Finding a good set of easy exercises that you can do at home or the gym can be a great way to boost and balance your health and wellness. Exercise plays a major role in your overall wellness plan and finding a way to get a quick workout in each day can really pay off. There is plenty of information on how exercise can affect your wellness. The information below is designed to guide you in adding more exercise to your daily life, with a little background on what makes your efforts most efficient, along with easy exercises you can do virtually anywhere.
Which Type of Exercise is Best?
While any exercise and activity is good for your overall wellness plan, it seems that each form of formal exercise has its benefits. Cardiovascular exercise is consistently one of the best forms of exercise that can play a major role in health and wellness. Not to mention, resistance training is gaining popularity in many areas of health and wellness. Let’s take a closer look into each of these exercise types.
Cardiovascular Exercise for your Wellness
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most common forms of activity you can do to manage your body weight. Some forms of cardiovascular exercises include walking at a brisk pace, running, jogging, sprinting, rowing, biking, jumping rope, and much more. With that in mind, getting the amount of cardio you need in your life to meet your wellness should be within reason each day. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to improve fasting glucose levels, improve fitness levels, lower blood lipids and triglycerides, as well as better blood pressure control.1 With all of these health aspects in mind, it is easy to see why cardiovascular exercise is important in a well-rounded wellness plan. Consider aiming for about 30 minutes of cardio exercise each day to help gain these profound benefits.
Resistance Training and Wellness
Interestingly, adults experience changes over the years that create many physiological differences over the years. One physiological change that adults see throughout the aging process is in muscle mass. Muscle mass is maintained quite well throughout adulthood; however, it seems that adults lose about three to eight percent of muscle mass each decade.2 A decrease in muscle mass can lead to a decrease in metabolism, which can lead to obesity and increased fat on the body. Not to mention, losing muscle mass greatly affects blood glucose levels, which can potentially have an effect on those at risk of diabetes. Fortunately, studies continue to show that resistance training can help to prevent muscle mass loss that occurs with a majority of adults,2 which can greatly boost wellness throughout life.
High-Intensity Interval Training
Now that you have a bit of information on two important forms of exercise that can have an effect on your wellness, now is the time to dive into efficient ways to exercise. High-intensity interval training has been getting quite a bit of attention over the past decade due to its extreme efficiency in training. For starters, high-intensity interval training promotes many exercises that incorporate multi-joint movements, which have been shown to be more efficient in building muscle strength and for improving fitness levels.3 In addition to being quite effective in building muscle, it seems that high-intensity interval training is a well-tolerated exercise plan for a variety of adults, especially for those who struggle with body weight management. Studies have shown that 12-month high-intensity interval programs for overweight adults are well accepted and adherence to exercise can be improved as well.3 Much can be said about the benefits of high-intensity interval training for wellness perks, but this type of exercise tends to be a bit more advanced to where inexperienced exercisers need the help of trained professionals.
What is the Best Type of Exercise?
Any of the mentioned types of exercise above are ideal for you to incorporate into your daily wellness plan. However, sticking to simply one format may become one-dimensional and it avoids the benefits that the others offer. With that said, switching between the types of exercises above may be best for a well-rounded lifestyle. For example, consider jumping on a combined exercise routine throughout your week. For example, you could specifically perform cardiovascular exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which would give you three days per week of cardio activity. In addition, you could perform full-body resistance training on Tuesday and Thursday and meet your two days per week need. With this in mind, finding a balanced exercise plan could be a simple way to meet your daily exercise goals. Listed below is a detailed 30-minute workout that includes easy exercises that you can complete virtually anywhere you have space.
Easy Exercises to Meet your 30 Minute Exercise Goal
- Warm-Up. Before starting any exercise, you should warm your muscles. Your warm-up should be brief, increase your heart rate, and serve the purpose to warm your muscles for activity. Without a proper warm-up, you risk injury to your muscles. Start off with about 20 jumping jacks, arm circles, leg circles, leg swings, mini squats, and ankle circles. Your total time for the warm-up should be five minutes.
- Jog or Walk. Depending on where you are at in your fitness plan, you can start off with a jog or brisk walk. The goal of this part of the workout is to activate your muscles and to increase your heart rate. If you are doing an at-home workout and have no cardio equipment, then you can jog in place. Your total time spent in this part is five minutes.
- Walking or Stationary Lunges. One of the best exercises you can do is to work the legs directly after a little cardio. Lunges, when performed correctly, should work your quad muscles, thighs, hamstrings, and especially your core muscles. This is for sure a multi-joint exercise and you should perform 10-20 reps with each leg. Your total time for this exercise should be two minutes.
- Push-ups. Directly finishing your lunges, you should drop to the floor and perform push-ups. This is another multi-joint exercise that is efficient in working your muscles all over. It is directly a chest and shoulder exercise; however, push-ups should work your core muscle as well. Aim for 10 push-ups and ad more reps as you progress. Your total time spent with this exercise is two minutes.
- Squats. It is up to you if you want to add any weight to the exercise, but squats are another multi-joint exercise that can really work the lower half of the body. Your thighs and core muscles are mostly worked throughout the movement. Consider performing body weight squats if you are a beginner and aim for about 20-25 reps. Your total time spent on this exercise is two minutes.
- Bicep Curls. This exercise is a staple for anyone looking for easy exercises to get fit. Bicep curls should be performed with weight; consider grabbing sufficient weight so that 10 reps is a challenge. Your total time spent on this exercise should be one minute.
- Calf Raises. Your calf muscles, or gastrocnemius, play vital roles in propelling your movement and for balance throughout the day. Consider a simple calf raise by raising your heels off the ground (or use a machine if you want more weight added). If you are using your own body weight, consider about 20-25 reps. Your total time spent on this exercise should total about one minute.
- Repeat. Once you have reached this point in your exercise plan, you should repeat steps 3-8. By repeating these steps, you will have about four minutes remaining in your workout.
- Stretching. The final part to your exercise plan should incorporate stretching. Consider stretching all major muscle groups for about 30 seconds each. There are eight muscle groups, so this should take up four minutes of time.
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