Earn your fitness awards!
Participate in 2 exercise program a week, between March 17 and April 7 to earn your first button of 2020.
Click here to see the schedule of fitness events:
At-Home workouts for beginners and seniors
The workout warm-up
Every decent workout starts with a warm-up. This gets the body primed for activity, by raising body temperature and heart rate and making muscles more flexible.
The aerobic section of your workout should last 20 to 50 minutes (beginners should start at the lower end of the time span and work upwards), and needs to be done at a pace that makes you feel warm, breathless and a bit sweaty. On a scale of 1 to 10,
you should be working at your own personal 5 to 7 out of 10. You should still be able
to hold a conversation.
The good thing about using the 1 to 10 scale is that as you get fitter, you’ll actually be working at a higher intensity for the same effort level. In other words, you might still
be working at, say, 6 out of 10 but the actual pace or intensity will be greater. Don’t make the mistake of sticking at the same level of intensity even though you’ve
become fitter - otherwise you won’t make progress. Remember also to gradually increase the duration as exercise becomes easier. At the end of your aerobic workout, cool down gradually rather than stopping suddenly. If you aren’t doing any strength training, remember to stretch afterwards, too.
The goal here is to work all the major muscle groups of the body: the chest, back, bottom, legs, arms, shoulders and abdominals. Sounds as if it could take all day? Don’t worry, for the first few weeks of strength training you’ll see results from just one exercise per body part — and one set of each exercise. However, don’t waste that
set by using weights that are so light that you can do endless repetitions!
If you don't have any dumbbells at home you can use water bottles or anything else that you can hold onto!
In order to see changes in your muscles strength and tone you need to use a weight that you can only lift 8 to 12 times, so that the last couple of repetitions (reps) are
quite tough. As you get stronger, you can introduce additional or alternative exercises for each body area, or increase the weights, reps and sets. Even a full body strength workout need only take 20 to 30 minutes.
The last piece of the jigsaw is to do some stretching. This is really important, even if you’re not bothered about improving your flexibility, as the muscular contractions involved in strength training and aerobic exercise shorten muscle fibres, and they need to be restored to their normal resting length to prevent them tightening up and, over time, shortening permanently.
So you see, you can build stamina, strength and suppleness all in under an hour! Make time for three workouts a week and you’ll soon be well on your way to a fitter body, better health and bags of energy.