Better Exercise. Better Life.

Exercise provides benefits in many aspects of physical health. It aids in preventing and improving the symptoms of diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, hypertension, diabetes, metabolic diseases, cancer, and more. It has also been found that exercise improves muscular strength and bone strength, two crucial aspects of being physically fit and healthy.  As you get older, your body naturally begins to lose muscle mass and bone density. Fitness aids in delaying both of these to allow you to better perform throughout your life.

Aside from aiding in physical health, exercise has numerous other benefits. Exercise can also improve one’s mental health. When a person exercises, their body produces endorphins, which are chemicals that act as natural painkillers. These natural painkillers can help the body reduce stress, fatigue and anxiety, thus improving mood. In addition to this, exercise improves overall cognitive function, alertness, and concentration. Something as simple as going on a quick jog or taking a walk with a friend can have a large positive impact on the body and the mind.

One of the great things about exercise is that it can be done just about anywhere, including your home!

Some great upper body workouts can be done at home while watching TV or relaxing.

  • Try doing 5-10 push-ups during commercial breaks when watching TV. These can add up quickly without seeming daunting!
  • Triceps dips are also a great versatile exercise to improve upper body strength, and can be done at home by using steps, a chair, a bench, or any sort of stable ledge. Doing a few of these here and there throughout the day can add up and produce enormous effects!
  • Bicep curls are another great exercise to do at home. It is not necessary to have store bought weights to do these — anything can be used! Try doing a few bicep curls with water bottles or milk jugs, or even grocery bags when unloading groceries. The possibilities are almost endless!

For your core, there is an endless array of exercises that can be done with just your body weight.

From the traditional sit up, to a plank, side crunches, bicycle crunches, and more, you can do hundreds of different exercises at home to get those abs burning! While performing these exercises, be cautious to keep your core tight and really feel the burn. Pay attention to how your lower back feels, as this may be an area that may feel sore or can be painful due to injury, stress, or from a lack of strength. You may need to modify these exercises to make an exercise easier, or put less pressure on your low back.

Some simple exercises to complete at home for lower body are squats, lunges, glute bridges, and step ups (you can simply use your steps for this). There are many variations for each of these exercises to make them easier or harder, and adding or decreasing resistance will assist in challenging yourself as well. You may wish to add some resistance to these exercises, but it is not necessary! An easy way to add resistance is to use milk jugs, or hand weights if you have them.

One of the biggest reasons people give for not being able to exercise is because of not having time due to work, school, and children. All of the exercises listed above are great to do during commercial breaks, while your children do homework, before and/or after work, or even during lunch break. Keep in mind that you do not need to complete a full circuit in one stretch of time either; feel free to break it up into small time periods to fit into your day better. Fitting in a 15 minute body-weight exercise routine is much more beneficial than the alternative of doing nothing! If you have small children, they can be a great way to add weight to your exercises! It can be great fun for your child to join in! Involving your children in your routine will teach them from a young age to be a part of exercise, and will give you time to bond with your child.

 

Post written by Good Sam’s partner Urban Perform.

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