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The past year has been chaotic on a global scale. With so many adjustments to daily living, it often feels like the control we once held over our lives is slipping through our fingers. Despite so many changing circumstances around us, it’s important to zone in on our focus of control – or the areas of your life that you have the power to influence.

One of the greatest areas of influence we have is in regards to our health. Although we cannot control every aspect of our physical health due to different diseases and conditions, everyone can participate in some form of exercise. 

Once you’re set to start fostering a healthy lifestyle, here are a few easy workouts to tone muscle and control weight. If you have physical limitations, consult your doctor before attempting any of these workouts. The goal here isn’t to transform you into a workout junkie overnight. Rather, spending even a few minutes a day in exercise can go a long way toward toning muscle, controlling weight and fostering an active lifestyle.

Walking

Walking is a great way to incorporate non-impact exercise into your daily schedule. Stroll around your neighborhood or walk from the far end of the parking lot whenever you drive somewhere. Whether you take long walks or simply increase your daily step count by doing short spurts throughout the day, walking is a healthy way to stay in shape.

Walking burns calories and builds muscle without any training, gym fees or equipment. You can also multitask while walking by listening to a podcast or chatting with a friend. Time spent outdoors is an added health bonus due to the increase in Vitamin D and boost in energy that fresh air offers.

Swimming

Swimming could easily be called America’s favorite summer hobby, and for good reason. Swimming is enjoyable for all ages and is especially beneficial for those with joint pain. Water aerobics and lap swimming both make use of water resistance to burn calories. If you’re looking for a workout to tone muscle, this is a perfect place to start. Join a community center or find open swim times at a local school to enjoy the benefits year-round.

Dancing

Looking for a workout that is fun, social and burns major calories? Look no further than dance. If you’re wondering how to control weight, dance as exercise is a cardio workout that torches calories the more you get into it. Aerobic dance classes are offered at many gyms and community centers and are available in different styles, like tango, hip hop and contemporary.

Biking

One of the greatest workouts to tone muscle is biking. Biking primarily works leg muscles, and you’ll get a great workout either on a stationary bike or by biking outside. According to Cycling Weekly, regular biking benefits your immune system, promotes weight loss, builds muscles and improves sleep. As a low-impact activity, cycling is a healthy option and offers an easy way to improve your overall health.

Low-Impact Cardio

If you’re looking for workouts that can help you lose or control weight, there are several trendy forms of cardio available. These exercises are also called aerobic exercises, and include a wide variety of activities. Most sports are included in this category (like running, tennis and basketball) and so are other workouts, like high intensity interval training.

Though high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts can be vigorous, they can also be modified for beginner workouts. Substitute movements with low-impact alternatives so they’re slower and easier on the joints, but still get your blood pumping.

Running

If you’re hoping to get into the exercise game and want to level up the intensity from walking, you’re in luck because running, like walking, has few requirements and requires little to no preparation.

Running is a whole-body exercise, even if it seems that your legs are doing all the work. According to Healthline, your hip flexors, core and glutes are also getting a major workout. Pumping your arms can burn a few extra calories, not to mention the fact that your heart is doing some considerable work. Though the first few runs might leave you breathless, the more you run the easier it gets, so stick with it!

Weight Lifting

Weight lifting is a workout to tone muscle that involves multiple repetitions of the same movement. These muscle workouts will get you sweating, but often don’t leave you short of breath the way cardio does because you’ll be stationary (aside from the muscles you’re targeting).

Weight lifting is one of the easiest workouts to tone muscle because you can start at any level and progress at your own rate. Start with a few pounds and build up your muscles, then add more weight. 

Stretching

Perhaps the most relaxing of all your exercise options, stretching is a crucial part of a balanced exercise routine that also feels great and helps to heal the body post-workout. Flexibility and stretching exercises are those that include slow movements, which extend muscles to a full range of motion. Stretching is a broad category of exercise, as it can include strength, core and balance training. Try yoga if you’re looking for a formal stretching workout.

Pursuing a well-rounded exercise routine

A healthy lifestyle is a balanced lifestyle. Starting with extreme workouts, or restricting your workouts to a single exercise type, could lead to burn-out or injury. The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise each week, or a combination of the two. Physical activity should be evenly allocated over the course of a week and include cardio, strength training, core workouts and exercises in balance and flexibility.

Taking care of your physical health is a great way to support mental health and encourage addiction recovery. Real Recovery is a sober living facility that offers programs to meet your needs and schedule, as you actively pursue a better life in distancing yourself from life’s challenges. Visit us online or call (855) 363-7325 today to get started!