EXERCISE: Back to the Basics
Everyone has their opinion about exercise and what’s best, but when it comes to exercises that anyone can do, even the oldest and most out of shape, here is a guide. The best advice is KEEP IT SIMPLE. Here are the 10 best exercises you can start doing today – and stop doing, well, NEVER.
Nothing beats walking. The exercise is functional (you can do it to get places), accessible (no gym needed) and “suitable for all ages and abilities,” And best of wall, walking can reduce your risk of premature death, diseases like hypertension and symptoms of depression.
Want to take walking up a notch? Break into a run. The activity strengthens the legs and core, keeps knees and hips healthy, boosts heart health and spurs your body to burn more calories even at rest. As we age, we may need to run slower but running keeps aging bodies active and fit, yielding great benefits.
If squats leave your legs wobbly, you need to do them more. The move helps prevent lower back, hip, knee and ankle injuries; boosts flexibility and balance; enhances communication between the brain and muscles; and even promotes bathroom regularity by improving your body’s fluid and nutrition distribution to all your tissues, organs and glands. Squats will keep you fit for all the times you need to get up from a chair or couch too.
- Turkish get-ups
This activity involves holding a kettlebell above your head as you move from lying to standing and back down again. It is a practical full-body exercise. Even if you only complete one part it or perform it kettlebell-free, the move can still improve strength, coordination and balance.
Break out the goggles and start splashing. Swimming is the perfect exercise for all ages. Not only is swimming a great cardiovascular workout, but the water provides resistance to strengthen the muscles, while also protecting the joints.
You may think of a pushup as an arm exercise, but it’s truly “a whole body exercise” that works the upper body, legs and core. Start simple by pushing up on your knees or against a wall while standing.
While the plank is often touted as an ab-toner, it’s so much more. The exercise builds core, arm, shoulder and back strength; improves balance and posture; strengthens your lower body; and helps reduce back pain.
You may have retired the pullup after elementary school gym class, but there’s every reason to do it at any age. Pullups build strength in your trunk, arms, shoulders, abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, hands and forearms by pulling up one’s body weight.
No need to get fancy with weights, stretches are an important exercise in themselves (such as toe touches or side lunges). Stretching keeps your body flexible and your muscles healthy. Stretching is meant to help prevent injury so be sure to ease up if stretching gets painful.
- A healthy diet
Eating isn’t exactly exercise, but food is the most important part of any fitness routine. Maintaining a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats will support any exercise routine and give you results.
And the single best exercise? THE ONE YOU WILL DO!