Your Fitness Questions Answered: The 5 best exercises for your daily routine

Every week, readers send in, leave comments on A Healthier Michigan’s Facebook page or tweet their fitness questions.  Thank you for the many questions!  We know there are still many unanswered questions out there so have a  Your Fitness Questions Answered blog post when we can.  This week’s question comes from Anita who writes:

“Where is a list of the best exercise routines I can do at home to maintain fitness?”

It is difficult to pinpoint the best workout that everyone should follow.  Everyone has different tastes when it comes to their fitness.  In general, the best routine to maintain fitness, whether an Olympic athlete or weekend warrior, is the one which you will stick to!  The length of your routine, which exercises you include and intensity level should be based on what fits into your schedule, without getting burned out.

A great everyday routine combines a cardio and weight lifting (or resistance training) to keep the blood flowing and muscles in working order.  Having said this, the following exercises are great additions to any routine you have.  If you don’t have a routine yet, they make a great “starter” routine on their own.

Walk ~ 30 minutes total

A great way to warm up before beginning any routine is to walk.  Spend 15 minutes walking either around the house, in place, on a treadmill or outside.  This will get the blood flowing to all of your muscles, preventing injury and preparing them for the workout that follows.  Spend an extra 15 minutes after your workout to walk again.  This is often the most overlooked part of any workout.  After a workout, you probably aren’t in the mood to spend 15 more minutes walking but it is the best way to prevent injury and muscle soreness following a workout.

Pushups ~ As many as you can!

Nobody is ever excited to hear that they should include pushups in a workout.  They don’t have to be intimidating though!  Pushups are great for so many reasons.  They work the major muscles in your chest, arms and shoulders.  They also work the stabilizing muscles of your core.  If you can’t do a straight leg pushup, try doing them on your knees or vertical pushups against a wall.  You will still get the great benefits of the traditional pushup.

Leg Lifts ~ 2×15 reps

Leg lifts work a variety of muscles in your lower body.  In addition to working your legs, leg lifts are a great exercise to tone your core.  When performing the exercise, remember to slowly raise and lower your legs.  This helps to correct irregularities in form and prevents you from using body momentum to complete the exercise.

Crunches ~ 2×20 reps

Your core is extremely important to remember in your daily routine.  Your core stabilizes your body throughout the day and is called upon all day long to assist in all activities.  A strong core helps to reduce back problems and is a major factor in a slimmer midsection.  Try to focus on squeezing and relaxing with your abs only.

Jumping jacks 3×30 reps

A great total body, aerobic workout is a jumping jack.  This exercise uses your lower body to propel your body up when jumping and your upper body to complete the arm sweep.  When doing jumping jacks, make sure to do the full range of motion for your arms while.  This also makes a great warm up for other exercises.

Thanks for a great question, Anita!

Photo credit Edson Hong

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