When you hear the word ‘fitness’, what comes to mind? Spending hours in the gym using the cardio machines or lifting weights? Or maybe you think about joining an aerobics class with 10-15 other people who are looking to improve their health? If your definition of fitness consists of only what I’ve already mentioned, it may be time to reconsider the full meaning of the word. Let’s take a closer look at fitness and get you rethinking your definition.
“Jog 3 minutes”
Whether you are looking to lose weight, boost your cardiovascular health or build muscle, exercise is indispensable. However, for exercise to be truly effective it needs to be an activity you enjoy and one that you can make a permanent part of your lifestyle. If you like to walk or jog, then stepping up your pace and running every day is a great way to get fit and feel good. Running is an exercise almost anyone can do, and it’s a great way to lose weight. You can build up a running regime regardless of your current weight or fitness level and start burning calories and building fitness immediately. “The Complete Guide to Running” recommends alternating walking and jogging to start out, then build up to continuous running. As you get fitter, it becomes easier to run further and faster.
“Jumping jack 50 repeats”
From boot camp classes to circuit training, jumping jacks are showing up in many hardcore workouts. The trend of doing back-to-basics calisthenics reflects the philosophy of multitasking. Many vigorous calisthenics, including jumping jacks, do more than burn calories. They function as cardiovascular, strengthening and stress-relieving exercises. Make jumping jacks part of a daily or weekly fitness plan and modify them to meet your fitness goals. Jumping jacks provide a full-body workout. You move all of your large muscle groups. Breathe deeply to engage your core so that you target your abdominal muscles as well. You can modify jumping jacks to make them a more intense muscle-building activity. After jumping with your feet wide, instead of returning to a standing position, assume a deep squat to target your calf, thigh, glottal and abdominal muscles. Keep your pace as brisk as possible to maintain the aerobic benefits of doing jumping jacks.
“Crunches 15 repeats”
Abdominal exercises such as traditional crunches can help you flatten your stomach by tightening your muscles. However, they won’t help you “spot burn” any fat that’s covering up the muscles, and they won’t get you the best results on their own. Combine a series of exercises to boost the effectiveness of your routine. Also, the American Council on Exercise reports traditional crunches activate less muscle activity than many other forms of abdominal exercises.
Hip bridges 10 repeats
It’s a chain exercise that engages your abs but offers even more benefits for your butt, hips, and lower back. The bridge builds muscle, boosts flexibility, and can also be easily incorporated into any routine.
“Step ups 1 minute”
The step-up is a compound exercise that works several lower-body muscles. It is a good strength exercise since it mimics a real-life movement, making it more functional than other lower-body strength exercises. The step-up has several variations, so you can include it in your lower-body program regularly and still keep your routine fresh.
“Reverse crunches 15 repeats”
So you’ve mastered the standard crunch. But have you tried the reverse crunch? When you reverse the crunch by raising your pelvis — rather than your shoulders — off the floor, you still activate the rectus abdomens, but also engage multiple other muscles to assist and stabilize the action. The reverse crunch is said to work the lower abs. In reality, you don’t have a lower abs muscle; you have a lower region of the rectus abdominal muscle. This muscle is one large sheath of fibers, divided in six sections by tendinous creases.
“Mountain climbers 1 minute”
Mountain climbers are callisthenic exercises that challenge your balance, agility, proprioception and coordination. They benefit muscular and cardiovascular fitness by increasing strength, flexibility and blood circulation. Mountain climbers require you to engage your upper arms muscles, as well as your core and your legs. Practice the proper alignment of mountain climbers to get the most out of your workout.
“Push ups 15 repeats”
When you’re ready to build strength and develop a tight and toned upper body and core, look no further than the push-up. The push-up requires no gym membership, no fancy equipment and is an effective exercise for everyone from newbie’s to heavy lifters.
With just one simple exercise, you’ll work several different muscle groups, and you can continue to increase the difficulty of the exercise as you get stronger. You can even work pushups into a quick high-intensity routine for calorie-burning if weight loss is your goal.
Squat thrusts 1 minute
The squat thrust is a callisthenic exercise that targets several major muscles in the legs. Squat thrusts also work, to a lesser degree, muscles in the arms, stomach and chest. Additionally, squat thrusts are a good exercise for strengthening the heart muscle and building cardiovascular endurance. The squat thrust is a challenging exercise and beginners might need to obtain a doctor’s approval and learn proper technique from a certified personal trainer before starting a vigorous exercise program that includes squat thrusts. The main muscles worked by doing squat thrusts are the muscles in the legs. Specifically the gluteus maximus, hamstrings and quadriceps. Exercises such as the squat thrust that target the leg muscles are important for building muscular endurance in the lower limbs. The legs are the largest group of muscles in the body and thus leg exercises possess significant potential for burning calories and losing weight. Building muscular endurance in the hamstrings, gluteus and quads with squat thrusts also helps thwart fatigue in the legs from work or other daily, athletic or recreational activities that involve the legs.
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