Our bodies – wonderfully made and made to move. And movement is what our body craves, each and every day. To get and keep your body strong and in shape, physical activity is a must. Yet how many of us barely met the minimum requirement for exercise? Very few according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition statistics:
· Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
· Only 35-44% of adults 75 or older are physically active and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active.
· More than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Ask anyone why they don’t exercise more and all kinds of excuses come up. Not enough time, too tired, too busy, or they don’t know how to get started.
But, what if there were a set number of specific movements one could do each and every day? Simple exercises requiring no equipment and can be done within a short period of time?
Here are five such exercises getting blood flowing to muscles, lubricating joints, improving strength, and boosting metabolism. This fitness regimen incorporates five exercise movements most people should be able to do keeping their body in decent shape and helping them stay healthy and more fit. At some point if a person wants to make the routine more challenging, they can increase the time spent on each move by increasing the number of sets and can try working with resistance equipment such as free weights.
If you have no time for any other exercise, then make squats your go-to workout. As some exercise enthusiasts say, “50 squats a day will keep the doctor away.” Doing squats daily forces the brain to actively participate while building your leg muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. When performed properly, the load applied to a squat is great for not only building muscle strength but also for engaging the ankle, knee and hip joint all at the same time making them stronger.
2. Jumping jacks
Yes, the classic jumping jack is a perennial mainstay in the exercise world and for many good reasons. One, it gets your heart rate elevated by breathing deeply delivering oxygen to the bloodstream and to the muscles. In addition, the deep breathing from the vigorous exercise clears your mind, sharpens your focus and energizes you for the day.
Secondly, jumping jacks provide a full-body workout. All of your large muscle groups – legs, abdominals, arms – are moving at once and the movements can be modified as necessary. To get the maximum aerobic benefits from them, keep your pace as brisk as possible.
Third, jumping jacks stimulate the release of endorphins which act as pain relievers giving you a sense of relaxation ready to tackle any obstacle that gets in your way.
3. Hip bridges
This familiar pose will get you on the floor and is very popular with fitness trainers as well as yoga and Pilates instructors. Why? Because it’s simple enough yet strengthens and targets your entire midsection while engaging your abs, butt, hips and lower back. It’s a great way to isolate and strengthen the gluteus (butt) muscles and hamstrings (back of the upper legs). It’s also considered a basic rehab exercise to improve core and spinal stabilization.
The bridge, when done correctly, helps build muscle, boosts flexibility and can be easily incorporated into any routine. Foot placement, weight distribution, and breathing are vital elements to performing hip bridges. Do a few while watching TV or listening to music.
4. Walk out pushup
If regular pushups are not your thing, a walk out pushup is a perfect alternative to try. Also known as a Pilate’s pushup, here’s a move that not only targets multiple muscle groups but also accelerates the heart rate. Walk out pushups can be performed at your own pace with gently easy movements taking you from a standing position down to the floor taking the stance of a pushup and then back up again. Perform this move every day and you’ll notice a dramatic difference in buildup of muscle and strength in your arms and core along with stability in no time.
No must-do every day exercise list would be complete without having the plank on it. This bodyweight exercise is convenient and can be done practically anywhere. Noted for being one of the most effective exercise moves for your core, planks offer the best results in the shortest span of time with little to no risk of injury. Planks do it all from improving posture, flexibility, balance, reduced risk of injury to the back or spine and boosts metabolism. Perform some planks today to achieve the benefits they will bring.