For many beginners, knowing which workouts to focus on can be challenging. Do you want to become a distance runner, tacking marathons every weekend? Or maybe a body builder with massive, iron-pumping muscles?
Or, if you’re like most people, you mostly just want to get in shape and improve your day-to-day health and wellbeing. If you’re just starting out and need some direction on the best general-health-boosting workouts, check out our list of 5 routines that will put you on the fast track.
3-mile run 3 times a week
First, one of the best all-around workouts is running. It packs tons of benefits into one simple, easy-to-learn exercise routine. Running strengthens your legs, tones your core, and burns fat like no other exercise can. The greatest part is that it doesn’t take much to get started; here’s the gear you’ll need:
Trusty running shoes that are supportive enough to tackle regular runs
Soft, breezy running shorts and an old T shirt
Recovery supplies, like a foam roller or CBD capsules to help ease soreness
Start by running just a mile every few days, then work up to 3 miles a day 3 days a week for a solid, healthy schedule.
Daily 2-mile walks
If your joints are getting achy at the mere thought of running, don’t worry. Many of the health benefits of running can be attained through walking – you’ll just have to walk a bit more. Start with a mile every other day, then work your way up to walking 2 miles a day.
Fun fact: did you know that in the famous “Blue Zones,” places on earth where people regularly live above 100 years old, people walk frequently? Our bodies are built for long-distance walks, so this exercise is particularly healthy.
To get started, grab a pair of running shoes or walking shoes and a comfy outfit. If you’re walking after work, bring along layers so you don’t get cold once the sun sets. And be sure to bring a water bottle, too!
Moderate weight lifting
Weight lifting may first make you think of body-builders and frat bros getting huge in the gym, but it’s by no means restricted to that. Weight-lifting can be a great form of exercise for all body types, whether you’re just looking to gain a bit of tone, or find a good way to get your body in better shape and burn some calories.
Here are five simple workouts every aspiring weight lifter should know. For a gentler, more everyday health workout, simply reduce the weight you use:
Curls: Dumbbell curls work your biceps, forearms, and triceps.
Pushups: This classic workout works your chest, shoulders, and arms thoroughly.
Squats: Squats work your legs and back, and build a foundation of strength.
Deadlift: Just a few deadlifts a week can build back, core, and leg strength.
Crunches: Blast your abs with a few sets of daily crunches and see your tone start to show after just a few weeks.
Swimming is an amazing full-body workout that mixes the muscle-building benefits of weight lifting with the fat-melting intensity of cardio. Plus, it’s so much fun that you hardly notice that you’re working out half the time!
If you don’t own your own pool, don’t worry. Plenty of community pools are available for swimmers interested in doing laps, and may even offer classes on the best ways to work out in the water. Just be sure you purchase the right exercise swimsuit, as regular options with a baggy build and frills can slow you down in the water, might fall off, and keep you from attaining your full range of motion.
Regular yoga practice
Yoga is an amazing full-body, full-mind exercise that can be incredibly helpful for your overall health. Yoga works your muscles because, when you reach for difficult poses, you have to support your body in a way that produces resistance—the key to building muscle.
It also helps you trim fat away by burning plenty of calories during those more intense sessions. As you twist and turn to keep in position, you are working tons of muscles in your body—not to mention your tendons, bones, and ligaments as well. All it takes is finding the perfect yoga classes to suit your schedule and signing up!
Whatever workout routine you choose, the fact that you’re committing to a regular exercise schedule is the most important thing.