Making time for fitness is essential to your overall health and well-being. Busy schedules make it difficult to get to the gym, and purchasing equipment for a home gym can be costly. The solution is simple: body-weight workouts. They can be done anywhere, modified for all fitness levels, and best of all they are free.
Body-weight exercises allow you to connect with, and get to know, your body intimately. You will quickly learn it’s strengths and weaknesses. You will also see the benefits of your hard work sooner than you might using exercise machines at a gym. Exercising with only your body forces muscle groups to work together that might otherwise be worked in isolation.
The human body is designed to work as a complete system. Mastering your body with body-weight exercises will make everyday activities and movements easier now and in years to come.
Ideas for Adding Movement to Your Day
If you need to modify anything, by all means do so. Fitness is about being a better you, not keeping up or comparing yourself with others.
- Walking. Find more opportunities to walk during the day
- Seated Leg Lifts. Sit with feet flat on the floor, knees forward, pull your stomach in and back straight. Slowly lift one knee a few inches up and down and repeat for the other leg.
- Lunges. Can be incorporated in your walking
- Air Squats. Simple body-weight squats can be energizing after sitting for a long period.
- Take the stairs. Taking the stairs uses most muscle groups in the lower half of your body. Calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hips are all utilized.
30 minute Beginner Body-weight Routine
Do three sets of 10-12 repetitions for each exercise.
- Run in place (can sub knee highs or jumping jacks)
- Pushups (modify as needed)
- Lunges (side, reverse, or forward lunges)
- Triceps dips or close-handed pushups
- Planks (can be done on knees)
Exercise has been shown to help us think more clearly and increase energy levels. It also promotes heart health, improves sleep and contributes to regulation of hormones. A few simple changes in your day, plus regular full body workouts, can radically improve your health.