Fitness knows no age, gender or weight limits; it is a universal requirement, one that is, often, sacrificed at the altar of time, seniority of age and even body’s flexibility issues. Although what being fit regimen suited the adolescent years and even the young adulthood days may not be appropriate as one ages, the crux of the matter is that workouts, even simple exercises, are a must to enjoy the true benefits of good health.
But if you belong to the nonchalant group of people who toe the ‘workout is not for me’, the good news is that you could shun that attitude and begin an exercise regimen at any age in your life. As they say, it is never too late!
You could, possibly begin with walking and then gradually move to specific exercises. Get ready, and remember, the time is now.
Here are a few dos and don’ts to get you going:
- Begin by assessing your current fitness level before starting the exercise programme.
- If you have any health issues or are concerned about your fitness levels, consult your doctor before starting the programme.
- First timers need to remember the importance of working out every day. Fitness experts recommend aiming for 30 minutes of cardio and strength training twice a week for a couple of months or until exercise becomes a part of your lifestyle.
- At all costs, begin the session with warm-up exercises and also cool down afterwards.
- Set goals to stay motivated. Find new challenges, whether it is a marathon, hiking trip or even an adventure tour.
- Focus on your breathing. The key is to inhale deeply in the rest phase of an exercise, and exhale forcefully while actively working out.
- Always include stretching exercises and strike a straight pose as slouching does not facilitate deep breathing, which is essential while working out.
- Incorporate changes in the programme to make it interesting.
- Drink enough water before, during and after your workouts.
- Do not tense those muscles while working out, as it will only cause you to waste your energy.
- Don’t overdo your new-found love for exercise; chances of burnout are more when you do too much, too fast.
- Do not stick to the treadmill all through. Like many things in life, the effect might just wane.
- Do not work out in your home footwear. Often, it is the wrong footwear that causes injury while working out.
- Do not try to avoid exercises that seem difficult; that may be the one that will help you become stronger.
- Do not fall prey to the temptation of constantly tracking your moves. It is important to move at the pace that helps you enjoy the experience.
- Do not consume too many energy bars and sugary soft drinks that are prescribed for professional athletes. Your body’s requirements could be met with three balanced meals and two light snacks.
For all those working out from home, here are some doable strength exercises:
Squats: This is one exercise that you could do even during your lunch break in the office. Simply stand in front of a chair with arms forward at shoulder level. Now inhale as you bend down from the knees, as if you are lowering yourself to sit down. Then exhale and return to standing. Do this 10-15 times, provided you have no knee pain.
Diagonal push-up: Unlike the regular push-ups, this exercise requires no flat space on the ground – a wall is all you need. Put your hands on a fixed support, it could even be the table, ensuring that your body is diagonal to it. Do this 10 to 15 times.
Pelvic tilt: The pelvic tilt exercise is similar to the yogic bridge pose, which helps to strengthen your core muscles. Lie on your back with bent knees and feet on the floor. Inhale and lift your back up from the floor, while keeping the abs tightened. Exhale and lower your back.
Skipping: You can do skipping exercise even without the rope. All that you need to do is work your hands as if you are holding the rope and jump to avoid the invisible rope.
Cycling: Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind the neck. Now raise the legs and do pretend cycling in the air.
Back extensions: With office work causing all your muscles to strain, you need to loosen up and give your back some support. Stand up and place your hands on the lower back on either side. Now gently try to push your elbows toward each other, making your upper back arch slightly.
Stretch: You cannot, at any cost, get into any workout routine without including simple stretching exercises in it. Simply stretch different parts of your body to make it more flexible and reduce the risk of muscle strain.