We have previously explored 10 easy ways to feel healthier and be more active and how to stay motivated. This time we look at some easy exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Inspiration for this post has been taken from the NHS website.
Start by standing 1 to 2 feet away from a wall. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the wall. Then slowly bend your arms at your elbows, so your body moves towards the wall. Push yourself away from it to return to your starting position. Focus on your body’s posture and make sure it is straight during the movement.
Place your feet about shoulder-width apart and start the movement by bending your knees. For this exercise, it is important that you do not move your knees further forward then your toes and to keep your upper body straight. Imagine you take a seat but without the chair. Then push yourself back up to revert back into the start position. For anyone trying this exercise for the first time, you may wish to place a chair / table in front of you for safety, so that if you need assistance to push yourself back up or lose your balance, you have something to hold on to. For the more advanced, you may wish to use something as weights (for example water bottles, cans, etc.) and hold these in your hands next to your body.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, slightly apart. Hold your hands either on your chest, your thighs or behind your ears. Be sure not to use your arms to push your upper body up. Then, using your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body towards the ceiling. Be aware that for this exercise you do not have to sit up all the way, but only lift your upper body a few inches off the floor.
Sit on the front edge of your chair and place your hands on the edge right beside your glutes. Make sure you have a strong and secure grip. Place your feet flat on the floor; they should be far enough away from your chair, so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Move your upper body off your chair, so that your weight rests on your legs, arms and feet. Now slowly bend your arms and move your body towards the floor, but do not touch it! Then push yourself back up into the starting position.
For this exercise you need to find somewhere with a small height difference. This could, for example, be the edge of stairs (make sure you are safe and can hold on to a hand rail), wood blocks, books, or blankets on the floor, etc. You start by placing your feet on the edge of the stairs / books / blankets / wood blocks. Make sure to keep your legs straight and only bend your ankles during the movement. Lower your heels towards the floor until you feel a stretch in your calves. Then push yourself up as high as you can. To increase the intensity you can hold a bag in your hand.
Lie on your front and place your hands and feet shoulder-width apart. Then push yourself up, keeping your body in a straight line. Make sure to use your abdominal muscles and glutes. Then lower your chest toward the ground and quickly push yourself back up.
Hold weights in each hand (weights can be replaced by water bottles or tins / cans; something you can find in your home). Curl the weights until they are at shoulder level, but try and keep your upper arms still. Lower the weights back to the starting position.
Similar to press-ups, lie on your front and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Contrary to the press-up position, however, you rest on your forearms and not your hands. Make sure your body is in a straight line and do not allow your hips to move towards the ground. Hold for as long as you can then return to the starting position.
Lie on your side and rest on your forearm. Push your hips towards the ceiling but make sure to keep your body in a straight line. Hold for as long as you can then move back into the starting position.
These 9 easy exercises are easy to do and a good starting point to be more active. Remember that it is recommended to engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. You don’t have to complete 150 minutes in one go and can divide it into different sessions; for example five 30 minute sessions. Doing some of the activities listed above can help you to start working towards achieving your fit150. If you would like a tool to set yourself a realistic and achievable goal, you can download our SMART Goal September Worksheet.