Countless people all over the world are looking for ways to get fit and be active. But going to the gym isn’t always an option, and, understandably, not everyone feels comfortable there.
Luckily, there are some incredible exercises that don’t require you to go to the gym and mess with the complicated machines. You can do most of these in the privacy of your home, and combine them when you want to do a well-rounded workout.
Believe it or not, walking, not running, is one of the best exercises you can do, especially if you haven’t been all that active lately. It’s also the perfect excuse to get out of the house and to breathe in some fresh air.
Depending on your stamina, you might want to walk for about 15–30 minutes every day. Set a pace, go slow, and take your time. Then, once you start feeling like a 15-minute walk is no big deal, start increasing the pace and duration.
Walking has a ton of health benefits, including enhancing your circulation, strengthening your muscles, and even improving your sleep.
Another exercise that will strengthen your muscles and improve your endurance is swimming. Since you float in water, you don’t actually put any strain on your joints, making it a perfect exercise for people with arthritis, for example.
What’s more, swimming can do wonderful things for both your mental and physical health. It will help you maintain a healthy weight, tone all of your muscles, and alleviate stress.
3. Lifting and Strength Training
When most people think of lifting weights, their mind goes to big burly men and women in the gym who bench and press more than their weight. But strength training doesn’t actually require you to use heavy weights at all. In fact, using only two 2-pound weights, you can tone your muscles and increase your strength.
If you’ve never lifted weights before, start small, and take it easy. Lift those 2-pound weights for a couple of weeks, and try to do two 10-rep sessions. Then, once you’re comfortable with that weight, increase it by a pound or two.
Unlike walking or strength training, Kegel exercises target a different group of muscles. They strengthen all three of your pelvic floor muscles and help you control your urine flow and bladder better.
Contrary to popular belief, both men and women can and should do Kegels at least a few times a week. Once you learn what muscles to target, doing these exercises is pretty simple. But the most important thing to remember is not to tighten your stomach, thighs, or buttocks.
5. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is essentially meditation in motion, and it’s a type of martial art that has a long and beautiful history. Through a series of deliberate movements, Tai Chi will relax and stimulate both your body and mind.
What’s great about Tai Chi is that it’s so accessible, no matter your fitness level. Also, even if you’ve never dabbled in this martial art before, there are programs for beginners that anyone can follow.