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Exercises You Can Do Even If You Lack Fitness Skills


In fact, some of the best workouts require relatively low fitness expertise, according to research published in 2015 by I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. These routines can still increase muscle mass, lead to more weight loss and protect your heart and brain.


Simple? Yes. Effective? Absolutely. Research continually shows that brisk walking is one of the best ways to keep your body and your mind healthy. Multiple studies have found that walking can reduce blood pressure, help with weight management and lower the risk of illness. A study published in 2014 also found that taking walks in nature can help reduce symptoms of depression.

Try this:  Starting out with 10- to 15-minute strolls and building up to more challenging, longer walks. You can easily incorporate this into your everyday life in small ways.


Dive on in, the water’s fine. Swimming is one of the greatest workouts because it works multiple muscle groups, but is a low-impact exercise.

Swimming can be great for older adults and people with pain conditions like arthritis because it doesn’t put strain on the joints in the body. Additionally, research shows it can protect the brain from age-related decline. It also gets your heart rate high enough to be considered a cardio workout.

Try this: Get your bearings with 30 to 45 minutes of freestyle swimming in a lap pool. That’s enough time to make it an aerobic activity, you can also try this swimming workout for beginners if you’re looking for something more concrete.

Weight training

Weight-based workouts go beyond toning your muscles. Research shows strength training can help boost your balance and burn more calories. It also gives you the same benefits as exercise, like a sharper mind and a healthier heart.

Try this: Start by learning basic moves like bicep curls and tripod rows and doing several repetitions with dumbbells. No weights? No problem. There are ways to use heavier household items for your workout, like this total-body routine using a pumpkin. Seriously!

Tai Chi

Anyone can do this gentle workout, which is a martial art that combines slow movements focused on agility and meditative practices. According to Lee, it may also be especially helpful for aging adults.

“Tai chi is good because it incorporates balance elements, [which are] useful for older folks,” she said.

The exercise can offer some aerobic benefits as well as improve flexibility and muscle strength.

High Intensity

You don’t need to do a hardcore workout to reap the benefits of doing a higher-intensity exercise. Even a little resistance can go a long way, according to Nicholas Beltz, director of the Exercise Physiology Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

We often associate high intensity with drastic speed increases on a treadmill or lining up in a sprinters block for an all-out effort. Truthfully, this is not the appropriate application for most individuals.”

Try this: “High intensity can be effectively applied by increasing the walking speed from casual to brisk while adding a dose of incline particularly with individuals of low fitness levels.

Perhaps something to try during your next walking meeting?

Row Machine

This gym machine requires very little fitness skill but packs a huge punch when it comes to burning calories, said Tony Nuñez, an assistant professor of exercise science at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Try this: All you need is 20 minutes to get a good sweat on a rowing machine.

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