Walking: You can walk anytime or use a treadmill. All you need is a good pair of shoes. Start to walk for fitness, begin with five to 10 minutes at a time. Add a few minutes to each walk until you get to at least 30 minutes per walk. Interval Training will let you boost fitness, burn more calories, and lose weight. The basic idea is to vary the intensity within your workout, instead of going at a steady pace. Whether you walk, run, dance, or do another cardio exercise, push up the pace for a minute or two. Then back off for two to 10 minutes. Exactly how long your interval should last depends on the length of your workout and how much recovery time you need.
Squats work several muscle groups — your quadriceps (“quads”), hamstrings, and gluteals (“glutes”) — at the same time. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your rear as if you were sitting down in a chair. Keep your knees right over your ankles. Practice with a real chair to master this move. First, sit all the way down in the chair and stand back up. Next, barely touch the chair’s seat before standing back up. Work up to doing the squats without a chair, keeping the same form.
Lunges: Like squats, lunges work all the major muscles of your lower body. They can also improve your balance. Take a big step forward, keeping your back straight. Bend your front knee to about 90 degrees. Keep weight on your back toes and drop the back knee toward the floor. Don’t let the back knee touch the floor.
Push-Ups: Push-ups strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. Facing down; place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your toes on the floor. If that’s too hard, start with your knees on the floor. Your body should make a straight line from shoulders to knees or feet. Keep your rear-end muscles and abs engaged. Bend your elbows to lower down until you almost touch the floor. Lift back up by pushing through your elbows; Keep your torso in a straight line throughout the move. If you’re new to push-ups you can start doing them by leaning into a kitchen counter. As you get stronger, go lower, using a desk or chair. Then you can move onto the floor, starting with your knees bent. For a challenge, put your feet on a stair, bench, or couch while keeping good form.
Crunches: Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your head resting in your palms. Press your lower back down. Contract your abdominal muscles (abs) and in one smooth move, raise your head, then your neck, shoulders, and upper back off the floor. Tuck in your chin slightly. Lower back down and repeat. You can also do crunches with your feet off the floor and knees bent. This technique may keep you from arching your back. It also uses your hip flexors (muscles on your upper thighs below your hip bones). Keep your neck in line with your spine. Tuck in your chin so it doesn’t stick out. Breathe normally. To keep chest and shoulders open, keep your elbows out of your line of vision.
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