When you lead a largely sedentary lifestyle, you sometimes need to start a fitness regime with easy exercises. Some people also don't realize that when you're overweight, it's often necessary to start small, to get used to being active, and to drop a few pounds before you can even comfortably start a more intense exercise routine. The first step is always the hardest, and it's arguably the one that matters most, because it will give you the motivation and the momentum to get up, get active, and get to a level that will allow you to, say, feel comfortable at the gym, run without pain, or even do exercises at home that you're fully capable of doing. So if you're ready for the first step but know you're not yet ready for intense workouts, try these easy exercises first.
1. Cleanliness is Next to Fitness
There are lots of easy exercises you can do without feeling like you're exercising at all. Just cleaning the house – vacuuming, dusting, sweeping and mopping, doing the laundry – will get you up and get you moving, keeping you from being sedentary. There's a surprising amount of calorie burn associated with household chores as well. Remember, as long as you get your heart pumping and break a little sweat, you're doing great. Keep a chore chart, and make sure you're doing something every day.
2. Take One Step at a Time
Every journey starts with a single step, and that includes the journey to fitness. You may hear that walking does you no good, but that's simply not true. Especially when you're used to being sedentary, you have to start small – for your health as well as your success. Start with a walk around the block, and just make sure to keep adding time and/or distance to your work.
3. Invest in Some Weights
Hand weights are great, but you might feel like you don't have time to sit around lifting and toning. No problem! I have a great set of weights that I can actually secure around my wrists or biceps, or my ankles, making them ideal for wearing when walking around the house, working, and even writing. so I'm always toning. Get a set that allows you to add weight as you go, for extra versatility.
4. Get out the Jump Rope
Remember jumping rope as a kid? You used to do that just for pleasure, right? Well, pick up your rope again! Jumping rope for 10-15 minutes to start will get you moving, get your heart pumping, and get you active. It's fun, it's distracting, and it's an excellent workout. If you give into the nostalgia of it, those minutes will fly by. I also recommend putting on your favorite upbeat playlist.
5. Have a Hula Break
To that end, even hula hooping will keep you active. It's something you can easily do when you take a break from the computer or get up off the couch. If you can't do it (me, me!), even practicing will help. Sometimes you have to make an activity fun in the beginning, just to give yourself the motivation to do it every day.
6. Use Your Walls
Whether you do wall lunges or push ups, they're definitely there for you. You can tone your arms, stretch your legs, and even improve your spine just by using the wall as your workout buddy. After you're comfortable with these two simple techniques, which won't feel like working out at all but will do you a world of good, you can move on to more advanced wall workouts.
7. Take the Stairs
I don't just mean taking the stairs when you're at the office or the mall. If you have stairs in your house, you have to take them all the time, right? What I'm advising is that you go up and down the stairs even when you don't need to go to your first, second, or third floor. Take some time each day to go up and down the stairs just for the activity of it. Your legs will get stronger, you'll build more endurance, and your butt will look amazing!
8. Play with the Kids
Even taking time to play with the kids – or, failing that, your nieces and nephews, your BFF's toddler, or even your dog – will get you active. You can't be sedentary when you're trying to keep up with such an exciting force of nature. Whether you play tag with the kids in the yard or take your dog for a game of fetch in the park, you're working it – and you'll really feel it in time.
9. Dance, Dance, DANCE
Dance like no one's watching! Dance while you're washing the dishes, while you're in the shower, or while you're getting ready. Make sure you sweat, get your heart pumping, and do it every day. You can even dance along with a video game if that helps you get your groove on, just make sure you do it regularly!
The key with starting out with easy exercises is not letting yourself get complacent. If you can only walk around the block once at the beginning, that's fine, but after a few days or a week at most, up your game. Give yourself more to do and raise the expectations for set yourself. You'll be ready to head to the gym or start jogging sooner than you think – and your body will be prepared too. How do you keep from being so sedentary?