When we talk about exercise, it usually means taking time for a dedicated workout, like going for a run, heading to the gym, or joining a yoga class. So when we say exercise, what we really mean is structured exercise.
It's not always practical to do an intense routine with a set of the best adjustable dumbbells, and at-home workouts can be difficult if you share space with everyone else in your household. Plus, not everyone wants to (or can) exercise in the traditional way.
That's why it's important to find ways to integrate physical activity into everyday activities. Take brushing your teeth, for example; we stand in front of the sink for at least two minutes twice a day, a time that you can use for a few bodyweight exercises.
Even if you're concentrating on the task at hand, equipment-free moves like squats, lunges, and calf raises won't throw you off but are ideal for working your core—an essential section of mid-body muscle—and building strength in your legs and glutes.
Keeping your legs strong helps you stay active through the years, especially if you take the best supplements for joints to relieve knee pain. Meanwhile, your core promotes stability, improves blood flow, and reduces your risk of injury.
And when we're talking about muscle here, it's not superhero movie-style bulk but practical muscle that'll support your body and help you stay active as you age.
Want to give it a try? Here's three bodyweight moves you can do while brushing your teeth. Pick one, set a two-minute timer, and see how many you can crank out.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold your free arm out at shoulder height.
- Lower down as though you were going to sit in a chair by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, weight in your heels.
- Keep your core active as you move by pulling in your abdominal muscles and keeping a straight back.
- Hold the position for a few seconds at your lowest point, and slowly return to standing.
2. Calf raises
- Stand with your feet together and raise your heels until you're on your tiptoes.
- Hold for a few seconds and then lower back to the ground.
- Stand tall with a slight bend in your knees, with your left leg slightly in front, right leg slightly behind.
- Step your left leg forward and slowly lower until your right knee is just above the ground.
- Keeping your abs and core active, hold this position for a few seconds, then step back into your starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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