What is the best exercise?
The simple answer is there is no one perfect exercise for everyone. The best exercise is something that you can enjoy doing and are able to stick to as part of your routine. Exercise is crucial in that it can strengthen your muscles and help you feel and look better, while at the same time reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even osteoporosis. Here’s a list of some easy exercises that you can do by yourself or with a partner/friend. We always recommend having a workout buddy. It’s important to have people around you to motive you, but even more importantly, they can help hold you accountable. It’s easy to trick ourselves into not working out; we can always find an excuse. Having a workout buddy will lessen the likelihood of you cancelling your work out. Plus, it’s a great way to catch up with friends and family and do something fun together.
- Walking/Jogging – It’s easy and can be done anywhere. We recommend being outside to do this if weather permits, as it helps us not only tone our muscles and improves our cardiovascular system , but it helps connect us to the world around us. Meet a friend or family member at a local part or trail and spend 20-30 minutes being outside together.
- Sit ups – Sure, sit ups have been around since the beginning of time. But they work. They help to strengthen your core and hip flexor muscles and they don’t take a lot of time. You’ll be tired quick. Try to do work multiple sets in to really fatigue those muscle groups. The benefit is that you’ll have a flatter tummy and a more solid core.
- Push-ups – Who doesn’t want a more define upper body including chest, shoulders, arms and back. If you said yes to any of those, push-ups are the one for you. Again, these won’t take much time and as always shoot to do multiple sets to really see some great changes in a short period of time.
- Squats – These can truly be a whole body workout, plus you can modify these to be easier or harder. Try wall-squats for a static, yet challenging workout. Add in some weights and do an overhead shoulder press along with your squat and now you are on hitting you work out on all cylinders. Again, do 15-20 reps and repeat for 3 to 5 sets. Your body will thank you.
- Jump Rope/Jumping Jacks – Getting back to your days as a child? Yes and no. The great part is, these are great cardio work outs that can be done in shorter intervals or 2-3 minutes and gets your heart rate into the fat burning range right away. You don’t have to be Rocky Balbou to jump rope. Just get started and see what you can do.
For best results, write down your score (number of reps/sets) for each exercise at the beginning and track these throughout the month. At the end of 30 days, see if you are now doing more reps/sets or longer time. If so, congrats! You are on your way to becoming a fitter, healthier and happier person.