Get Your Fitness Regime On Track With These Easy-to-do Exercises
- 5 mins read
- Written by: Dr. Pramod Mane
With the advent of the new year, many people take it upon themselves to set resolutions and goals for their betterment. It is essential to set such aims, especially during this pandemic where the majority of us have lost track of our goals. With the lockdown and the pandemic, fitness and discipline have somewhat gone for a toss.
Work from home has become the new norm, and for most, the lines between working- and non-working hours have blurred. Binge eating and inactivity have become common. The situation could worsen if you have an eating disorder.
Now, you don’t need us to tell you that such a sedentary lifestyle will only attract problems, and take a toll on your physical and mental health! So, after what has been a fairly lousy two years, it is time to look at getting back on track with your fitness goals. Remember, the best way to build immunity levels is through exercise, and eating right. With new Covid variants already making news, it is an absolute must that you stay on top of your health, more than ever now!
So, when you draw up a list of New Year resolutions to adopt, make sure regular exercise coupled with healthy eating top the list. We understand getting back on track after more than a year of slacking off takes discipline and dedication ! To make it easy, we have rounded up some tips on building Healthy Post-Pandemic Habits.
A study showed that it nearly takes up to 254 days to form a habit! So, starting your regime from Day One of the New Year will keep you motivated and help you see your results quicker!
Here are 7 exercise regimens you can follow to get back on track!
Let’s HIIT the gym!
Whether you’re working out at home or planning to go to the gym, High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a great way to get your heart rate up and lose the fat you’ve accumulated. HIIT is an exercise regimen that comprises body weight, plyometrics, and cardio-based exercises. As the name implies, this regimen is a pattern of brief high-intensity exercise followed by an equal duration of rest. Here’s a reference based on the level you are on:
- Beginner: 30-sec work + 40-sec rest
- Intermediate: 30-sec work + 30-sec rest
- Advanced: 40-sec work + 20-sec rest
Here are a few exercises you could include:
Burpees are a great way to burn calories and build strength. Apart from that, burpees are a full body workout, meaning they work almost all the muscles in the body. Here’s how you do a standard burpee with the correct form!
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Squat down (knees mustn’t cross the toes) and place your hands just inside your feet
- Kick back into a push-up position
- Remember to keep your core engaged so that you’re parallel to the ground
- Do one push up
- Frog kick back into a squat position
- Jump up back to the starting position
In case you find this difficult skip the pushup or the jump or both
Jumping jacks are a fairly easy exercise that involves the leg and core muscles and also works out your lungs and the heart. This exercise is a great way to lose fat, build stamina and leg strength. Here’s how you do a proper jumping jack:
- Stand with your legs straight, feet together, and hands by your side
- Jump up and spread your feet beyond hip-width and arms above your head
- Jump back to the original position
You can increase the intensity by including a squat with this exercise
The standard lunge is a bodyweight-based exercise that predominantly works on the leg muscles. You can modify the exercise by adding some weight or incorporating a jump to suit your needs. Below are the steps to do a correct lunge!
- Start by standing straight
- Take one foot forward and bend your knee till your leg forms a 90-degree angle, while your rear leg is
- parallel to the ground and your front knee shouldn’t go beyond your toes
- Lift your front lunging leg and return to the starting position.
- You can alternate between the legs or work a single leg for one particular set
Work on your heart!
Although the exercises mentioned above are beneficial for cardiovascular health, the following exercises are the creme de la creme in terms of cardio exercises! If your goal is to increase your stamina and endurance, then these are your go-to exercises!
Running is a great cardiovascular exercise to build stamina and improve your overall endurance. The best thing about this exercise is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, without the need for any kind of equipment.
However, it is vital to remember that running can be quite a strenuous activity and may injure your knees if not done properly. Here are a few tips you can use to avoid any damages:
- Run on soft surfaces like grass, soil rather than on concrete.
- Wear proper running shoes.
- Keep good form, have good form, and try landing on the middle of your foot after your strides.
- Don’t overdo yourself at the start.
Always remember to warm up before your run!
Let’s face it, cycling is the most fun exercise that you actually look forward to! You just need your bicycle and you can ride along throughout the day. A study showed that an hour of cycling can burn up to 450-700 calories in a person with a weight of ~70kgs. However, there are some precautions you must take while cycling:
- Cycling causes you to sweat a lot; so, carry some drink and food along, if you’re going for a long ride
- Wear appropriate clothing and protective gear
- Adjust your seat properly to avoid injury
Keeping in mind all these, ride your heart out!
Skipping or jumping rope is a great way to combine fun and exercise! Skipping not only helps cardiovascular health but also strengthens your legs and core. Increased coordination and balance are some other benefits of skipping.
Strength training and lifting weights
Another kind of training regimen you can follow is lifting weights. If your goal is to strengthen your muscles and increase their size, then weight training will be your bread and butter! Apart from building muscle, lifting weights also causes fat loss. You can try isolating a few muscle groups on certain days, for example:
- Day 1: Exercises for the back muscles
- Day 2: Exercises for the shoulders
- Day 3: Exercises for the chest
- Day 4: Exercises for the arms (biceps and triceps)
- Day 5: Leg day
While this set of easy exercises should be motivation enough, you must remember that along with these exercises, it is also important to follow a diet regimen to meet your goals. All you now need is to get going to achieve your goals!
Lally P et al. How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European journal of social psychology. 2010;40(6):998-1009.
Zhan A et al. Accurate caloric expenditure of bicyclists using cellphones. In Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems 2012 Nov 6 (pp. 71-84).