(2 min read plus youtube video links)
As the weather improves, certainly in the northern hemisphere, we all tend to assess our fitness and shape at this time of year. Most dread the long slog of complicated or time consuming workouts. So we investigated what were the best exercises, with the least associated cost, for us to spring into fitness at any age.
Do we need to tell you that if you want to live a long and healthy life, you should make sure you are getting enough exercise? No, you’ve heard this a trillion times. We know exercise will keep not only our physical body healthy, but also our brain. The thought of dedicating hours to this alone puts many off even making a start…and so the procrastination continues.
Dr. Michael Joyner, a physician and Mayo Clinic researcher who is one of the world’s top experts on fitness and human performance, told Business Insider there are in fact two exercises that cover most bases. The catch? They are not easy. Burpees and jumping rope or skipping as known in The U.K. Dr Joyner wrote “study after study is showing that simple tests of physical performance are highly predictive of future mortality.” He highlights that to achieve peak physical performance at any age, you need to go beyond endurance to build strength. To spring into fitness at any age can be done in many ways and most people would probably be recommended lifting weights along with interval training. The latter is easily incorporated into a running program and costs nothing in terms of gym memberships. Weight training on the other hand requires you to have access to weights, either at a gym or those of your own.
Burpees are recommended by trainers as they are hard to beat. It is a single exercise that will work your whole body and can be done pretty much anywhere and literally will get you to spring into fitness at any age. It is worth starting slow with burpees. Make sure you get the form right. If you start standing, you’ll then squat down until you can put your hands on the ground. Kick back into plank position and then do a push-up. Then kick your legs back into your squat position and finally jump!
There are lots on videos on Youtube that will help you along to achieve the correct technique. Joe Wicks has in the past few years has become incredibly popular as his program of fitness and supports interval training and full body techniques that require minimal financial commitment.
Jump Rope/Skipping also requires very little outlay, just a simple rope. Try jumping with both feet to 100. Easier said than done initially. Once your able to do 100, do another 100 but faster. Once you’ve mastered this keep improving your time and aim to do without stopping. The basic principle behind this is each time you are pushing your body on. Repeating the same exercise allows your body to become efficient with mastering the skill, so it is necessary to keep ramping it up for maximum effect. The measure of your own endurance level is when it becomes easier for you to do.
As we embark on a summer season of travel, the regular routines for fitness will undoubtedly go out of the window. Fitting a few hundred burpees and jump ropes should be a fairly achievable task. Join us and spring into fitness at any age.