For many of us, even when we understand how much regular exercise can improve our mental and physical health, the real challenge lies in developing an exercise routine that we can stick with. It’s much easier to get up and get moving every day when you actually experience the results you’re looking for—whether that’s trimming your waistline, improving your sleep, mood, and energy, or easing symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression.
Whatever benefits you’re looking for from a fitness plan—and whatever your current fitness level—the key is to mix different types of physical activity. The most effective exercise plans should include a mix of three elements: cardio (or aerobic) training, strength training, and flexibility and balance exercises. This will not only maximize the health benefits, it will also keep your workouts varied and interesting.
Of course, you can always sign up for personal training sessions at a gym, find workout plans online, or download a fitness app, but developing the right exercise plan doesn’t have to be that complicated or expensive. These simple guidelines can help you make the most of your time and reap all the health and weight loss rewards of regular exercise. The important thing to remember about exercise is that something is always better than nothing. By simply sitting less and moving more throughout your day, you can experience health benefits. For substantial health benefits, though, government guidelines in the U.S., UK, and other countries recommend that you aim for: At least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity activity per week. That’s 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week, broken down into 10-minute bursts if that’s easier. At least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week will deliver the same benefits, if your fitness level allows you to work out harder. That means running for 15 minutes, for example, instead of walking briskly for 30 minutes.
The reverse lunge with knee drive engages the core and lower-body muscles while increasing blood flow in the body. The intensity of the exercise results in a more significant caloric expenditure than reverse lunges alone. Start in a standing position and extend one leg back into a complete reverse lunge. Engage your core and maintain balance by driving your front foot down to the floor. Then, as you return to the starting position, drive your back knee up in front of you to waist height. Repeat for five repetitions on each leg.
Bent over rows are a great back exercise that can help build that hourglass shape to mirror a slimmer waist. Begin with feet shoulder-width apart.