Are you constantly swamped with work, juggling countless responsibilities, or simply struggling to find the motivation to move off the couch? Welcome to the club! In today’s fast-paced world, making time for exercise can feel like a Herculean task. But fear not, fellow busy bees and self-proclaimed sloths! This article is your ultimate guide to weaving fitness into your daily routine without breaking a sweat (well, metaphorically). Get ready to exercise with some planning, motivation-boosting tips, exercise apps, YouTube videos, and common exercise equipment that will turn even the busiest or laziest among us into bonafide exercise enthusiasts!
Just remember that before you begin any new exercise routine, consult a certified healthcare professional or exercise physiologist, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns. Exercise physiologists can assess a patient’s medical background to identify the most suitable exercise and fitness program.
Exercise types and names
Let’s start with the very basics. By definition, exercise means a form of physical activity to improve or maintain various aspects of physical fitness and overall health. Now, why is exercise important? Exercise is important as it contributes to our holistic well-being. Regular exercise can help address several issues, such as reducing belly fat, losing weight, lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol, reducing lower back pain, knee pain, and so on.
Further, physical activity promotes the release of endorphins, which serve as natural mood enhancers. Consistent physical activity can aid in alleviating stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms while promoting better sleep and cognitive function. All of this means that exercise can boost your efficiency and productivity multi-fold.
There are many types of exercises, each with its unique benefits and purpose.Here is a list of some common exercise categories:
- Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercises: These primarily target the cardiovascular system, improving heart and lung function, endurance, and overall fitness. Examples include running, swimming, cycling, and brisk walking.
- Anaerobic Exercises: These involve short bursts of intense activity, often aimed at improving strength, power, and muscle mass. Examples include weightlifting, sprinting, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
- Flexibility Exercises: These focus on improving the range of motion of joints and muscles, reducing the risk of injury, and enhancing overall body mobility. Examples include yoga, Pilates, and static stretching.
- Balance Exercises: These help improve stability, coordination, and body awareness, aiding injury prevention and overall functional fitness. Examples include tai chi, single-leg exercises, and balance board activities.
- Core Exercises: These target the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis, aiming to improve posture, stability, and overall body strength. Examples include planks, crunches, and Russian twists.
- Functional Exercises: These focus on improving the ability to perform daily activities and movements more efficiently and safely. Examples include squats, lunges, and step-ups.
- Calisthenics: These exercises use body weight as resistance and focus on developing strength, flexibility, and endurance. Examples include push-ups, pull-ups, and bodyweight squats.
- Sports and Recreational Activities: Many sports and recreational activities combine exercise types, often targeting cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Examples include soccer, basketball, tennis, and dancing.
Easy ways to get started with exercising in 2023
Whether you are too busy or just lazy, there are simple ways to begin exercising, build exercise into your routine, and do it consistently. Here is how you can get started:
Plan and schedule
Assess your daily and weekly routines and identify the days and times when you can realistically commit to exercise. Choose a regular time for your workouts, whether in the morning, during lunch, or in the evening. Consistency can help you establish a routine and make exercise a natural part of your daily life. You can use Akiflow, the ultimate time-blocking platform, to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, create an exercise plan and maintain consistency. Time blocking can help you visualize your day and ensure that you allocate sufficient time for your exercise, minimizing the likelihood of skipping it. So, start your free trial of Akiflow today!
Find the motivation to exercise
Set clear goals of what you want to achieve from exercising and visualize how exercise can transform you into a fitter and healthier version of yourself. Having a friend, family member, co-worker, or exercise coach join you in your workouts can provide social support, accountability, and motivation. Engaging in group exercise classes or sports teams can also foster a sense of community and camaraderie. Upbeat music can make your workouts more enjoyable and help keep your mind occupied during exercise. Popular tracks to include in your exercise music playlist are “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “Unstoppable” by Sia, “Till I Collapse” by Eminem, “POWER” by Kanye West, and “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. You can follow fitness influencers on Instagram, such as Kayla Itsines (@kayla_itsines, 15.7M followers), Simeon Panda (@simeonpanda, 8.2M followers), and Emily Skye (@emilyskyefit, 2.7M followers) for inspiration. And finally, fill up your desktop wallpaper with motivational exercise quotes and pictures.
Start slowly, e.g., with walking
Walking is a simple, low-impact exercise that offers numerous health benefits and is appropriate for individuals of any age and fitness level. It is a particularly useful exercise for seniors. Walking for at least 30 minutes daily significantly enhances your overall well-being. If dedicating 30 minutes daily proves challenging, then even brief, frequent walks can offer advantages. You can use your walking time to listen to your favorite music, engaging podcasts, audiobooks, or talk to your loved ones.
Watch exercise videos on YouTube
While you could always go to Google and search for “exercise classes near me”, “exercise gyms near me” or “exercise dance classes near me”, there are plenty of exercises that you can easily do at home and that do not require any special exercise equipment. To find inspiration, you can watch exercise videos on YouTube. Here is a list of some popular YouTube exercise channels in 2023:
- Chloe Ting (24.5M subscribers on YouTube): This channel shares workout challenges, full-length exercise videos, and healthy lifestyle tips.
- Athlean-X (13.3M subscribers on YouTube): Offers expert advice on strength training, injury prevention, and nutrition, with a focus on functional fitness.
- Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone (4.36M subscribers on YouTube): The channel features various workout videos, ranging from short 1-mile walks to longer, more challenging routines.
- BeFiT (3.05M subscribers on YouTube): The channel offers a wide range of workout routines, fitness tips, and advice to help users achieve their health and fitness goals. Jane Fonda’s workout videos featured on the channel are ideal exercise videos for seniors.
Use exercise apps
Numerous exercise apps are available that cater to different fitness goals, preferences, and levels. Here’s a list of some top exercise apps:
- Nike Training Club: This free app provides a wide range of exercise programs designed by professional trainers, with options for various fitness goals.
- Peloton: Offers live and on-demand workout classes in various disciplines, including cycling, running, strength training, and yoga.
- Strava: Popular among runners and cyclists, Strava tracks your exercise activities, monitors your performance, and connects you to a community of like-minded athletes.
You can also use fitness accountability apps, such as StepBet and WayBetter, that offer you social support and even pay you to work out.
Step up with exercise equipment for home
A wide range of exercise equipment is available to enable you to exercise at home. Each piece of equipment is designed for specific purposes and targets different muscle groups. These can be bought online from Amazon after evaluating ratings and prices. Here is a list of some common exercise equipment and their uses:
- Treadmill: It simulates walking or running and is used for improving cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and burning calories.
- Stationary exercise bike: It mimics cycling and improves cardiovascular health, lower body strength, and endurance while minimizing joint impact.
- Resistance exercise bands: Elastic bands available in varying resistance levels and used for strength training and stretching exercises.
- Dumbbells: Handheld weights available in various sizes and materials, used for strength training exercises.
- Medicine balls: These are weighted balls used for strength training, core exercises, and plyometric workouts.
- Stability ball (exercise ball): A large, inflatable ball used for balance training, core exercises, and stretching.
- Exercise mat: A cushioned, non-slip surface used for yoga, Pilates, stretching, and other floor-based exercises.
- Exercise ropes: These are used for various strength and conditioning exercises.
- Exercise roller (Foam roller): A cylindrical foam tool that helps reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility by applying pressure to tight muscles.
- Exercise ring: It is used in Pilates and other workouts to improve muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility.
- Exercise stepper: It is designed to simulate stair climbing and provide a low-impact cardio workout.
- Exercise bench: It consists of a padded horizontal surface supported by a sturdy frame and is used for weight training, bodyweight exercises, and stretching.
- Exercise watch or fitness tracker: These wearable devices are designed to help monitor and track various aspects of your physical activity and health. Popular exercise watches are Apple Watch and Fitbit Tracker.
Exercise at your desk
Exercising at your desk is an excellent way to stay active while working a sedentary job. Consider investing in a small under-desk pedal exerciser, which allows you to pedal like a stationary bike while seated. You can use it throughout the day to improve circulation and burn calories.
The key to creating a fitness routine is to start slow, build up gradually, and be aware of your body’s limits. Block time in your calendar for your exercise session, set clear goals, and find motivation sources to stay inspired. The right YouTube videos and exercise apps can be useful resources to get you started and help you stay on track. You can also step up your exercise program by using appropriate exercise equipment. Remember to warm up and cool down, e.g., by stretching, before and after your workout sessions. Keeping yourself hydrated, giving your body rest from time to time, and consuming a balanced, nutritious diet can help you reach your goals faster.