If you’re an exercise newbie and you hate to work out, you’ll love this article. Why? Because we’re going to tell you to skip those sweaty, hard exercise sessions. In fact, easy workouts for beginners at home or outdoors are better choices when you’re just starting out.
Easy, beginning-level exercise is essential for good health and weight loss. Workouts for beginners (and especially for or those who have tried and failed to maintain an exercise program) are specifically designed to build confidence and create life-long habits for well-being. So if your goal is to lose weight and get healthy, grab your comfy clothes and let’s get started.
Benefits of Easy Workouts for Beginners
Beginners who start to work out can expect to enjoy a wide range of benefits. If you are completely new to exercise, low-intensity activity sessions will help you burn more calories. And if you don’t compensate by eating more, the pounds will start to fall off. But these workouts have a more important function, as well.
Easy exercise sessions are the building blocks of your fitness program. They will help you to create the habits that will lead to significant weight loss and lifelong weight management. Easy workouts help you to:
- Boost self-confidence
- Burn more calories and lose weight
- Decrease your stress level
- Develop strong, tight muscles
- Establish a healthy daily routine
- Improve your sleep
Easy Exercise Improves Health
There are also medical benefits to low-intensity workouts. Researchers have studied the ways in which easy workouts affect the body. While there has been quite a bit of media attention paid to high-intensity workouts, easier sessions still remain a core component of weight loss programs for many different populations, including people with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or high blood pressure.
When researchers studied a group of postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome, they found that a program of the low-intensity exercise was effective at decreasing body fat and helping them to reduce blood pressure and lower their glucose and triglyceride levels. Since weight loss is often troublesome for postmenopausal women, these findings were important.
Another study conducted in France evaluated the effect of easy workouts on cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is associated with abdominal weight gain when levels inside the body stay elevated for long periods of time. Study authors found that low-intensity exercise was effective at reducing circulating cortisol levels.
Easy Workouts You Can Do at Home
You’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain, so why not begin your easy exercise program today? The point is to do something…anything, on most days of the week. Set a short-term goal to complete three workouts during your first week, then add workout days gradually until you are doing some form of activity on most days of the week.
The type of exercise you choose to do is less important than the consistency of your program. But if you are short on ideas, here are five simple workouts to get you started.
- Bodyweight training: You don’t need any special gym equipment to burn calories and build stronger muscles. Take 10–15 minutes to try doing 5 incline push-ups (against a surface that allows your body to be at an incline, like a bathroom sink) 5 chair squats, and 5 walking lunges (or a set of stationary lunges holding on to a countertop for support). Repeat the sequence 2–3 times.
- Chair workout: If you are not yet comfortable standing for long periods of time, grab a sturdy chair and complete 10-15 minutes of movement with this workout several times each week.
- Dancing: Put on some music, grab your kids, your sweetie, or go solo and groove for at 15–30 minutes. If your neighbors see you in the window, give them a few tips about the benefits of easy exercise and invite them to join you.
- Online workouts: If you want to avoid the gym, exercise at home. It’s easy to do with online workouts. Many of them are free and most offer easy workouts for beginners. Plus you can enjoy the benefit of working out in the privacy of your own living room.
- Shadowboxing: If dancing isn’t your cup of tea, take advantage of the latest fitness craze, and try shadowboxing at home. No equipment is required for this workout and it helps to decrease stress as well.
Easy Workouts for Outdoors
Exercising outside provides extra perks. There are stress-relieving benefits to breathing fresh air and enjoying your local park, pool, or nature preserve. Try one of these activities
- Aqua jogging: If your joints don’t feel good when you walk for long periods of time, try pool running, or aqua jogging. Many public pools provide the blue belt you need to keep your upper body afloat. Once you’re in the water you simply walk without letting your feet touch the bottom of the pool. No belt? Just walk in the water with your feet on the pool floor.
- Biking: Dust off your Schwinn and hop aboard. Take a leisurely spin around the neighborhood or better yet, find a continuous path that allows you to keep pedaling for 20–30 minutes or so without stopping for lights and traffic.
- Walking: You already know how to walk, so why not structure the activity into a 30-minute walking workout and count it as exercise? Walk slowly for five minutes, pick up your pace for 20 minutes, then cool down and walk slowly again for 5 minutes
A Word From Verywell
Remember, when you’re a beginner, the point is simply to get moving, establish a routine, and build confidence. If you want to increase your enjoyment and boost the health benefits add at least five minutes of easy stretch exercises at the end of your session.
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