A total body workout is one of the most effective ways to get fit in the least amount of time. A good workout focuses on improving strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. Here are some ideas for total body fitness for beginners.
Advice for getting started
One of the most important things about getting started with a new fitness program is to be clear about your expectations. Start slowly with workout sessions that are 15-20 minutes until you develop enough stamina to stretch it further.
Choose a training program that fits with your physical abilities. Work with your doctor to figure out if you have any limitations like issues with your heart or joints.
Above all, keep a positive attitude. If you are serious about achieving results you will get there.
Cardio options for beginner exercisers
Riding outdoors or with an indoor bike provides great cardiovascular exercise and helps strengthen the lower body. Upright bikes work the upper body as well. As you feel stronger, try to vary your resistance or ride some hills and increase the length of your rides.
If your joints are OK to support you, running is a great option for beginners. You can start slowly or even try interval running. Interval running involves walking for a few minutes and running a few minutes. Create an interval that works best for your current fitness level and work your way up to more running and less walking.
If running is a bit too much for your joints, walking is also an excellent choice for any fitness program. Even 10 minute brisk walks in the morning and the evening can make a difference. Ask a friend to join you.
Strength Exercise Ideas for beginners
A chair squat is a great way to support your body during a squat. Stand in front of a chair and gently squat down as if you are going to sit down. Keep your arms in front of you for balance. Let your bottom barely touch the chair and then come back to standing. If this is too much on your knees, you can try to sit each time to give yourself a bit of a break before rising again.
Push-Ups against the Wall
Push-ups against a wall is a great way to try push-ups for the first time. Place your arms as wide as your shoulders. Bend your elbows and try bringing your chest to the wall until your elbows are at 90 degrees angle. Push yourself back to the original position. Hold your abs tight to support your core as well.
This is a great exercise for the torso. You can stand or sit. Hold a weight between your hands. No weight is fine too. The hips and knees should face front. Rotate your torso to the right while squeezing your abs and waist as much as possible. Come to the center and repeat on the left side after coming back to the center.
For beginners, sit on a chair with your arms at your sides. Use hand weights that are 3-5 pounds to start. These are smaller muscles so they can’t lift as much weight. You can even try this exercise with no weights as long as you tense your muscles during the movement. Keep your elbows slightly bent and lift the weights to shoulder level with palms facing the floor. Gently return back to your sides. Don’t drop your arms. Be sure to gently come back down.
Leg Lifts on the Side
This is a great exercise for your butt, hips and thighs. Hold onto a wall or the back of a chair. Lift each leg to the side 10-20 times. Then lift each leg to the back for 10-20 times. Contract your leg and butt muscles as you move so you are not just swinging your legs. Move to a height that does not strain your back. Work toward getting higher, but many cannot start as high as the photo below.
Before strength training, it’s a good idea to warm up for about 5-10 minutes with some light light cardio. You can also combine the cardio suggestions with the strength training for a total body workout. Always check with your health care provider before starting any fitness routine.