You don’t need to work hard for hours every day to stay healthy, or even to build strength. We have busy lives nowadays, and there are other things people want to do with their time than go to the gym.
Some people just aren’t that into fitness and know they will give up on a workout if they tried to take on an hour workout every day that pushed them to their limits. People wanna do fun things like watch TV, do a hobby, or take some free spins on their fav online game.
Other people just aren’t at that point yet in their fitness training. For instance, if someone doesn’t exercise often, it can be very hard for them to jump right into an intensive workout program. More so if someone is overweight and it’s very difficult for them physically from that standpoint.
Other people might really really want to exercise, heck they’d spend the whole day doing physical activities if they could, but they simply don’t have the time. Things occupy our days, and we don’t have the leisure to do what we want all the time.
However, I would argue that almost anyone can find 15 to 20 minutes every day to do a short workout to help you stay healthy and in shape. It doesn’t have to be something really crazy and intensive, but it does need to be something.
First and foremost on any list for fitness is running. I know, I know. A lot of people really don’t like running. Cardio is a bit of a meme amongst the weightlifting community as being a disliked exercise, so I get where you are coming from.
However, when you break it down to its most pure form, there really isn’t any exercise that is better for you than running. Running is simply the best exercise when it comes to a single form of physical activity that will keep you the healthiest.
Running gets your blood pumping, it gets your heart beating, it builds up endurance and strength in your legs. It’s cardio! And cardio is known to keep your heart healthy and in turn help you live longer.
Studies show just 10 minutes of running a day can decrease your chance of cardiovascular illnesses, and just keep you healthier overall. So, if you can, it would definitely be advised to use some of your exercises time to take a quick run and get that heart beating!
Let’s say you don’t wanna use all 20 minutes you have for just running. Maybe you are interested in building some strength. Or, maybe you just get bored of running easily and want to be able to do other exercises as well.
This is where, as I have done many many times before, I am going to praise the wonders of bodyweight exercises. Also known as calisthenics, bodyweight exercises are the single best way for someone who is new to fitness to get into exercising regularly.
Now, you may ask why this is? What makes bodyweight exercises so much better than other forms of working out? Good question and I have a good answer for it.
First and foremost, it is completely, 100%, and entirely free! Yup, you heard me right, free. It won’t cost you a penny to get into it, and you don’t need to pay any sort of membership to use exercise equipment at a gym.
All you need is yourself to start with. Sure, there are things that will allow you to do additional forms of workouts, but those can all be found at your local playground or exercise park if you have one.
Which, sure, maybe not everyone has either of those, but the majority of exercises can be done with just yourself, or things most people will have around their houses.
For instance, the most popular bodyweight exercise on the planet is pushups. All you need is yourself and a floor to do the pushups on! And pushups are a great way to start building practical strength.
By practical strength, I am talking about strength in movements you are likely to do. If you are getting up off the ground you are doing a pushup motion. If you need to pull yourself up onto somewhere then you are doing a pullup motion.
By doing bodyweight exercises, you are going to notice a practical difference in your everyday life. Things here and there will be easier for you, and you will slowly be able to do things with your body you didn’t think was possible.
This is the ultimate goal of bodyweight training. To gain a true and complete mastery over your body. To be able to push and use your body to the best of its abilities, and know if you need to, your body will be able to do what you want from it.
And all of this and more can start with just 20 minutes a day. Pushups, pullups, dips, squats, lunges, body rows, and so much more. Just do different combinations of them on different days and you will have a weekly full body workout that’s easy and effective.
For those people who would prefer, weight training is also a valid option. It definitely has some benefits over bodyweight training that are important to note. It also has its disadvantages like everything.
To start with the advantages, weight training is more precise. If there is a specific muscle you want to target and work out, it is much easier with a weight training exercise than a bodyweight exercise.
With bodyweight exercises, you are almost always going to have several parts of your body working, as that is how we move. Different muscles work in tandem to help us locomote and move around.
Another advantage is that you always have a clear path how to progress. Just simply add weight to your dumbbells or the machine and you made the exercise more difficult for yourself.
In contrast, you have to know how to change positions to give yourself a mechanical disadvantage with bodyweight exercises. This means that for some people it might not be clear exactly how to progress to something more difficult with a particular exercise.
Now, when it comes to disadvantages, it has a few as well. One main one that comes to mind is that it is easier to injure oneself with weight training than with bodyweight training.
You are carrying heavy objects that can fall on you, you can lift something improperly and hurt your joints or your back. However, injury is a risk with any physical activity, and it is important to keep what is best for you in mind.
Another disadvantage is that you need the exercise equipment. So, as I said before, everyone needs to think about what is best for them. For one person this might not be a problem, for others, it could be a dealbreaker.
One final thing to note is, just like bodyweight exercises, you can do different exercises on different days of the week. So, here too, you can complete the week having done a full body workout. Then, you can repeat next week and enjoy the results!