A well-rounded fitness routine doesn’t just build muscle – it can protect against disease, lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, prevent falls as you age and even help with weight loss. And the best part: You don’t have to go to a gym to reap its rewards. Even short, consistent sweat sessions can make a difference. But before you start, it’s important to know what exercises will work best for your body type and level of fitness.
The best fitness exercises will strengthen all major muscle groups, especially those in the legs and back. They should also challenge the core, and include flexibility and balance training. To do this, exercisers can use stretches or take part in activities like swimming, kayaking or canoeing, walking backwards on a treadmill or using a wobble board.
Aerobic exercises, which raise your heart rate and increase lung capacity, should be the foundation of your fitness program. It’s recommended you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.
Some of the best cardio workouts are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or boot camp workouts, which involve bursts of intense activity alternating with brief periods of low-intensity exercise or rest. This type of training is quick and effective, but it’s important to have a coach or instructor guide you to ensure you’re using proper form.
When it comes to strength training, body weight exercises are a great place to start. These don’t require any additional equipment and can include moves like pushups, planks, squats or lunges. If you’re unsure about your ability to perform these exercises, you can use a weight machine to practice the movements before you start lifting unassisted.
If you’re looking for a more efficient way to train, try compound exercises that engage several muscle groups at once. For example, a standing overhead press uses multiple muscles in the arms and shoulders, and also works the upper back and core. It requires the person to stand with their feet hip-width apart, grab the bar however they choose and hang freely with arms extended. They then extend the arms, bracing the core and bringing them straight up to shoulder height. They then pause at the top and slowly lower themselves back to the starting position, keeping their head in line with their chest.
Another compound exercise is a plank, which is great for the abs and thighs. To do a plank, people lie on the floor with their feet in front of them and their hands on the floor. They pull their chin and core inwards to lift the body off the ground into a straight, stable position.
Finally, glute bridges are an exercise that targets the muscles in the back of the body, known as the posterior chain. To perform a glute bridge, you lay on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and contract the buttocks and abdominal muscles to lift the hips off the ground until they’re in line with the shoulders and knees, then lower slowly back down. fitness exercises