Are you new to working out? Or, are you someone who is in a bit of a workout rut? Exercising each day can help to improve your mood, your overall health, and is an excellent way to relieve stress positively.
With the gym craze taking over the country, it can be easy to feel intimidated by all the wannabe bodybuilders, protein drinkers, and far skinnier than you people that populate most gyms. But what if I told you that working out doesn’t have to be that hard? What if I said that I could give you some simple workouts to do each day that won’t kill you, and can help you start to lose weight? Well, today we are going to discuss just that. These exercises are simple and are an easy way to get your blood pumping five days a week.
I know that you might be internally panicking as you read the word running, but I promise I won’t have you running a marathon. But try to take a day each week to go on a light run or fast-paced walk. This can be done in a gym or just around your neighborhood or local park. Try running just one mile today, and see if you can do it. If you can’t run the whole thing, take breaks to walk. Running is a workout that strengthens your cardiac muscles, abs, and legs all simultaneously. And did I mention it’s amazing for your heart?
Once you can run a mile, why not add a couple of minutes to your workout each day. This can help you get up to running two or three miles in no time. Just remember that you get to set the pace, and not to be intimidated by the cross country runner who might be running on the treadmill beside you. If running a certain mileage doesn’t work for you, another easy idea is to run for a particular amount of time instead. So, for example, you might run 10 minutes today and then add on a minute every week.
Want an exercise that works your glutes, quads, and hamstrings? Then the elliptical is your solution. In non-gym terms, that means that this machine is going to tone down your butt, thighs, and all those unwanted areas around them. Ellipticals are great because you can follow a workout program like rolling hills or intervals, or just do your own thing. Look at the instructions on the machine to see what happens when you increase the height of the machine and the resistance.
Try to up the resistance for a minute, and then taking it back down. Choose if you would like to involve your arms or just focus on your legs during this particular workout. Try going for 15 minutes today and then adding time each week.
I know that biking can be no fun indoors, but it is still an excellent workout. If you are going to a gym that offers classes, I would suggest trying a cycling class. Though they can be tough at first, they do help you get a great workout in. However, many gyms offer simulation bikes for you to experience. That means that you can pick a course that you want to follow and the bike will react to the simulation like you were doing it in real life. That means if there are hills on the course, the bike will automatically up your resistance. This can be helpful for bikers who can’t bike outside in the winter, or someone who needs something to look at while they are biking.
The only downside to biking is that you have to put in more time cycling to get the same effect as running. For example, biking three miles is not equivalent to running three miles. That being said, biking is still an excellent way to get a different cardio workout this week. Try to bike four miles once a week.
This might be the most intimidating part of walking into any gym. Especially as women, we can become scared when we walk across the gym into the lifting area where all the guys are bench pressing impressive amounts. But lifting doesn’t need to be something that you fear. It is the perfect way to get your body more toned and trimmed. Here are some great lifts for you to try this week:
Squats- this can be down with weight or without
Seated leg press
Arm curls- use whatever weight is comfortable
Lat pull down
Assisted pull-ups/ dips
We all want those washboard abs, but we don’t always like the exercises we need to do to get them. Ab workouts hurt us, plain and simple, but so does being afraid to wear our bathing suits out in public. I would recommend trying to do two days each week of abs before you do your other workout. Now, I am only suggesting doing a couple of ab exercises each day, for a total of five to seven minutes, with breaks. If you can do an ab workout without needing a break go for it, but if you need to take a 20 to 30-second break before each new set, feel free to!
Some ab suggestions( Pinterest is another great resource):
Take An Exercise Class
If you are you having problems having the motivation to do the steps I’ve listed above, why not try a class at your local gym or YMCA. It can be an excellent way to meet people and be encouraged throughout a workout. Plus, many of the steps I created above can be covered in one workout class. For example, a Zumba class works your legs, arms, cardio, and ab areas. Look into classes near you and sign up today.
In conclusion, you don’t have to workout for more than 30 minutes a day to be an in shape and a healthy individual. I hope that you can use these steps as you start to plan your workouts for the week. For any additional tips, feel free to comment them below!
For tips on conquering your gym anxiety, check out our article here.