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Everyone wants to feel and look their best, but most of us find it difficult to summon the energy after meeting life's many responsibilities to exercise. Many people tend to view physical activity as a chore they must do to avoid illness and social exclusion. However, physical fitness doesn't have to be a chore, and it doesn't have to be grueling or painful. The smartest research has shown that individuals who enjoy their exertions are the most likely to make physical activity a lifelong habit.



You don't have to go to the gym or run on the treadmill. It's easy to find an activity you enjoy and defeat that hamster on the wheel feeling! There are many, many alternatives to working out at a gym. The easiest of them all is to exercise at home! It requires no investment, no extra effort. All you have to do is try these 12 exercises. You'll be fitter, happier and feel better in no time.

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Plank

Planks are an excellent exercise for strengthening the core. You'll notice though there's a lot of focused exertion on the upper and lower body as well. Planks improve posture if performed accurately and regularly. It's a necessary exercise if you want enviable abdominal muscles. This exercise works on strengthing your deep core which is vital because those muscles support your spine, pelvic floor, and almost every motion you make with your body.  

  • To get starting with planks, get on the floor with your face toward the ground.
  • Place your forearms on the floor with your elbows underneath your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Make sure your butt does not lift or sag, and your head remains tucked while your body maintains a straight line from your head through the feet.
  • Make sure your body remains in a straight line from your heels through the very top of your head.
  • Focus your gaze directly in front of you.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles and hold the position for 15 seconds.

If you find this movement to be painful, try modifying the pose like you would a push-up. There's nothing wrong with starting small and working up with your strength training abilities.

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Walking

Walking sounds easy enough to do, but the truth is that most Americans don't walk enough throughout the day. Technically, you should be walking every hour for at least 250 to 500 steps, every single hour. Overall, you should strive to reach at least 10,000 steps daily. Research has shown that a simple 20-minute walk can drastically improve your cardiovascular health. For many people, exercise isn't enjoyable. This aspect is the root of all laziness connected to all physical activity. Try listening to your favorite music while you stroll. Ask a friend to join you for a walk, or venture out into the great outdoors to witness the natural splendor of the world.

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Squats

This exercise is considered to be a compound exercise that builds muscular strength in the lower body, especially the thighs, hips, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Squats are an absolute must in any effective exercise regime because they don't require any expensive equipment and utilize body resistance to create muscle.

There are many ways in which one can falter with squats. The most damaging mistakes include squatting such that knees travel past toes, or when the heels are lifting off the ground or if your weight is shifting to toes.

  • To begin doing squats place your feet a bit wider apart than your shoulders. The hips should be over the knees and the knees over the set over the ankles.
  • Move your shoulders back away from your ears and maintain a neutral spine. Curving your spine will cause severe discomfort and will prevent you from benefiting from the motion.
  • Extend your arms, so they're parallel with the ground. Alternatively, put your elbows close to your body with the palms toward one another and your thumbs toward the sky. It's worth remembering that all of these activities can be modified to accommodate your range of motion.
  • Breathe in and unlock your hips bringing them back slightly. Keep your hips backward as your knees bend. Your butt will stick out while your chest and shoulders are upright.
  • Keep your back straight! Head and eyes forward while maintaining a neutral spine. The most effective squats are the most rooted motions that allow the hips to sink below the knees.

Engage your core with your weight in your heels. Stand up and press through your heels. Repeat ten times. Increase your repetitions weekly by five.

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Push-Ups

Performing push-ups may seem like quite the task, but it has its benefits. They're a great way to target pectoral muscles, triceps and the mid-section of the body as a whole. Though there are many variations of push-ups that target more muscle groups, the basic floor dip is best for beginners.

  • To prevent bad-form and injury, ensure your butt is neither raised nor sagging.
  • Also, your chin should be tucked though ears shouldn't touch shoulders.
  • Modify the push-up if you need to and take your time following through with the motion.
  • The muscles reap more benefits from fewer well-done repetitions than poorly executed actions.
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Yoga

The art of yoga is over five thousand years old. Science is just now catching up with understanding the beneficial mechanics of this exercise. Yoga can decrease stress, improve cardiovascular health, fight arthritis, build muscle tone, and help you feel happier.

Yoga is a varied and expansive set of asanas (postures) which require a bit of education and practice. You can attend a yoga class or find advice on the internet about how to begin your yoga practice.

An important rule of thumb to remember with yoga is that your breathing shouldn't be labored unless your doing hot yoga. The focus on your breathing is the most critical part of making your practice useful.

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Walkout

The walkout is a brilliant exercise for defining and sculpting the muscles of the core. It works out the whole upper body with the particular exertion on your abdominals and front anterior muscles. The walkout isn't an exercise to be performed daily. However, practicing the motion three to five times per week would be more effective.

  • When performing the exercise, make sure you don't let your hips either sag or elevate. To begin a hand walkout start in a standing position with your hands on the floor in front of your toes.
  • Slowly walk past the press up the position as far as you can comfortably stretch. Then walk slowly back to start position. Try to do three sets of five.

To modify this move rest your hands on your knees moving your hands forward and backward.

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Glute Bridge

Experts recommend glute bridges as a brilliant exercise for the hips and glutes. Apart from allowing one to develop a rounded booty, glute bridges strengthen the core and lower back muscles as well, leading to a more sculpted body over time.

It's essential that during each repetition you keep your abs contracted and develop the broadest range of movement for the lower body to maximize muscle exertion in target areas.

  • Lie face down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Your arms are at your side with your palms face down.
  • Slowly lift your hips until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a line. Engage your glutes and abdominal muscles. Make sure not to overextend your back.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and repeat. Strive to do a set of ten.
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Swimming

Water is a great place to build muscle without negatively impacting your joints or causing undue stress on your back. Swimming is excellent for older people and for those of us who are carrying extra weight. Try water aerobics or do the backstroke. You'll be burning more calories in the water than you would on land and swimming help improve your immune function, cardiovascular, and muscular health.

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Squat Jump

A challenging variation of the traditional squat, squat jumps leads to more exertion of the quadriceps, in particular, and most other lower body muscles in general. However, it's best to start slow and gradually increase the number of squat jumps you add to your routine to prevent injury. Apart from ensuring that your posture and form is on point - the same as when squatting regularly - make sure you jump as high as possible and land softly as well.

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Boxing

Boxing is a form of strength training that combines cardio activity while working out your daily frustrations. There's something therapeutic about knocking the air out of a plastic punching bag. However, boxing does require some expensive gear, but many gyms have equipment you can borrow. It's worth taking a class to learn the proper form and function which helps your muscles develop correctly. Boxing made it to our list because of the fun factor. Give it a try for yourself and see how better you feel.

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Jumping Lunge

Jumping lunges should be incorporated into one's workout only at an advanced stage when stamina and strength are suitably higher. They enhance the intensity of exertion on both one's glutes and hamstring while also adding an element of cardio to the routine. Performing these can be tricky, especially the first few times - avoid common mistakes such as hard landings and banging knees on the floor with each other repetition.

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Dancing

Dancing doesn't have to be just for the brave souls at the club. Furthermore, dancing is a therapeutic activity that connects the body with the brain and increases coordination, mobility, and cardiovascular health. There's a wide variety of classes for you to try, but paying to dance isn't necessary. Turn on your favorite music, shut the blinds and shake your money maker for 15 to 20 minutes every day.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.