's length from the overhead bar and grab it with both hands shoulder-width apart. Slowly lean in, keeping your feet planted and your arms straight, until your head is under the bar. Hold for several seconds, then push back to the original position.
  • Step 6: Put the squeeze on Squeeze your buttocks, hold for a few seconds, release, and repeat. This can be done sitting or standing.
  • Step 7: Strengthen your thighs If you have a seat, put your bag or briefcase between your legs and squeeze your legs together using only your thigh muscles.
  • Step 8: Crunch your abs While sitting, raise your feet off the ground and your knees a few inches toward your chest, contracting your stomach muscles. Hold for a few seconds before lowering your legs. Repeat 10 times.
  • Step 9: Stretch your legs Add a little aerobic exercise by changing cars at each stop. Then get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • FACT: Americans spend about 100 hours commuting to work each year.

You Will Need

  • Lack of self-consciousness
  • A heavy bag or briefcase
  • Discipline
  • A large bottle of water

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