Listed are seven of the best and most effective exercises. That being said, each of these exercises may be more effective than others depending on the desired results and specifically targeted area. Overall though, the exercises should help you burn calories collected over the many holiday drinks and dinners. As long as you put in the work, you’ll see the results.
This works as a cardiovascular exercise that strengthens the heart and burns calories. Walking is something that can be done anywhere at any time, all you need is a good pair of shoes. No other equipment needed to get fit here. If a beginner though, it’s advised not to go from the couch straight to a brisk hour-long walk. Start with 5 to 10-minute walks and gradually work your way up to at least 30-minute walks.
Adding interval training to a cardiovascular workout will boost your fitness level and help you lose weight. The most effective way of going through interval training is by pushing the intensity or pace for one to two minutes and then backing off for anywhere between 2 to 10 minutes. The amount of time depends on the total length of the workout and how much time is needed to recover.
Strength training is a crucial part of a workout. Some strength-training exercises target multiple muscle groups like squats that focus on the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals. The most important element of squats though is your form. For a perfect form, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your bottom. You can practice your form by using a chair, start by getting on and off a real chair and then transition into just tapping the chair with your bottom, then do that same thing without the chair.
Lunges, like squats, work several muscles of the lower body: hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteals. While lunges are a bit more advanced they also help with your balance. Also similar to squats, your form is key. Take a big step forward while keeping the spine in a neutral position, bend your knee to about 90 degrees and focus on keeping your weight on the back toes, dropping the knee of your back leg to the floor. To take things to the next level, try doing reverse or side lunges.
When a push-up is done correctly, it can strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps and core trunk muscles. To do a correct-form push-up: In a face-down position, place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place toes or knees on the floor and try positioning yourself into a perfect diagonal with your body, from your shoulder to your toes or knees. Keep the glutes and abdominals engaged, then lower and lift your body by bending and straightening your elbows. Make sure to keep your torso stable throughout.
These are the ideal exercise for those who seek firm, flat abs. For a standard crunch, lay on your back with feet flat on the ground and fingertips supporting your head. Press your lower back down and start by contracting the abdominals and lifting your head first, then your neck, shoulders and upper back off of the floor. It’s important to note not to pull your neck forward by sticking your chin out and not to hold your breath while performing the exercise. Also, keep your elbows out of your line of vision to keep your chest and shoulders open.
This exercise is an all-in-one. It works all major muscles of the upper back as well as the biceps. The form for it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend knees and flex forward at the hips. Tilt your pelvis forward slightly, engage abdominals and extend the upper spine to offer more support. Use with dumbells held beneath the shoulders with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Flex the elbows and lift both hands toward the sides of your body, pause then lower your hands to the starting position.
All of these exercises are beneficial to getting into shape and staying active. Depending on your level of fitness and intended goals, go at your own, adequate pace. Keep your form in mind and get those gains!