Many people tend to think you need a lot of time, money and a fancy gym to exercise. This is not always true, especially for beginners! Here are four basic exercises to start getting into shape that can be done from your office, home or where ever you are!
Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated and difficult; something as simple as a daily walk can help you live a healthier life. If you have stairs in your home, go up and down them a few times. Instead of waiting for the elevator, take the stairs. If you take a bus or train, get off a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Whenever possible, just walk! It’s a great way to help tone up your legs and improve your overall health. The Mayo Clinic notes that a regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight;
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes;
- Strengthen your bones;
- Lift your mood;
- Improve your balance and coordination.
For all the benefits of walking check this great article by Harvard Health Publications.
2. Jumping Jacks
This calisthenic exercise works out your shoulders, back, thighs and calves. Start in a standing position with your feet together and your arms relaxed by your side.
When you jump, move your feet apart until they are wider than your shoulders, while at the same time raising your arms over your head. Then jump back into starting position.
While jumping jacks provide a full body workout, their primary benefit is that they elevate your heart rate. While jumping you breathe more deeply, which delivers oxygen to your bloodstream and ultimately to your muscles. You burn fat at a rapid rate, promoting weight loss. If you weigh 130 lbs. and do vigorous jumping jacks or other calisthenics, you burn 472 calories per hour. If you weight 155 lbs. you burn 563 calories per hour, if you weigh 180 lbs. you burn 654 calories, and if you weigh 205 lbs. you burn 745 calories.
3. Leg Lifts
This exercise can also be done from sitting on a chair at your desk. Sit upright in the chair while lifting your legs until they are at a straight angle towards your hips. Lower your legs slowly and stop about 3 inches off of the floor. Hold your legs steady for about 2 seconds and then repeat. Don’t forget to breathe!
When lying on the ground try resisting the temptation to let your feet touch the floor if you want the best workout you can get.
Keep your lower back pressed into the floor to engage your abdominals and protect your spine. Slow it down when the exercise becomes too easy.
Leg lifts are some of the best exercises you can do to work out your abs and your legs. There are a variety of leg lifts that you can do, depending on your physical condition and the level of intensity that you’re looking for in a workout.
Knowing how to do squats properly can firm up your butt and legs rapidly. Stand with your legs evenly apart while keeping your toes, hips and knees in a straight line. Slowly lower your body as if you were going to sit in a chair, bending the knees. Hold the position for 2 seconds and then return to starting position. Then repeat 10-15 times for an intense workout.
Squats are great because:
- They build muscles in your entire body;
- They are a functional exercise which makes real-life activities easier;
- Burn more fat;
- Maintain mobility and balance;
- Prevent injuries;
- Boost your sports performance (higher jumps, faster running);
- Tone your backside, abs and entire body;
- Help with waste removal.
For a variation on the traditional squat, read about sumo squats.