We get it. You need one more person telling you to exercise like you need another hole in the head. It’s no secret that exercise is important for your health. As girls from the Valley were once fond of saying, “No, duh.”
But it’s no secret it’s tough to get started, too. Especially if you haven’t exercised in a while, or you’re way out of shape.
And frankly, a gym filled with meaty weight lifters… and super-flexible, yoga-pant clad exercisers… is downright intimidating.
So what’s a beginner supposed to do? Relax we’ve got you covered.
Forget complicated weight circuits, endless crunches and sit ups, or running for miles on end. We’ve come up with the perfect routine of easy and effective exercises to help you get started no matter how out of shape you are, and no matter your age.
Easy and effective exercises for beginners
This simple five step workout focuses on the three core areas you need to master to build your confidence and stamina:
And remember, you don’t have to be in shape to do any of these easy and effective exercises. If you’ve been ill, if time simply got away from you, or if you’ve just never been interested before but want to start exercising now, this easy and effective routine is perfect for you.
Just be sure to check in with your doctor first to make sure you’re healthy enough to start an exercise routine. (We promise he’ll be ALL for it.) And then get started!
1. 5-Minute Movement:
This first exercise is exactly what it sounds like. You’re going to keep your body moving for five full minutes.
But what makes it easy—and fun—is there are NO other rules. Simply set a timer for five minutes, start moving your body and don’t stop until it dings.
Stroll around the dining room, sit in a chair and wave your arms and legs, do some jumping jacks. Heck put on some tunes and Hula dance around the dining room if you like.
The activity isn’t important, as long as you move for the entire five minutes. Don’t focus on getting your heart rate up. Don’t worry whether you’re breaking a sweat or not. Just move.
2. Side Arm Circles:
Arm circles are so super easy to do it won’t even feel like you’re exercising at all. But the truth is you won’t just be strengthening your arms, you’ll also be giving your core—the muscles in your chest, abdomen, back, and sides—a little workout too.
Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart. Pay close attention to your posture. Your shoulders should be back, your head at a natural angle, your stomach pulled in and your back straight.
Lift your arms to the side, so they’re parallel to the floor. Make small circles with your shoulders. And make sure you don’t hunch your shoulders up towards your ears. Your arms should remain straight and relaxed.
Aim for 30 circles, or a full minute, whichever comes first. Don’t push beyond the point of comfort. Remember, these should be easy and effective exercises, not hard and painful ones. But you should start to feel a little pull in your arm and core muscles. This is good.
Lower your arms and rest for 30 seconds. Lift them back up, and repeat the exercise circling your arms in the other direction.
3. Torso Twist:
You can choose to do the Torso Twist seated, or standing, depending on your fitness level.
If you’re standing, start with feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. If you’re sitting, move to the edge of the bed or chair, and keep your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
Gently turn your upper body as far to the right as you comfortably can, as if you need to look over your right shoulder but can’t turn your head. The rotation should be from the waist, not the hips. Return to center, and repeat to the left.
Do five sets. Don’t force your body to turn any further than is comfortable. You’ll gain flexibility the more often you do it.
4. Reach Low, Reach High:
Balance is vital to avoiding injuries and staying independent as you age. And this Reach Low, Reach High exercise can help you do that.
Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Take a step backwards with either leg so that one foot is behind the other. Make sure to maintain the shoulder wide stance, it will help with balance.
Bending from the knees, as well as the back, reach down, as if you’re picking something up off the floor with both hands, then stand back up. Now, reach up over your head, stretching from your sides as well as your arms, as if you were putting something up on a shelf that’s just out of reach. Repeat three times.
Eventually, your goal is to be able to lift up onto your toes when you do the reach. But don’t rush yourself. You’ll get there. If you feel a little unsteady start with a sturdy chair next to you, so you can hold on if necessary.
Feel like you need more help with your balance? Check out our special report Prevent falls with 4 moves for better balance.
5. The Stop Lunge:
The Stop Lunge is a double duty exercise. It will help strengthen your legs and core. But it’s also a great move to stop yourself from falling if you trip or lose your balance.
Hold onto a counter for balance if necessary. Step forward with one leg, extending the same arm in a “stop” position. Dip as low as you can comfortably go, making sure to keep your knee over your ankle. Stand back up, and repeat on the other side.
Commit to doing this deceptively easy routine five to seven days a week and within just a few weeks, you will begin to see amazing results. You’ll feel stronger, more flexible and steadier on your feet. When you start to notice those changes go ahead and add on a few more reps to each exercise to continue to challenge yourself.
The path to physical fitness is far easier than you imagined, and these easy and effective exercises can help you get there. So go ahead and get started.