7 Small Exercises You Can Do At Home (or Anywhere)
You don’t have to devote hours a day to physical activity to stay fit. In fact, current recommendations are to get about 30 minutes of activity on most days. When you break that up into smaller sessions, it is incredibly accessible. Try incorporating these seven small exercises into your daily routine to see big health benefits.
As far as a low impact cardio activity that requires no equipment and can be done pretty much anywhere, walking tops the list. Walking is imminently accessible and can be done at a variety of speeds. It helps improve cardiovascular health and is an excellent tool to build muscular strength. Add to that its ability to help increase bone health and it’s easy to see why walking is so popular.
If you prefer a little more excitement and activity, dancing is an excellent exercise. You can try a formal dancing class, a dance fitness program or just move to the music when you are going about your day. With so many different styles, from Latin styles to ballroom to line dancing, you are sure to find one that you like. That’s great news because you are much more likely to stick with an exercise routine if it is something you enjoy doing.
Squats are one of the most versatile and effective bodyweight exercises around. While they definitely target leg muscles, they actually use a range of muscles from several different groups including your back and core. As a result, they are an excellent tool for rebuilding strength and power throughout the entire lower body.
If you are new to squats or you feel a little unstable, use a chair for support as you get started. Called chair stands, these are a popular and accessible variation on a traditional squat. As you get stronger, add variations to increase the challenge.
Yoga is simple to do and leaves you feeling relaxed and ready to face whatever is next. It uses gentle stretching integrated with focused breathing. Plus, it can be done seated in your chair, so it’s simple to slip in a short routine at your desk during lunch.
There are so many wonderful benefits to a regular yoga practice that you are sure to be glad you added it to your routine. For example, it helps increase flexibility and strength and may reduce some chronic pain. It can also help improve sleep, which means you’ll feel more rested during the day. The benefits go far beyond physical improvement, too. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Many people also find that it helps with meditation and increasing mindfulness.
5. Jumping Rope
If you are looking for something that is going to get your heart rate up and burn some serious calories, break out a jump rope. This versatile piece of equipment might be more closely associated with the playground than the gym, but it is a great home workout tool. Start with short bursts of jumping — maybe one to two minutes — and work your way up to longer stretches. Watch your form to avoid injuries to the knees or back.
If you want to work your core muscles, a daily plank challenge is an excellent idea. Planks activate muscles in the back, hips, stomach, shoulders and arms to really make an impact. Since they don’t require any equipment and can be done anywhere you have enough room to lay on the floor, you don’t have an excuse to skip them.
7. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is another slower physical pursuit. It uses slow, circular motions to build strength, increase flexibility and reduce stress. There are some great videos online to get you started and, once you know the basics, you can play around with the different forms.
Walking, dancing and jumping rope are great for improving cardiovascular fitness. Bodyweight exercises increase muscular strength while exercises such as yoga and tai chi improve flexibility and promote a sense of relaxation.
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