The following ‘easy to follow’ exercises deliver results, whether you do them at a gym or at home. However, if you have a health problem or take regular medication, check with your doctor before starting on this fitness regime.
No. 1: Walking
Walking is a winner: You can walk anywhere, anytime, either on a treadmill or with no equipment other than a good pair of shoes.
Beginners should start by walking 10 to 15 minutes at a time, gradually moving up to at least 30 minutes per session. As you progress, lengthen the time of your walks before boosting your speed or incline.
No. 2: Interval Training
Including Interval training to your cardio workout can boost fitness, burn more calories, and help you lose weight. This is to vary the intensity of your aerobic workout to challenge your body instead of loafing in your comfort zone. Technique: Push up the pace for a minute or two, then slow down for 2-10 minutes, depending on the length of your workout and how much time you need to recover. Do this throughout your fitness program.
No. 3: Squats
Squats work multiple muscle groups — the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals — at the same time.
Technique: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair, keeping your knees over your ankles. Practice with a real chair to master this move. First, sit all the way down in the chair and stand back up. Next, don’t sit all the way down; barely touch the chair’s seat before standing back up. Lastly, graduate to doing squats without a chair.
No. 4: Lunges
Like squats, lunges work all the major muscles of the lower body. Lunges also help improve your balance.
Technique: Take a big step forward, keeping your spine straight. Bend your front knee to approximately 90 degrees. Keep weight on your back toes and drop the back knee toward the floor, without letting it touch the floor.
Lunges: Extra Challenge
Try stepping not just forward, but back and out to each side, with each lunge.
No. 5: Push-Ups
Always a winner! Push-ups strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. Technique: Face-down, place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place toes or knees on the floor, creating a smooth line with your body, from shoulders to knees or feet. Keeping rear-end muscles and abdominals engaged, lower and lift your body by bending and straightening your elbows, keeping your torso stable throughout the move. Push-Ups
Beginners may start doing push-ups leaning into their kitchen counters, then working their way down to a desk or chair, onto the floor with knees bent, and on the floor on their toes. To make it harder, put your feet on a stair, bench, or couch while maintaining good form.
No. 6: Abdominal Crunches — Method A
Begin by lying on your back with feet flat on the floor and palms supporting your head. Press your lower back down. Contract abdominals and raise first your head, then your neck, shoulders, and upper back off the floor. Keep your neck in line with your spine. Don’t stick your chin out. Don’t hold your breath. To keep chest and shoulders open, keep your elbows out of your line of vision.
Abdominal Crunches — Method B
Do crunches with your feet off the floor and knees bent. This technique may help you avoid arching your back. It also engages your hip flexors.
Squat Flex Move
The Squat Flex Move works all the major muscles of the upper back, as well as the biceps. Technique: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bend knees, and flex forward at the hips, then engage the abdominals, and extend spine to add support. Hold weights beneath the shoulders with hands shoulder-width apart. Flex elbows and lift both hands toward the sides of body. Pause, then slowly lower hands to the starting position.