Exercise is an important part of our lives and with these easy toning exercises it’ll be all too easy to fit it into your daily routine. And that’s a good thing - because staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy.
Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to
exercising. The problem is where and
when to get the job done. With a busy
lifestyle, making time for exercise is a challenge for many people.
Weight bearing exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age. Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders. As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass. Especially for women, bone loss becomes a problem. When the body is in need of calcium it can steal it from your bones. Building muscle not only increases bone mass but your overall strength.
Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time. They don’t require any equipment and you don’t have to take out a gym membership. They’re so easy, in fact, you could do them while you watch T.V. You’ll find, that at home, at the office, or even on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises every day, winter or summer.
1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks. Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart. Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body. Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor. Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.
2. Squats – Squats are easy toning exercises that work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps. If you aren’t sure of proper form, a chair. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted. Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair. Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight. Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five then release. At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.
3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles but they can be hard for people with knee problems. A reverse lunge is an easy toning exercise that still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee.
Here’s how you do it: Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot.
From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor. Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.
4. Pushups – This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles. You simply lie on the floor and, using your arms push yourself up until you are resting on your hands and toes. If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees. Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body.
Do you find pushups a little hard to do? Try doing them against a kitchen or bathroom countertop to get your strength built up.
5. Crunches – Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone. Lying on the floor (on your back) in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head. Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor. Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.
These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time. The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative. Start slow and increase your repeats (reps) by 5 to 10 percent every week, staying within your comfort zone.
Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage when you do these five easy toning exercises.
There you are - no expensive clothes, no gym membership, don't have to set aside a huge amount of time, and, maybe best of all - nobody watching!
See you on the floor.
As always, check with your doctor first.
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