If you are not an athlete or serious exerciser and simply want to work out for your health or to fit better in your clothes, the gym scene can be frightening and overwhelming. Walking by treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines can be enough to send you straight back home to your sofa.
However, some of the healthiest physical activities for your body don’t include going to the gym or getting in shape to run a marathon. These “workouts” can be quite beneficial to your health. They’ll assist you in maintaining a healthy weight, improving your balance and range of motion, strengthening your bones, protecting your joints, preventing bladder control issues, and even preventing memory loss.
These activities are some of the best workouts you can do, regardless of your age or fitness level, and will help you get in shape and minimize your risk of disease:
Walking is a simple but powerful activity. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your cholesterol, strengthen your bones, control your blood pressure, enhance your mood, and reduce your risk of a variety of ailments (diabetes and heart disease, for example). Walking and other physical activities have been demonstrated in several studies to improve cognition and prevent age-related memory loss.
This Chinese martial art, which incorporates both movement and relaxation, is beneficial to both the body and mind. It’s even been dubbed “movement meditation.” Tai chi consists of a series of beautiful movements that flow into each other seamlessly. Tai chi is accessible and beneficial to people of all ages and fitness levels due to the numerous levels of classes available.
Swimming is often said to as the best workout. Water’s buoyancy supports your body and relieves pressure on aching joints, allowing you to move more smoothly. “Swimming is helpful for those with arthritis because it is less weight-bearing,” says Dr. I-Min Lee, a Harvard Medical School professor of medicine.
Swimming has been shown to improve your mental state and put you in a better mood in studies. Another alternative is water aerobics. These classes can help you lose weight and tone up.
These exercises won’t make you look better, but they will help you support your bladder by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Incontinence can be avoided by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. While Kegels are most commonly associated with women, they can also be beneficial to men.
Many of the activities we engage in for leisure (and for business) are considered exercises. Running around in the yard counts as physical activity as well. Ballroom dancing and playing with your children or grandchildren have the same effect. You can consider yourself “active” if you practice some sort of cardiovascular activity for at least 30 minutes every day and incorporate two days of strength training per week.
Think again if you think strength training is a masculine, brawny sport. Lifting low weights will maintain your muscles strong rather than bulking them up. Muscles will lose strength over time if they are not used.
Muscle also aids in the burning of calories. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, making it easier to stay in shape. Before beginning a weight-lifting regimen, make sure you understand good form. Begin with a lightweight of one or two pounds. You should be able to easily raise the weights ten times. Increase it by a pound or two after a couple of weeks. Move up to a slightly heavier weight if you can effortlessly lift the weights through the whole range of motion more than 12 times.