No matter if your fitness goal is to lose weight or maintain current levels, there are numerous effective and simple strategies for staying active.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay healthy is exercising regularly – either in a gym, at home or outdoors.
1. Walk or jog
Be it walking to work or running your pup, staying active is an invaluable way to improve both health and happiness. Moving can promote heart health, improve sleep quality, increase immunity levels and provide mental clarity – just among many of its many other advantages!
Walking is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t strain the body as much; in contrast, jogging is high-impact exercise which may lead to stress fractures and joint injuries.
A brisk walk can help you shed pounds by burning calories, strengthening your cardiovascular system and increasing endurance. Furthermore, walking can also reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes risk factors.
For maximum benefits from your brisk walk, try gradually increasing its distance and intensity over time. Begin with 10-minute sessions, gradually moving towards 30-minute walks.
Hart suggests the optimal speed for walking or jogging depends on an individual’s rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale; she advises aiming to range between 3 to 6 on it.
Add an incline to your walks for even greater intensity and increased caloric expenditure. Use hills, stairs or the incline function of your treadmill to increase pace of your routine and elevate intensity levels.
Walking has many advantages, one being its accessibility; you can do it anytime and anywhere without needing special equipment. Walking to work or taking leisurely strolls with family are all possible!
2. Do push-ups
Push-ups are an easy and effective way to stay healthy, and one of the most efficient exercises. Push-ups strengthen arms, chest, shoulders while improving posture.
Push-ups provide an effective and comprehensive workout, targeting pectoralis major and minor, triceps, anterior deltoids, core muscles as well as improving balance, stability and endurance. When performed properly they work all these muscles simultaneously.
There are various variations of this simple exercise, so you can adjust it to suit your fitness level and target specific muscle groups. It can be integrated into strength training routines of all kinds without needing equipment or membership fees for gym memberships.
Beginners should begin with three sets of 10 reps three to four times per week at first, using any modifications that make the movement more comfortable for your body. As time progresses, increase reps as your strength and technique develop.
Avoid common errors when performing push-ups, such as letting your back sag, flaring out arms too far apart, or moving too quickly. Such errors could result in pain or injury and should be avoided to ensure safe exercise sessions.
To avoid errors when performing push-ups, it’s essential to engage your core and torso before moving into the flexion phase of this exercise. Maintaining an engaged core and stable torso throughout range of motion is of utmost importance for safe performance of this task.
Push-up training should take place three times each week, to test your ability one day while building volume (more sets and reps) the next. Incorporating incline or knee push-ups after hitting failure in regular push-ups is another effective way of increasing muscle growth and building endurance.
3. Do sit-ups
Sit-ups are one of the best exercises for building a strong core and creating healthier posture. Sit-ups strengthen both your rectus abdominis muscle (which forms your “six-pack”) as well as internal and external obliques – supporting muscles within your trunk that support spine integrity by helping you sit up straighter.
If you want to strengthen your core, try different variations of sit-ups. Some are more challenging than others and can help develop core strength; such as decline sit-ups performed on an inclined bench or overhead sit-ups where weights are held above your head.
Butterfly sit-ups are another variation whereby you gradually lift your upper body from its base up towards the knees and slowly lower back down again. This exercise can help strengthen and challenge your core, but always ensure proper technique when performing this movement.
incorrect sit-up techniques can result in serious back, neck, and hip injuries. To minimize potential harm from ineffective sit-up exercises, ensure your lower back is completely pressed into the floor when doing sit-ups; additionally, don’t bend forward too far during this exercise.
Perform sit-ups correctly can be challenging, so it’s advisable to hire a trainer as an aid to teaching you how to perform them safely and effectively. Doing this will reduce injury risks while making the most out of this calisthenics exercise.
Sit-ups can be challenging, but the effort can pay off in terms of slimmer waist, stronger core strength and overall fitness improvement. As it’s easy to let form slip when doing lots of reps quickly, try doing sit-ups at a slow tempo so that you focus on lifting one vertebra at a time and improve form accordingly.
4. Do crunches
Crunches are one of the best core exercises, helping strengthen core muscles and shrink your waistline.
Strength exercises not only strengthen your core, posture and balance; they can also be done anywhere and at any time – perfect for improving posture, balance and stability! Plus they’re easy to do and can even be done anywhere you have access to!
Crunches are not only great core-strengthening exercises; they can also help build lean muscle mass. Many athletes incorporate this exercise into their workout regimen.
However, you need to know a few tips on how to perform them correctly. Make sure your form is proper so as not to injure your neck or lower back during exercise.
Maintain the tension throughout the exercise to avoid straining your neck or back and make the exercise more effective. This will also prevent straining any muscle groups during stretching exercises.
The crunch is a core-strengthening exercise, but in order to gain maximum benefit from it you need a solid technique. Doing incorrect crunches could put undue strain on your spine and disengage ab muscles – according to Glo trainer Ridge Davis.
Be wary of pulling your head forward while performing crunches; this could put undue strain on your neck and lead to injury.
Avoid this by positioning your hands behind your head or across your chest during a crunch, and doing a reverse crunch – which resembles the standard crunch but adds a twisting movement at the end of each rep to work your obliques and strengthen them.
Crunches can also be performed using an exercise ball (physio/stability ball). This may be a better option for those who find the traditional crunch uncomfortable, or those suffering from back problems.
5. Do squats
Squats are one of the best ways to strengthen your lower body, as well as improving joint health and bone density. Furthermore, they’re easy to do at home without needing extra equipment – something which many fitness programs fail to address adequately.
Squatting is a resistance exercise designed to target quads, hamstrings and glutes while increasing muscle mass and burning calories quickly – an excellent way to decrease body fat! Squatting also acts as an excellent means to shed extra weight quickly by building strength through resistance training.
Starting off by standing with feet just wider than hip-width apart and toes turned out, with your torso facing forward, position yourself for success by pushing through your heels while engaging your core to squat until your knees bend or round outward, then return back up into starting position.
To avoid injury, be sure to maintain a straight stance and use proper form. Avoid going too narrow; narrow stances aren’t great for knees and can increase stress on your lower back.
If you need assistance with your squat form, seek advice from an expert trainer. This is particularly important if recovering from injury or possessing sensitive knees.
Squats should be performed using moderate weight; heavy loads may strain your lower back, hips and knees.
As you perform squats, it is beneficial to move around periodically so as to prevent your muscles from stiffening up and become overworked. Walking for several minutes before beginning can also help relax and stretch out your muscles before beginning this workout routine.
Squats can be an intense and taxing workout, yet are essential in building lower body strength and overall fitness. Squats also serve to burn calories while building endurance.