What are the 5 best exercises for your body? There is an ongoing debate about this in the health community. What the best exercises are may depend on who you talk to. There are many sports enthusiasts that may debate this.
Fortunately, there is some agreement among health care providers, both mainstream and alternative-minded or those enjoying Eastern philosophy, about what types of exercises to promote total body health and wellness (without destroying the joints necessarily). Let's talk about these fantastic exercises, and why they are so great for your body.
Why is swimming at the top of the list? It is among the only cardiovascular exercises that can work every muscle in your body… AND it is easy on your joints. There is almost no person in the world that can't benefit from swimming.
Swimming is great for the seasoned athlete and for individuals that are frail. Are you in rehabilitation? No problem. Often therapists recommend swimming for individuals that have been injured or are suffering from chronic ailments including arthritis because swimming is gentle on the joints. You can start out slowly and work your way up to a vigorous workout.
You can choose to pull yourself along and work your upper body alone, or you can kick with a kick board and work your lower body. You don't have to be a professional swimmer to enjoy the health benefits either. You can do a freestyle stroke, the breast stroke, you can doggy paddle. You can even walk in water.
Water provides natural resistance, so when you exercise in it; it is almost as if you were lifting weights. Not bad for even the professional athlete. So, if you want to get fit in the best way possible, why not try swimming? It's fun for everyone, and it is an excellent total body workout. You can enjoy it whether young or old.
Next to swimming, walking is the next greatest exercise. It almost works every muscle in the body. It is also gentle on the joints, especially if you pick a surface to walk on besides concrete (like dirt paths or grass). Make sure you have proper walking shoes to absorb impact and your knees and ankles will thank you.
To improve your upper body strength, make sure you swing your arms widely. You can complement your walking with some of the exercises below to ensure you get a total body workout.
Push-ups are old fashioned but they work and you don't need any fancy equipment to enjoy them. Pushups work all the muscles in your body (almost). You may not even realize this. If you do them correctly however, you will see. When you have your feet extended in back of you and you push up, you work your back, arms, chest and abdomen.
Here is how you do it right. Make sure you lie facedown when starting. Now, place your hands a bit wider than your shoulders at your sides, bent. Breathe out and push up, breath in and lower. Make sure you are streamlined and not holding your butt up too high.
You probably should have someone watch you at first to make sure you have the right form.
If you plan to work your upper body you should work your lower body. Squats are the best exercise for making your butt look shapely and for toning your legs. Like pushups they are old-fashioned but they do work.
All you have to do is this. Stand with your feet a bit apart, just past your hips. Have your toes pointing slightly out, and make sure you are standing straight. Make sure your abdomen is pulled in with your pelvis down. Squat down to about a 90 degree angle with your legs, not your torso and then push back up again. You don't have to use a barbell on your back to do squats. In fact, until you master your form you should not use any weight at all.
When you do graduate to weights, you should have someone monitor your form. This will help prevent injury. A machine rather than free weights will help prevent early injury as well.
This is another form of exercise that will require a machine, but helps balance your back out. If you do push ups you should consider this exercise because it will balance out the chest exercise that comes from basic pushups.
What you do is hold the bar with your palms facing the front of the bar. Then pull down the bar toward the front of your chest, and slowly let back up again. Start with a small weight, and gradually increase the weight. You should always begin slowly and work your way up to a greater weight. If you can't lift the weight slowly then it is too much weight, because if you must work fast you are really using momentum to move that weight and not your muscles.
As you can see exercising doesn't have to be expensive and you don't even need to join the gym. All you need is a little discipline.
By TTS Cofounder Botanical Chef Omid Jaffari