Done right, these seven exercises give you results that you can see and feel. You can you do them at a gym or at home. Watch the form shown by the trainer in the pictures. Good technique is a must. If you’re not active now, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor first, especially if you have been diagnosed with health concerns. For example, if you have advanced osteoporosis some of these exercises may be too aggressive.
Why it’s a winner: You can walk anywhere, anytime. Use a treadmill or hit the streets. All you need is a good pair of shoes.
How to: If you’re just starting to walk for fitness, begin with five to 10 minutes at a time. Add a few minutes to each walk until you get to at least 30 minutes per walk. Then, quicken your pace or add hills.
Why it’s a winner: Interval training boosts your fitness levels and burns more calories to help you lose weight. The basic idea is to vary the intensity within your workout, instead of going at a steady pace.
How to: Whether you walk, run, dance, or do another cardio exercise, push up the pace for a minute or two. Then back off for 2 to 4 minutes. Exactly how long your interval should last depends on the length of your workout and how much recovery time you need. A trainer can fine-tune the pacing. Repeat the intervals throughout your workout.
Why it’s a winner: Squats work several muscle groups — your quadriceps (“quads”), hamstrings, and gluteals (“glutes”) — at the same time.
How to: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair. Keep your knees right over your ankles. Add dumbbells once you can do at least 12 reps with good form.
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