We know daily exercise is good for optimizing health. But with so many options and limitless information available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what works. But not to worry. We’ve got your back (and body) read more about the top 10 health and fitness exercises. Combine them into a routine for a workout that’s simple but powerful and sure to keep you in shape for the rest of your life.
After 30 days — although you can also do them just twice a week — you should see improvements in your muscular strength, endurance, and balance.
The powerful combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training can help people build muscle strength and improve their heart, lung, and circulatory health.
Exercises that target multiple muscle groups are particularly effective. These include various exercises that require little to no equipment and can suit a range of fitness levels.
Read more about the top 10 health and fitness exercises.
Drop and give me 20. Pushups are one of the most basic yet effective bodyweight moves you can perform because of the number of muscles recruited to perform them. Pushups work for multiple muscle groups, strengthening the arms, chest, and shoulders.
- Start in a plank position with the arms straight, and the body lifted in a straight line horizontal to the floor. Keep the feet together, and the toes flexed to support the body.
- The palms should be flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, with the fingers facing straight ahead or slightly inward.
- Keeping the head in line with the spine, slowly bend the elbows outward and lower the body down to the floor.
- Try to keep the hips and lower back in line.
- Lower as far as possible, aiming to touch the chest or chin to the floor.
- Use the arm muscles to press the body back up into the starting position.
- Keep the abdominal muscles engaged throughout to help support the back.
2- Dumbbell rows
Not only will these make your back look killer in that dress, but dumbbell rows are another compound exercise that strengthens multiple muscles in your upper body. Choose a moderate-weight dumbbell and ensure you’re squeezing at the top of the movement.
Dumbbell rows can strengthen the back and increase muscle growth. An increase in muscle strength also causes the body to burn more calories when resting. People will need two dumbbells for this exercise.
- Start with a dumbbell in each hand. We recommend no more than 10 pounds for beginners.
- Stand with the knees slightly bent and tilt forward from the hips, keeping the back straight.
- Starting with your right arm, bend your elbow and pull the weight straight up toward your chest, making sure to engage your lat and stop just below your chest.
- Repeat for 3 sets, with a 45-second rest between each set.
Lunges work the thighs, buttocks, hips, and abdominal muscles. Challenging your balance is an essential part of a well-rounded exercise routine. Lunges do just that, promoting functional movement while increasing strength in your legs and glutes.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms down at your sides.
- Take a step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee as you do so, stopping when your thigh is parallel to the ground. Ensure that your right knee doesn’t extend past your right foot.
- Push up off your right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg. This is one rep.
- Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
Running is a form of aerobic exercise, and it can help improve cardiovascular fitness and bone strength. Jogging is a less intense form of running and may be best for beginners.
People can often improve their running endurance through interval running, which involves running for a certain distance or time and then switching to walking before running again. Alternatively, people can switch between running and sprinting.
Sprint interval training may help decrease body fat, increase aerobic capacity, and increase peak running speed.
Planks strengthen the back and abdominal muscles and help build core strength. Planks are an effective way to target both your abdominal muscles and your whole body. Planking stabilizes your core without straining your back the way situps or crunches might.
- Begin in a pushup position with your hand and toes firmly planted on the ground, your back straight, and your core tight.
- Lift the body to form a straight line horizontal to the floor.
- Keep the feet together, and the toes flexed to support the body.
- Hold for 20–30 seconds.
- Slowly lower to the floor and rest for 1 minute, then repeat 3–5 times.
Once people feel strong performing this exercise, they can try a high plank. This move uses the same body positioning, but the person keeps their arms straight with their palms flat on the floor, directly underneath the shoulders.
Morning Yoga is an ancient practice that focuses on bringing harmony between the mind, body, and soul. It couples physical poses with breathing control, relaxation, and concentration techniques.
Yoga helps improve flexibility, fight stress, improve sleep, boost immunity, manage weight and build stamina. If you’ve never done it before, you may want to try taking a class with a certified yoga instructor and then using those techniques in your everyday life.
7- Single-leg deadlifts
This is another exercise that challenges your balance. Single-leg deadlifts require stability and leg strength. Grab a light to moderate dumbbell to complete this move.
- Begin standing with a dumbbell in your right hand and your knees slightly bent.
- Hinging at the hips, begin to kick your left leg straight back behind you, lowering the dumbbell down toward the ground.
- When you reach a comfortable height with your left leg, slowly return to the starting position in a controlled motion, squeezing your right glute. Ensure that your pelvis stays square to the ground during the movement.
- Repeat 10 to 12 reps before moving the weight to your left hand and repeating the same steps on the left leg. It’s suggested to do 3 sets of 10-12 reps per side.
8- Standing overhead dumbbell presses
This exercise helps strengthen the shoulder muscles. People will require two dumbbells. Compound exercises, which utilize multiple joints and muscles, are perfect for busy bees as they work several parts of your body at once. A standing overhead press isn’t only one of the best exercises you can do for your shoulders, but it also engages your upper back and core.
- Pick a light set of dumbbells — we recommend 10 pounds to start — and start by standing, either with your feet shoulder-width apart or staggered. Move the weights overhead so your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Bracing your core, push up until your arms are fully extended above your head. Keep your head and neck stationary.
- After a brief pause, bend your elbows and lower the weight back down until your triceps muscle is parallel to the floor again.
You might call swimming the best workout. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. “Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight-bearing,” explains Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Research has found that swimming can also improve your mental state and put you in a better mood. Water aerobics is another option. These classes help you burn calories and tone up.
10- Jumping Jacks
The Jumping jack is a total body exercise that primarily focuses on your quads. In lesser degrees, it also impacts your shoulders, abs, groin, calves, lower and upper back, hamstrings, and outer thighs.
Stand straight with your feet together and hands alongside your thighs. Now, jump with your feet spread sideways and arms above your head simultaneously. Jump back to the normal position. 30 minutes of jumping jacks can help you shed 200 calories. However, doing it continuously could be a challenge and monotonous. Thus, break them into three sessions of 10 minutes each and get a 5-minute rest in between.