What is the Easiest Form of Exercise?
If you're looking to get in shape but don't know where to start, you may be wondering - what is the easiest form of exercise? Getting active can be tough, especially if you're new to working out. The good news is, there are plenty of simple, low-impact exercises that can help boost your health.
- Walking - The Most Accessible Exercise
- Swimming - A Low-Impact Option
- Yoga - Stretch Your Way to Fitness
- Bodyweight Training - Anywhere, No Equipment Required
- Chair Exercises for Seniors and Beginners
- Everyday Activities - Take Advantage of Daily Movement
- CBD to Support
- Starting Is the Most Important Step
- Frequently Asked Questions on Easy Exercises for Beginners
- What if I hate going to the gym? Are there easy workout options besides the treadmill?
- I have terrible balance. Can I still do yoga?
- What if I don't know how to swim? Can adults learn?
- I have arthritis. Are there easy exercises that won't aggravate my joints?
- What muscles do bodyweight exercises work? How can I tell if I'm doing them correctly?
- I want to walk regularly but don't want to walk alone. What are good options for finding a walking buddy?
- How long before I start seeing results from my new workout routine?
When starting a new workout routine, the key is to begin slowly. Pushing yourself too hard too fast can lead to burnout, soreness, or even injury. Instead, look for exercises you actually enjoy. The more fun you have, the more likely you'll stick with it.
Walking - The Most Accessible Exercise
One of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise is walking. Virtually anyone can do it, anywhere, without any special skills or equipment.
Walking delivers a long list of health perks. Studies show it can:
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Reduce body fat
- Improve cardiovascular fitness
- Boost mood and mental health
Best of all, you can tailor the intensity to suit your current fitness level. A leisurely stroll burns about 200 calories per hour, while a brisk pace of 3-4 mph can torch up to 300 calories.
To up the ante, add short bouts of quick walking or hills. Wearing a weighted vest or holding hand weights will also increase calorie burn.
The key is to start slowly and gradually increase your speed, distance, or duration. Aim for 30-60 minutes per session, 4-5 days per week.
How Fast Should You Walk?
Wondering how fast you should walk to get optimal benefits? Here are some general guidelines based on fitness level:
- Beginner: Start with a casual 10-15 minute stroll and work up from there. Focus on completing short distances without getting winded.
- Intermediate: Walk at a pace of 3-4 mph for 30-45 minutes, 4 times per week. You should feel moderately challenged but not exhausted.
- Advanced: Incorporate short intervals of brisk walking at 4.5-5 mph, for 45-60 minutes at a time. Mix with periods of slower walking to catch your breath.
The more you walk, the fitter you'll become! Just remember to start slow and pay attention to your body. Rest or cross-train on off days to allow muscles time to recover. Proper shoes and hydration are also key when ramping up your walking regimen.
Swimming - A Low-Impact Option
If you're looking for an exercise that's gentle on the joints, swimming is a fantastic choice. The buoyancy of water supports your body weight, reducing strain on bones and muscles.
Research confirms that swimming can:
- Improve cardiovascular endurance
- Strengthen muscles throughout the body
- Enhance coordination and balance
- Increase flexibility
Swimming works every major muscle group, including the arms, legs, back, shoulders, and core. This total-body workout torches up to 700 calories per hour for a 155-pound person.
Because swimming is low-impact, it's suitable for all ages and fitness levels. You can tailor the intensity by using different strokes and swimming at various speeds. It's easy to track your progress as you gradually improve your distance, endurance, and technique.
If you don't know how to swim, consider signing up for adult lessons. Knowing proper form will help you avoid injury down the road. Once you get the basics down, try swimming laps for 20-40 minutes at an easy, consistent pace. Use buoyant aids if needed to stay afloat.
More Water Workouts
If swimming laps isn't your style, no problem! Here are a few other water-based workouts worth trying:
- Water walking/jogging - Simply walk or jog back and forth across the shallow end. Use water dumbbells for extra resistance.
- Water aerobics - Take a class that incorporates cardio and strength training moves. The water adds intensity while reducing joint strain.
- Aqua Zumba® - Dance your way to fitness with this lively water-based class that's easier on your body than land Zumba®.
- Water yoga - Flow through yoga poses in the comfort of a warm pool. The water supports your body and facilitates stretching.
Switching up your aquatic routine will keep you challenged. But the main thing is to pick activities you enjoy and stick with them!
Yoga - Stretch Your Way to Fitness
For a low-impact exercise that strengthens and lengthens muscles, yoga can't be beat. This mind-body practice builds core stability, balance, and flexibility through a series of poses and focused breathing.
Studies confirm yoga offers benefits like:
- Increased muscle tone and endurance
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved sleep quality
- Enhanced focus and concentration
The best part about yoga is that you can modify poses to accommodate your abilities. Props like blocks and straps make poses more accessible. Flow at whatever pace feels comfortable for your body.
For beginners, start with basic poses like downward dog, warrior I and II, and tree pose. Hold each pose for 5-10 breaths, engaging your core. Allow your body to warm up before attempting deeper stretches.
Aim to take yoga 2-3 times per week, interspersed with rest days. This gives your muscles adequate recovery time between sessions. Proper form is critical, so consider taking a class to learn proper technique.
Here are some other helpful tips for starting a yoga practice:
- Avoid positions that cause pain - ease up if a stretch doesn't feel right
- Focus on alignment - incorrect posture can lead to strain or injury
- Relax into stretches - avoid "forcing" your body into poses
- Breathe deeply - match breath to movement for a soothing experience
Yoga is extremely customizable to your abilities. Don't be afraid to modify poses or use props so you can reap all the benefits. Consistency is key to increased flexibility, strength, balance, and body awareness.
Bodyweight Training - Anywhere, No Equipment Required
One of the most convenient ways to exercise is through bodyweight training. As the name implies, you use your own body to provide resistance. That means you can get in shape at home or on the road, with no fancy equipment required.
Bodyweight workouts utilize moves like:
- Push-ups - Strengthen chest, shoulders, triceps, and core
- Squats - Tone glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves
- Lunges - Target leg and glute muscles
- Planks - Build core stability and strength
- Burpees - Boost cardio endurance and full-body power
The beauty of bodyweight training is that you can modify exercises to suit your current fitness. For example, do push-ups on your knees or against a wall to reduce resistance. Take squats and lunges without weights until you build foundational strength.
Aim to do 10-15 reps of each exercise, 2-3 sets per move. Mix up upper body, lower body, and core moves for a balanced workout. Start with beginner variations and progress the intensity over time. Allow at least one day of rest between sessions to avoid overtraining.
To keep improving:
- Increase reps and sets
- Reduce rest periods
- Add unstable surfaces
- Use advanced variations (pistol squats, plyo lunges)
- Try new exercises to target different muscles
With bodyweight training, you dictate the challenge level. Best of all, you can exercise anytime, anywhere without expensive equipment!
Chair Exercises for Seniors and Beginners
If traditional fitness regimens like cardio and strength training seem daunting, chair exercises are a great alternative. These seated workouts are extremely low impact and accessible to all ages and abilities.
Chair exercises provide major benefits like:
- Increased cardiovascular health
- Greater mobility and flexibility
- Improved strength and balance
- Reduced pain and stiffness
- Boosted mood and mental sharpness
Best of all, they can be done at home using items you already have - a sturdy chair and optional light weights or resistance bands. Sit down with proper posture, brace your core, and perform 8-15 controlled reps of each move. Focus on good form.
Here are some great seated exercises to try:
- Shoulder shrugs
- Bicep curls
- Tricep extensions
- Chest presses
- Leg raises
- Leg extensions
- Heel digs
- Ankle circles
- Seated twists
- Knee raises
Aim for 15-30 minutes per session, 2-3 days per week. Increase intensity by adding weights or resistance bands. Stand occasionally between exercises to improve blood flow and balance.
Chair exercises allow anyone to remain active and independent. Consult a physical therapist to develop a program that matches your abilities. Staying active is vital at any age!
Everyday Activities - Take Advantage of Daily Movement
Want to squeeze exercise into your regular routine? Good news - you can get in shape simply by making daily tasks more active.
Turning chores, errands, and other mundane activities into mini workouts provides huge fitness benefits. The calories burned doing housework and other routine tasks really add up. You can also increase intensity by putting in more effort.
Here are everyday ways to burn extra calories throughout your day:
- Take the stairs - Skip the elevator and take stairs at every chance.
- Walk or bike for transportation - Leave your car at home for short trips.
- Do yardwork - Mow, edge, prune, sweep - gardening tasks burn 200-400 calories per hour.
- Wash your car - Scrubbing and hoses provides a serious arm workout!
- Play active games with kids - From tag to hopscotch, you'll both burn calories.
- Work vigorously at household chores - Clean at a brisk pace or lift heavier items.
- Take fitness breaks - Insert squats, jumping jacks, or planks during TV commercials.
- Park farther away - Take advantage of the extra walking whenever running errands.
Taking a few extra steps here and there keeps your metabolism revved. And completing physical tasks reduces risk of injuries from poor movement patterns. Make activity part of your regular routine!
CBD to Support
When starting a new workout program, supporting your body's recovery is crucial. Without proper rest, muscles can't fully repair and strengthen. This is where CBD oil may help.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound extracted from cannabis plants. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and won't produce a "high."
CBD oil, cbd capsules, or topicals can complement an active lifestyle. Always start with the lowest dose and increase slowly as needed. Talk to your doctor before trying CBD, especially if you take any medications.
When starting a new workout program, listen to your body. Start slowly and allow enough rest and recovery between sessions. Adequate sleep, nutrition, and hydration are also key. Along with smart exercise, CBD could give your fitness routine a helpful boost!
Starting Is the Most Important Step
When it comes to getting in shape, the most important thing is to simply get moving. Start with easy activities you enjoy and slowly increase your duration or intensity. Be patient with yourself - fitness is a journey.
Remember, what matters most is consistency. Even 10-15 minutes of activity every day will produce results over time. The key is to stick with it!
So what are you waiting for? It's time to put on those sneakers and take your first steps towards better health. Stay positive and don't give up. Your future self will thank you!
Now go get moving! What's the easiest type of exercise for you to start today?
Frequently Asked Questions on Easy Exercises for Beginners
What if I hate going to the gym? Are there easy workout options besides the treadmill?
You absolutely don't need a gym membership to get in shape! There are many ways to workout from home with minimal or no equipment. Options like yoga, pilates, and bodyweight exercises provide amazing benefits without ever needing to step foot in a gym. Outdoor activities like walking, hiking, and swimming are also low-cost ways to move your body. Find what you enjoy most and commit to doing it several times per week.
I have terrible balance. Can I still do yoga?
Yes, yoga is adaptable to all skill levels! Using props like blocks and straps can help you balance in poses until your core strength improves. Let your instructor know if you have balance concerns and request poses that focus on stabilization. Avoid closing your eyes in balancing postures. Go slowly, engage your core, bend your knees, and work near a wall for support. Be patient as your balance and stability enhance over time.
What if I don't know how to swim? Can adults learn?
Swimming is a skill anyone can learn, regardless of age! Sign up for adult swim lessons at your local YMCA, recreation center, or community pool. Let the instructor know it's your first time learning. Start with basics like floating, treading water, and doing kicks. Transition to swimming strokes like freestyle and breaststroke. With professional guidance, adults can overcome fear, gain confidence, and learn proper stroke technique. Just take it one step at a time.
I have arthritis. Are there easy exercises that won't aggravate my joints?
Absolutely! Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, and cycling are gentle on the joints while improving strength and mobility. Chair exercises are another great option allowing you to stay active from a seated position. Yoga can also help with arthritis when poses are modified to your comfort level - use props to provide extra support. Avoid high-intensity workouts that involve jumping and pounding. Focus on gradual progression and proper technique to protect your joints. Consult your doctor to develop an exercise plan that suits your needs.
What muscles do bodyweight exercises work? How can I tell if I'm doing them correctly?
Bodyweight moves work all the major muscle groups in the upper body, lower body, and core. To ensure proper form: Move slowly, brace your core, maintain neutral spine alignment, avoid locking joints, and keep knees behind toes in squats/lunges. Focus on controlled motion and feel the targeted muscles working. Doing pushups, your chest and triceps should fatigue. Squats should make your glutes, quads and hamstrings burn. Planks should challenge your abdominals. Performing moves correctly ensures you tone muscle rather than strain joints. Consider taking a class or working with a trainer to master form.
I want to walk regularly but don't want to walk alone. What are good options for finding a walking buddy?
Walking with a partner can make fitness more fun and help you stick to your routine. Ask friends, family members or coworkers to join you for a walk during lunch breaks or after work. Join a local walking group through your community center, gym, hiking club, or running store. Download apps like Strava or MapMyFitness to connect with people in your area. You can also look for walking partners through social media networks like Facebook and NextDoor. Having an exercise buddy provides camaraderie, safety, and mutual accountability.
How long before I start seeing results from my new workout routine?
Consistency is key when starting a new fitness program. You're unlikely to see major changes after just a few sessions. Allow 4-8 weeks of regular workouts before expecting to notice meaningful improvements in areas like weight loss, muscle tone, strength gains, and enhanced cardio endurance. Take before photos to track subtle progress along your journey. Record fitness benchmarks like weight lifted or miles walked so you can quantify your improvement. Celebrate small wins and milestones to stay motivated. With regular effort, the results will come!
Getting active can be challenging, especially for beginners. But there are many simple, low-impact exercises that can kickstart your fitness journey. Walking is one of the most accessible workouts - it can be done anywhere, requires no equipment, and offers tremendous health benefits. Swimming is another great option, providing a total body workout that's gentle on joints. Yoga builds strength, balance, and flexibility through bodyweight poses - modify as needed and progress slowly. Bodyweight training utilizes exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups to improve strength using your own bodyweight as resistance. Chair exercises allow individuals with limited mobility to remain active through seated cardio and strength moves. Making daily activities more active - like taking the stairs or vigorously cleaning - is an easy way to burn extra calories. When starting a new routine, begin slowly and focus on exercises you enjoy. Allow sufficient rest between sessions and progress gradually. Be patient - fitness is a lifelong journey. Celebrate small victories along the way to stay motivated. With consistency, you will start to notice positive changes in your energy, strength, endurance and overall health.