Running Short on Time? Slow It Down With This Effective Exercise

What do none of us have enough of? Time! This month’s rider fitness exercise from Hidden Heights Fitness will make you feel like you have plenty as you wait for that timer to go off!

Sick of time going by so fast? This’ll slow it down for ya! Photo by Tally Ho Creative.

How is it already May?! This is a theme that seems to be reoccurring in conversation with ALL my clients right now. With the reduced pace from the pandemic the last three years, this year seems like it has definitely returned to the ‘new normal’. In fact, just this month I was able to visit my grandmother in her Assisted Living facility without wearing a mask — a concept that would have been unimaginable just 365 days earlier. I thought masks were the new normal for that level of health care, but now, it looks like we’re beyond that.

And on the subject of time, which seems to go so much quicker these days? The great migration north from Aiken and Florida is now complete. Land Rover Kentucky has come and gone — and we had our first USA winner on the podium in fifteen years! Bromont is now just around the corner. The ‘new normal’ of going, going, going has become routine. Text messages are late to be responded to or even go unread. Emails are piling up again. The ‘new normal’ of not having enough time is real. Do not even get me started on the bane of my existence…laundry. Who has time?

Well, you do – if you give this great exercise a try, I swear it’ll actually slow time down for you. It’s called the dying bug or the dead bug — but I prefer dying, as if said bug was dead, it wouldn’t actually move, and this one’s going to get you moving! When you set a timer for two minutes and really commit to doing this exercise, I’m sure by the end of it you’ll be praying for that timer to go off. See? Slowing down time, as if by magic! I love the dying bug, because it gets you to coordinate your diagonal pairs and can actually serve as dementia prevention, too, by requiring you to focus on your movement. It’s surprisingly challenging at first, but most people settle into a good rhythm about a minute in.

Start with both arms and legs aloft. Photo by Tally Ho Creative.

Then, lower your arms and legs in diagonal pairs, moving slowly and deliberately. Photo by Tally Ho Creative.

How to: the dying bug

  • Start by lying on your back
  • Bring your arms and legs up towards the sky
  • Lower your left leg and your right arm toward the ground — the goal is getting your heel about six inches away from the ground (Modify to make this exercise easier by not bringing your leg and arm so far down!)
  • Engage through the core and bring your arm and leg back up
  • Lower your right leg and your left arm toward the ground
  • Repeat for two minutes or until you reach a point of fatigue that you can no longer continue with good form

 Watch me demonstrate it here:

In all seriousness, though, time management is really important. Whenever I feel like the clock is getting the better of me I rewatch this YouTube video. It takes a valuable hour of my life, but it helps me remember to prioritize what is really important in life — and getting enough exercise is one of those things that I have to prioritize, or the rest of my life suffers. Enough exercise for me is 20 to 30 minutes of focused exercise once or twice week in addition to riding regularly and going for walks — however, I count those as physical activity, not exercise, which is an important distinction to make.

Laura Crump Anderson is a certified as a personal trainer by the American College of Sports Medicine and is a Registered 200 Hour Teacher with the Yoga Alliance. She specializes in working with riders of all ages and disciplines through her business, Hidden Heights Fitness, and is also the author of Ultimate Exercise Routines for Riders. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science, and has evented through Training level. You can read more of her fitness columns on our sister site, Eventing Nation.