If you only had to do three exercises to help to achieve a better fitness level and maintain it, you couldn’t go wrong with the three that I am going to explain. They address the core of the body and the results of consistently doing these exercise are nothing short of amazing. The key is to consistently do the exercises and slowly increase your reps or time spent doing the exercise.
What makes these exercises so great is you don’t need to go to a fitness center or use any special equipment. These three exercises can be done anywhere and anytime.
The first exercise is a squat. While many people avoid this one because it can be hard on the knees, you don’t need to use heavy weights or any weights at all. The most important thing to remember is to do squats correctly. For doing squats using only your body weight, first stand with your feet shoulder width apart, put your hands on your sides or point your arms straight out in front of you. Bend your legs down like you are going to sit but stop when your knees are at 90 degrees. Don’t go lower than that or you could put strain on your knees. Then come back up and straighten your legs. It is important to use a slow and controlled movement. Slowly build up the number of reps and if you are using weights, slowly increase the amount of weight used.
What makes squats one of the must do exercises? They work your core and lower legs but also work all muscle groups, making it a complete exercise. Squats help build strength, endurance, balance, and overall conditioning. You can do them anytime, anywhere and they give your legs that muscular and toned look. You can do squats at almost any age and they have to be considered one of the cornerstones of complete body fitness.
Yes, the old tried and true push-up is one of the best exercises and needs to be on the top three list. There is a reason it has been around so long. It is a complete exercise – using all muscle groups, while focusing on the upper body. A correct push-up requires you to initiate your core with you toes pointing down on the floor and you body is straight, with your hands on the floor and your arms straight. Keeping your body straight, you lower your arms down until you are about six inches from the floor and then push your arms up to the straight arm position again.
A push-up is really a modified plank that uses your body weight for resistance and it is a great measure of your strength. You can also work different parts of the upper body by changing the width of your hands – with the hands close together you are keying on your triceps and inner chest muscles. These push-ups are harder to do but will improve strength in triceps. You can also widen the hands beyond shoulder width and these push-ups will work the outer chest muscles. Or you can stick with the basic shoulder width push-up for a balanced muscle workout.
This is the easiest form of exercise and one that you can do at any age. You don’t need a gym or any device, just use your legs to take you to a better level of fitness. Most people don’t even think of walking as a real form of exercise but studies have shown the amazing benefits of even 20 minutes of walking each day. This basic form of movement is an actual powerhouse for fitness. Walking strengthens and tones your muscles and bones. It also is vital for cardiovascular health, weight loss, improved breathing, and balance and coordination. Walking has also been shown to help in the prevention or even reversal of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It even helps with your mood.
There are so many advantages of walking that it should be on the top of everyone’s list for getting and staying fit. All you need is a good pair of walking or running shoes and some comfortable clothes. You pick to length of time to walk, the location, and even the person or pet you want to walk with or else walk alone. You choose the scenic area you want like a park, a trail, a wilderness area, or just in your neighborhood. If you are on a trip or in a different city or country, you don’t need anything else but your shoes.
The key to making the most out of walking is to be consistent. Try to walk at least four times a week, but daily would be the best for maintaining fitness. You should do some stretching before starting your walk and keep track of the time or distance you walk and try to improve on that weekly.
If you add walking, squats, and push-ups to your fitness plan, you will see an increased fitness and stamina level and you will be able to enjoy a more active lifestyle and be able to continue to do activities no matter your age.