If you are a beginner to exercising, you might find gyms, workout guides, and the like extremely intimidating; additionally, you might want to start slow and work your way towards physical fitness at your own pace. Worry not, if “normal” exercise just does not cut it for you, here are five more out-of-the-box ways to exercise.
Enroll in a dance class! As you glide across the dance floor, your entire body will be exercised. In fact, several gyms offer dance classes to cater to those who want to burn their calories while jamming to the latest hits. If you are not comfortable dancing in front of other people, there are thousands of dance exercise tutorials online that you can follow through; you do not need to buy instructional DVDs anymore! Most videos are free and highly effective, especially in weight loss. Just make sure to dance continuously to get the best results out of your workout.
If running and jogging are activities that are too tiring for you, try walking! Instead of driving to the grocery store, you can try walking. Even short fifteen-minute walks are steps towards your fitness goal. In addition to being a viable workout, walking is also a wallet-friendly workout! Walking is great cardio and has most benefits of running and jogging without the added strain.
Who doesn’t want to splash in a pool during hot summer days? Aside from being a nice way to cool off, swimming is also a good workout and aids in weight loss. There is a term coined for aerobics done underwater – aqua-aerobics or “swimnastics”; some public pools offer this class to help swimmers work off their calories. It’s a fun way to exercise and especially preferable for older people to maintain their cardiovascular health.
Playing sports is a surefire way to exercise anyone; however, I am not merely referring to sports. Even childhood games such as tag, hide-and-seek, and treasure hunts are enough to make you sweat! Get a few friends together to make it a group effort – the more, the merrier. If you’re one to ride solo, try various toys to make your exercise fun; for example, jump ropes and hula-hoops can be used in many different exercises!
Instead of spending your vacation cooped up in a hotel room, opt for more active locations! Perhaps you can book a room at a skiing place. Exercise by skiing down slopes or sledding through the snow. On the other hand, if you prefer sunnier places, take a brisk walk along the shore or join a game of beach volleyball!
Exercise does not have to mean a solid hour by yourself, counting reps; its challenge can also be fun and engaging. If a physical activity sounds interesting to you, don’t be afraid to try it! Rock-climbing, martial arts, etcetera – there are a lot of exciting ways to work your body, and you have all the time in the world to find your “unexercise” exercise!
Fitting workouts into your busy schedule may not be easy; however, there are quite a few exercises that you can easily do in mere minutes. Here are four of these exercises which are perfect for busybodies who want to lead a more active lifestyle.
Running, jogging, or walking
If you have a few minutes to spare before leaving for work, take a quick jog around your block. You can set your own pace – run, jog, or walk! Running puts more strain on your muscles but is very effective if you want to lose weight; on the other hand, walking reduces the risk of injury but does not burn as many calories as running or jogging. Jogging is a good balance between the two. All three activities keep your heart healthy, improves your overall immunity to sickness, and leaves you feeling energized and refreshed!
Jumping jacks are classic exercises anybody can try! It is simple enough to learn; first, you need to stand with your feet together and your hands at your side. Next, you jump, raising your arms above your head and spreading your feet wide at the same time. It is a cardio exercise that requires constant repetition. Jumping jacks improve your flexibility, increase your stamina, and also reduce the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Crunches have many variations that focus on certain muscles. For toning the obliques, for example, the reverse crunch may be preferable. To do a reverse crunch, lie with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. Lift your feet off the floor and keep your knees together at a 90-degree angle. You should then lift your shoulders off the ground while pulling your knees towards you, slightly raising your hips in the process.
Repeat this procedure, and you will have well-toned lower abs in no time. If you are looking to tone different parts of your core, there are many other variations available for you to peruse on the Internet; with your developed core, you will gain improved balance, better posture, and reduced risk of muscle and back injury.
Squats involve not only one’s legs but their hips and knees as well. Your muscles will be developed through this exercise but only if done correctly. First, stand with your feet a little over shoulder-width apart while keeping your back straight. Next, slowly bend your knees until you reach a 90-degree angle. Breathe in as you bend, and out as you return to your earlier position. For beginners, 2-3 sets of 20 squats are recommended.
Indeed, these exercises are easy to do and follow. If you require additional assistance or want more variety, there are workout tutorials readily available on YouTube. You will probably find it challenging – maybe even tedious! – to repeat these exercises over and over, but healthy living and physical fitness call for that additional effort. It may only take fifteen minutes, but it is a huge step towards your fitness goal!
You need to eat before and after a workout – it is a known fact. To truly live a healthy and active life, you should ensure that the food you eat is nutritious too; however, nutritious does not have to mean bad tasting. To prove our point, here are five pre-workout and post-workout meals that you can try.
Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Who would not want to be energized by a smoothie this good? You can make this scrumptious smoothie by blending ice, bananas, a teaspoon of peanut butter, and almond milk. Customize the flavor of your drink by adding cinnamon or vanilla extract – it is entirely up to personal preference.
Bananas, in general, are a good source of energy; this amazing fruit boosts your glycogen and sugar levels. It is best to consume this 30 minutes-1 hour before the workout; additionally, it is also a nice pick-me-up after a particularly intense workout!
Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit
To perform your best at a workout, you need to consume a certain amount of sugar. Greek yogurt with dried fruit is enough to provide you with that boost; moreover, it has enough protein and sugar to keep you feeling full without the unnecessary calories! Preparation of this meal is easy; you just mix your preferred fruits into the Greek yogurt. Some people also include a dash of honey or nuts to spruce up their snack.
If you are in a bit of a hurry, protein shakes can solve your time crunch. Proteins help prevent the muscles in your body from breaking down while at the same time, aiding in muscle recovery. You just need to blend your base liquid – either milk or juice – with your whey protein mix; you can also add fruits to enhance your shake’s flavor further! It is an easy way to get you up and running.
If you’re looking to whip up a nutritious meal quickly, make some omelets. Egg omelets are rich in protein, which are a huge help to your body’s muscles; however, consumption of protein should be done 2-3 hours before the actual workout for best performance. To make your omelets even healthier, you can include veggies in your mix, or pair your omelet with whole grain toast.
Sweet potatoes are a staple food for most bodybuilders. It has lower calories than regular white potatoes, but taste just as good! Sweet potatoes also contain lots of fiber, which helps you maintain your appetite and build up your muscles; in addition to this, sweet potato also contains carbohydrates that provide you with energy to carry out your exercise – and help you recover afterward! A common way to serve sweet potato is to cut them up into wedges and serve them; a healthier alternative to french fries!
Indeed, you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds just to eat nutritious food. A healthy lifestyle also means having to use your creativity to find the perfect balance between healthy and yummy!