Seven efficient exercises worth your time

These seven moves will ensure you work smart, getting more results for your efforts.

happy older couple walking strenuously through a park

Don’t waste your precious moments on ineffective exercises. These seven moves will ensure better results for your efforts than other exercises can deliver.

Cardiovascular exercise

1. Walking

A bone-bearing exercise, walking not only strengthens your bones but also your heart health – especially if you walk at a pace that breaks a sweat and brings about mild breathlessness. Besides, you don’t need the gym; it’s free, and you can do it any time and anywhere you please. Just make sure you have proper walking shoes.

2. Interval training

This relates to cardiovascular exercise – e.g. running, walking, boxing – and the pace at which you do the exercise. Instead of doing it at the one pace throughout the entire session, go as hard as you can for one to two minutes, then pull back the intensity for about two to five minutes. Varying the intensity throughout your exercise session stimulates you to burn more calories in shorter amounts of time.

Strength training

Strength training is essential for many reasons. Not only does it help you to maintain and grow your muscles, but also the more muscled-up you are, the more your body burns calories. These exercises work the larger muscle groups in one go, making them super-efficient calorie burners.

3. Squats

Squats work the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. You can make this even more efficient by combining it with bicep curls, where you perform a bicep curl as you perform a squat. This one is for more experienced exercisers only.

4. Lunges

As with squats, lunges work the gluteal muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings. But lunges are harder to do, as they test your balance as well. Increase the efficiency with a lateral raise (raising the arms to the sides to shoulder height each time you perform a lunge).

5. Push-ups

Push-ups work your chest, shoulders, triceps and even your core, all at one time. If that’s not efficient, then I don’t know what is. There are various ways to modify push-ups to suit your level of strength, so check with a personal trainer. It’s also very important to do push-ups properly, as otherwise shoulder injuries can arise.

6. Bent-over rows

This exercise is opposite to push-ups, having a ‘pulling’ rather than ‘pushing’ action, and works all the major muscles of the upper back, as well as the biceps. You can do this with or without weights.

7. Planking

Planking is where you are in push-up position, on your hands or on your forearms. Your knees can be on the ground, or the more advanced can stay on their toes. Hold for a minute or for as long as you can. This works out your entire core, which needs to be strong for whichever exercise you do so that you don’t hurt your lower back. Be sure to tuck your pelvis under, so your hips don’t sag.

If you’ve never done these exercises before, especially numbers two to seven, or are a beginner, then seek advice from a professional gym instructor or physiotherapist on proper technique and for an exercise program that suits your fitness level.

Do you do any of these exercises? Do you have an efficient exercise that works well for you?

Read more at WebMD.

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