We often feel societal pressures or expectations to look or be a certain way. We get tagged based on size or shape; fat being bad and too skinny being unhealthy. (This is especially true for women!)
Instead, let’s clear the air and build our inner confidence and strength, helping us to feel good about ourselves and the bodies we live in. Each one of us has a body type we are born with. Many factors build our body structure into adulthood: genetic disposition, food habits and lifestyle in general. It is unfair to expect or force ourselves to fit into a certain shape and size, worse yet to lose self-confidence over it.
Exercise should fit into your daily routine just like food, water and sleep. Do it because you need it for the well-being of your mind and body; not because everyone around you expects you to. Know that it’s not selfish to want to set aside 30 minutes for exercise everyday.
Below is a simple and effective bodyweight workout routine you can do at home. I’ve put together six basic exercises that can be modified and done at three levels: beginners or people with limited mobility, intermediate and advanced.
First, warm up for 5 to 7 minutes. March or jog in place, do arm circles, leg raises (to the front, side and back as hip-openers), jumping jacks, or, for a modified low-impact version, tap each leg out toward the side with your arms moving above your head.
Beginners: 1-2 sets of 12 repetitions of each. Rest for 15 seconds between each exercise
Chair squats/Wall sit — Chair push-ups — Wall mountain climbers — Single leg drops — Chair reverse lunges — Bird dog
Intermediate: 3-4 sets of 12 repetitions of each. Rest for 15 seconds between each set
Squats — Knee push-ups — Mountain climber taps — Leg drops — Reverse lunges — Bird dog
Advanced: 5-6 sets of 12 repetitions of each. Rest for 15 seconds between each set
Squats — Pushups — Mountain climbers — Leg drops — Reverse lunges — Bird dog
Afterward, cool down and stretch. Bring your heart rate down gradually, stretching your legs, arms and back.
Top off your workout with at least 16 ounces of water and a high protein meal — think lentils, eggs, chicken, tofu, beans or sprouts, paired with bowl of cooked or raw veggies and a small serving of rice or whole wheat bread/roti.