Weight Loss

Simple Everyday Exercises You Can Do At Home

The benefits of regular exercise are no secret: Working up a sweat can reduce your risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and even early death. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone strive for 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, plus two muscle-strengthening sessions.

But starting an exercise regimen can be daunting! There are so many exercises, classes and gym types to choose from, and each one can be intimidating. Plus, 150 minutes and two other workouts can seem like a lot of time.

Getting moving doesn’t need to be complicated, daunting or intimidating. Keep it simple and get started with this schedule: It’s two exercises to do almost every day of the week, plus some walking. You’ll build strength, endurance, support your weight loss goals, and reduce your risks of chronic disease. Just be sure to speak with your doctor before trying any new exercise routine to ensure it is safe for you.

How to Do These Simple Workouts

Each day, start your session with 10 minutes of walking. This will warm your body up, get your heart pumping, and you’ll rack up 70 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week—almost half of the 150 weekly minutes recommended by the CDC.

After your warmup walk, you’ll do two strength or stretching exercises on most days. Perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. So for Tuesday’s workout, that looks like this:

  1. Step-up: 15 seconds
  2. Rest: 30 seconds
  3. Negative Pushup: 15 seconds
  4. Rest: 30 seconds

That’s a block of 90 seconds. Start with two blocks—just three minutes. See how many 90-second blocks you can complete each day. Try to increase the number of blocks you do by one each week.

Over time, you can increase the amount of time you do each exercise to 20 seconds, and reduce the rest time to 20 seconds.

On to the daily moves!

Monday: Get mobile and greet the new week!

Don’t believe the anti-Monday hype: Each week, you’ve got a new chance to kickstart an incredible week of success and joy. Plus, you’re another day closer to your goal! These two moves will help increase your mobility and help you greet all the possibilities Monday brings.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Reach overhead with waiter’s bow

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Reach your arms straight up and give yourself a big, full-body stretch. Hold for one second.
  2. Now place one hand on your stomach just below your belly button, and the other hand behind you so that your knuckles are against the small of your back. Make your chest proud.
  3. In this position, imagine you’re holding a bag of groceries in your arms, and you need to close the car door by bumping it with your butt. Pretend to do that bump. This starts a hip hinge.
  4. Keeping your chest proud and back naturally arched, keep pushing your hips back to bow forward at the hips (not the waist). Keep descending until your back starts to curl forward—stop there.
  5. Squeeze your butt to stand back up. That’s one repetition. Repeat from step one, starting with the overhead stretch.

Exercise 2: Seated thoracic spine rotation

  1. Scoot forward towards the edge of your chair. Sit tall with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent 90 degrees.
  2. Place your hands behind your head in a “prisoner” position.
  3. Pretend your left elbow is the spout of a coffee pot. Keeping your torso upright, tilt your upper body to the left to pour out a little bit of coffee, then straighten back up.
  4. Now gently twist to the left until you feel a bit of resistance in your twist. Stop, and tilt out some more coffee.
  5. Straighten back up, and you’ll be able to twist a little further to the left. Continue for a few more cycles: Twist until there’s a stop, tilt out some coffee, sit straight, and twist a little more.
  6. Return to the start and repeat, this time tilting and twisting to the right. Do this a few times per day.

Tuesday: Step-up, pushup

Two people doing step-ups and pushups

Simple, but powerful: These two moves will strengthen your upper and lower body as you switch back and forth.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Bodyweight step-up

  1. Place your left foot up on a step, bench or box so that your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees.
  2. Pull your shoulders back and down as if you were trying to tuck your shoulder blades into the back pocket of a pair of jeans. Fill your chest with air to set your core, and maintain a tight, rigid core throughout the movement.
  3. Lean your torso forward just a bit. This will keep the weight in your front, working leg.
  4. Press through the heel of your raised, left foot and push your body up until your left leg is straight. Do not bring your right foot onto the bench until it is even with your left foot.
  5. Control your body as you lower your right foot back to the floor and return to the starting position. Complete all your repetitions on this side, then switch sides and repeat.

Exercise 2: Incline negative push-up

  1. Assume the classic pushup position, but with your hands on a bench, a stair or a sturdy table that won’t slide: Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders, your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Maintaining this straight body line, slowly bend your elbows to lower your chest until it touches the bench—don’t reach with your head! Since this is a negative pushup, the work is in lowering your body, not pressing it back up.
  3. Stand back up, and return to position one. Repeat. As you get stronger, try to press back up from the bottom position.

Wednesday: Make your 10-minute walk into a 30-minute session

Two women walking together

Recover from your strength workouts on Monday and Tuesday with a simple cardio session that will get you even closer to your 150 weekly minutes: Turn your 10-minute walk into a 30-minute session. Or, if you prefer, do three 10-minute walks spread throughout the day.

Thursday: Squats and shoulders

A man doing squats

Want to live to 100? Do squats. Being able to stand up out of a chair without using your hands has been found to be an indicator of longer lifespans. You’ll pair practicing that with some simple shoulder moves in this workout.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Squat to chair

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out from parallel, a chair behind you.
  2. Push your hips back to initiate the squat. Bend your knees to descend, keeping your chest up and your weight on your heels, until you are seated in the chair.
  3. Keep the weight of your body in your heels and try to press back to standing without using your hands. If you can’t, just do the lowering part of the squat slowly, then stand back up and repeat.

Exercise 2: Lying I-Y-T

  1. Lie face down on a floor or mat with your arms and legs straight so you’re fully stretched out. Make fists and put your thumbs up towards the ceiling.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, raise just your arms and shoulders so your thumbs go closer to the ceiling. This is the letter “I” raise. Bring your hands back down to the floor.
  3. Now move your thumbs and arms out so your body forms a “Y.” Raise your thumbs up again. This is the “Y” raise. Bring your hands back down to the floor.
  4. Now move your thumbs and arms out to your sides so your body forms a “T.” Raise your thumbs up again. This is the “T” raise. Bring your hands back down to the floor.
  5. Repeat this sequence for the prescribed time: I raise, Y raise, T raise.

Friday: Gun show, glute bridge

A woman working out

It’s Friday, so build some fun muscles—tone your arms and backside with these two exercises.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Diamond wall push-up

  1. Stand in front of a bare wall and lift your arms up to shoulder level. Place your palms against the wall directly in front of the center of your chest, with your index fingers and thumbs touching each other. In this position, your hands will form a diamond shape.
  2. Now back a few feet away from the wall so that your elbows are bent just slightly as you lean at an angle into the wall. Make your chest proud.
  3. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the diamond created by your hands, maintaining a rigid body line from head to heels.
  4. Press your hands into the wall, maintaining your rigid body line as you press back to the starting position. Repeat.

Exercise 2: Glute bridge

  1. Lie faceup on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your arms at your sides.
  2. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  3. Pause for a second at the top of the exercise, and then slowly return to the start position.

Saturday: Move it any way you can for 30 minutes

A couple working out together

Dance, clean, walk with a friend or family member: Turn your 10-minute walk into a 30-minute session of any kind of movement. Or, if you prefer, do three 10-minute walks spread throughout the day.

Sunday: Restore before the new week

A woman working out

Don’t stress about Monday. Help yourself relax before bed with these two simple, restorative moves.

Do these two moves as described above: After your warmup walk, perform the first exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the second exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Do at least two blocks of this kind, but see how many you can do.

Exercise 1: Cat-cow

  1. Get in a hands-and-knees position on the floor, your hands directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Make your spine neutral—no sagging or arching.
  2. Breathe out and contract your core muscles, pushing your back up towards the ceiling and rounding your spine. Your back should look like a cat in a Halloween picture. Let your head fall towards your chest, keeping it in line with your spine. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  3. Now breathe back in, letting your stomach fall towards the floor as you arch your back into the “cow” position. Your shoulder blades should come together, and your head should face forward. Hold this position for a few seconds, then breathe out and transition back to the “cat” position.
  4. Keep alternating between these two positions for the prescribed time.

Exercise 2: Single-leg knee to chest (alternating)

  1. Lie on a mat or on your bed with your legs extended.
  2. Bring your right knee up towards your chest, and gently hug it towards your torso and chest by holding your knee or shin. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  3. On the next round through your block, bring your left knee towards your chest and do a 15-second hold. Continue alternating in this way.

Pair these simple everyday exercises with a convenient meal delivery service! Nutrisystem sends you perfectly portioned, healthier versions of your favorite foods right to your door. Learn more about Nutrisystem here! >

*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

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