Start in a plank position. Bring index fingers and thumbs to meet, forming a triangle under chest. Bend elbows and lower torso as close to ground as possible. Push through palms to straighten arms. Modify this move by dropping to knees. Do 10 reps.
Start in a forearm plank. Keeping abs tight and spine long, pick up right arm and right palm on ground. Repeat on left side, ending up in a high-plank position. Now reverse the movement, replacing right palm with right elbow and left palm with left elbow. That’s 1 rep. Be sure to keep hips still and facing the ground throughout the routine. Do 10 reps, alternating starting arms with each rep.
Squats are a fantastic way to tone your legs, glutes, and core muscles all at once. They help with balance and flexibility to prevent age-related falls.
How to do it: Stand with your feet flat on the floor. Push your butt back and bend your knees down into a squat, no farther than 90 degrees. As you lower, raise both arms forward. At your lowest point, your glutes should be back as if you were going to sit down in a chair and your weight should be on your heels. If you are in the proper position, you should be able to raise your toes off the floor and you should be able to see your toes. Return to starting position as you lower your arms to your sides.
This is the first pose, which is to be started on the top of the mat. And, this will also be the last position in the set of exercises explained below. So, you will start with mountain pose and also end with mountain pose. After taking a few deep breaths, and calming yourself, you should stand tall, and start inhaling with your arms raised upwards toward the sky. Relax your shoulders, and stretch them to left while you exhale. Using the next inhale for drawing back to the centre, exhale and stretch towards the right.
The Mountain Pose is a starting pose for many other yoga poses and is commonly practiced in yoga sessions. As the name suggests, you are strong and standing tall during the pose. While the pose can be performed by itself, it is most commonly used as a resting or transition pose, much like the Child’s Pose. It is used as a starting point for many other poses as it allows the body to integrate the preceding pose with the following one.
The Sanskrit name of Mountain Pose, tadasana, comes from tada meaning mountain and asana meaning posture. In Mountain Pose, the body stands erect with arms at the sides. Some variations incorporate Namaste position where palms of the hands are pressed together in front of the chest and fingers pointing upward. During the pose, focus on balance and breathing as you achieve a connection between mind, body, and spirit.
If you were worried a floor workout would be too easy, this move will set you straight—and fast. This move starts in a hollow hold position: “Imagine doing a crunch but staying at the top,’ Scharff says. From your back, press a set of dumbbells into the air over your mid-chest. Peel your shoulders off the mat while keeping your lower back glued to the ground. Think about pressing the weights toward the ceiling as you scissor your legs, never letting them touch the ground.
This doesn’t have to be a fast movement, just big, controlled kicks. You can also do this move with one heavier weight as opposed to two dumbbells. Either way, go for 50 reps or 45 seconds!
According to a new study published in the journal Depression & Anxiety, those who are generally more physically active are about 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Regularly exercising 35 to 45 minutes per day—even if depression runs in your family—can notably benefit your mental health.
While exercise may alleviate depression symptoms for some people—or even prevent them from occurring—talk with a doctor about treatment options if you are experiencing signs of depression or know you have a high risk.
If you have close relatives with chronic depression, your odds of developing the condition are about two to one. But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable, especially if you’re establishing lifestyle habits that can help. Most notably, exercise can be a boon, new research suggests. Best of all, it doesn’t take much extra activity to lower your risk.
Using data from nearly 8,000 participants in the Partners Healthcare Biobank—a long-term research project that collects genetic and health information—researchers looked at two years of lifestyle habits, including physical activity and diagnoses related to depression, in a study published in the journal Depression & Anxiety.
They also calculated genetic risk scores for each participant, and found that those with higher genetic links to depression were more likely to be diagnosed with depression within the study timeframe.
However, those who were more physically active were 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed with depression at the end of the two-year period. Those with the least amount of activity—about a half hour to an hour per week of exercise—had the highest levels of depression. But just a few more hours per week—an average of three hours, or around 35 to 45 minutes per day—saw considerable decreases in depression risk, and the more activity was reported, the lower those risks became.
All forms of activity—both high intensity and low intensity—counted as well, including running, other forms of aerobic exercise, strength training, dance, yoga, and stretching. This was true even after adjusting for factors such as prior depression, education, and employment status.
“Our findings suggest that when it comes to depression, genes are not destiny, and that being physically active has the potential to neutralize the added risk of future episodes in individuals who are genetically vulnerable,” lead study author Karmel Choi, Ph.D., clinical fellow in psychiatry at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital, told Runner’s World. She said that even without a genetic link, exercise could be protective for reducing depression risk.
The work of Choi and her colleagues adds to similar research—studies like this one, this one, and this one—that connects exercise to both prevention of depression and management of the condition.
[From training tips, to fueling strategies, to improving the mind-body connection, the Runner’s World 2020 Calendar will help you run your best all year long.]
In terms of why exercise is so effective, Choi said previous research suggests physical activity creates a number of benefits that affect brain health and emotional regulation, for example, by reducing inflammation, increasing positive hormones such as endorphins and dopamine, and improving sleep.
Keep in mind that while exercise may alleviate depression symptoms for some people—or even prevent onset to some degree—it’s not a mental-health panacea, and results may vary. If you have high risk of depression or are experiencing signs of the condition—such as ongoing lack of energy, sadness, anger, anxiety, or insomnia—talk with a doctor about treatment options.
Lie on your back, holding your dumbbells, and bring the soles of your feet to the floor, knees pointing up. Bend your elbows so your weights stack over your wrists, then bring your elbows to a 45-degree angle—your arms should look like an arrow.
Press your entire back into the mat and exhale as you push the weights up over your chest. (Try not to let them bang together!) Inhale as you release back down to the floor, then reset and repeat. Pro tip: If you’re pressing heavier weights, pick up your dumbbells before lying back, as it’s easier on your shoulder joints. Repeat for 10-15 reps or 45 seconds.
1.Ride it out. So the idea of wiping out on black ice or feeling the cold breeze freeze your face while bike riding isn’t appealing? Spin class might be for you. These intense indoor cycling classes can burn up to hundreds of calories and keep bones strongTrusted Source. Interval-based rides will also strengthen the butt, thighs, calves, and even the core. No helmet necessary.ADVERTISING
2.Lap it up. It’s never too early to dig up that swimsuit. Head to your gym or community center’s indoor pool to get in a few solid swims before summer hits. This low-impact exercise lets athletes exercise longer without excess muscle strain, and might even beat yoga when it comes to improving breathing techniqueTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Bonus: An improved mood, and a leaner physique to bootTrusted Source.
3.Resistance train. No need to venture outside — a gym isn’t required for these 50 bodyweight exercises, guaranteed to improve strength and endurance with just body resistance alone. Try this 30-minute workout, complete with high-intensity supersets, to get a heart-pumping resistance workout without any dumbbells, machines, or plates.
4.Hit a wall. An indoor rock climbing wall, that is. This non-traditional cardio workout really hits the mark for those who want to exercise their mental strength (what happens to my legs if my arms go here?). But it’s about physical prowess as well — scaling indoor walls will increase heart rates and torch up to 650 calories per hourTrusted Source. Not only does it work the arm muscles, it activates the legs, back, and shoulders as well. Cue the bragging rights once you’ve reach the top!
5.Lace up. Ice skating isn’t just for kids. If it’s too cold for outdoor skating to be fun, head to your local indoor rink to carve up the ice. Aside from being super fun, skating tones the legs, core, and butt, along with smaller, stabilizing muscles that assist with balance and coordination. At a moderate pace, ice skating also burns about 500 calories per hour (and that’s not counting those bonus points for jumps and spins!).
6.Just dance. Though barre-based workouts hit the States in the 70s, it wasn’t until the past few years that they skyrocketed in popularity — and with good reason. The ballet-inspired moves combine elements of yoga, Pilates, and weight training to lengthen and tone muscles. And guys, don’t be shy. While the moves generally use just bodyweight and the barre, you’ll be surprised at just how challenging the classes can be. No studios nearby? DVDs like Physique 57 Classic 56 Minute Full Body Workout or The Bar Method’s Change Your Body Workout can be great at-home alternatives (just substitute a chair for the barre).
7.Drop and give us 10. Still looking to kick-start those fitness goals? A boot camp workout might be the right fit. Inspired by military training, these booty-busting sessions combine strength training moves with high-intensity cardio to deliver a serious full-body workout. While many boot camps are conducted at local parks or track fields, many have indoor options, particularly in the winter. Before committing to a longer series, consider test-driving a boot camp-inspired class at your local gym or community center first.
8.Get your gloves up. Make like Rocky and get to a kick-butt boxing class. A few rounds in the ring provide a full-body workout as you duck, block, and throw punches. And because the moves focus on cardio and conditioning to keep stamina up in the ring, you’ll tone muscles rather than bulking up. The winning card: Technique is more important than experience, so it’s OK to be a newbie.
9.Zen out. Give your mind and body a workout with yoga. Believed to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue, yoga also improves strength and flexibility through a variety of asanas (or poses). It’s also an ideal indoor cross-training activity for more cardio-intense activities like running. From Vinyasa flow to hot and sweaty Bikram yoga, there’s a style to suit just about anyone’s needs and interests.
10.Slow your roll. Combining martial arts moves with slow motions and deep breathing techniques, tai chi is a low-impact exercise with its roots in ancient China. According to Chinese philosophy, tai chi helps balance yin and yang, opposing forces that need to be kept in check. Lucky for us, it has also been found to improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve balance. Get started at a class to learn proper forms before continuing practice on your own.
11.Carve the core. If you want to define your core and increase flexibility, strength training through Pilates is a great option. The moves, which can be modified to fit any fitness level, are designed to condition the body (with an emphasis on the core) and improve balance. Feeling a little more adventurous? Take your Pilates mat skills to the Reformer, a machine that will really put that strength, balance, and coordination to the test.
12.Jump on it. Unleash the kid in you and hop to the nearest trampoline. This bouncy childhood favorite is the latest fitness craze, and not just because it’s super fun. Just six minutes of cardio moves on a trampoline is the equivalent to running, oh, about a mile. And thanks to the trampoline’s low-impact cushioning, joints are protected as you jump up and down. Try a local trampoline class or visit a trampoline park like Sky Zone to bust a move.
13.Dodge balls. As in, play a game of dodgeball. A gym class favorite, the game is a fun way to get moving with a group of friends. It’s not all fun and games, though. Dodgeball delivers a surprisinglygood cardio workout, moving in all planes of motion as you duck and fly over your opponent’s strikes. After a few vigorous games, you might find yourself more sore than expected — hopefully not from a ball to the forehead (ouch!).
14.Get fast and furious. If you haven’t tried plyometrics, get ready for an intense workout with seemingly simple moves. Plyometrics workouts incorporate explosive movements like tuck jumps, jumping jacks, and single-leg hops to improve cardio endurance and strengthTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Just remember: Our bodies adapt to challenging workouts faster than you’d think, so be sure to keep switching up that plyo routine. For a great at-home option, check out the Insanity Workouts.
15.Shoot hoops. No need to wait until summer to make like Mike (or LeBron, that is). Engaging in a friendly (or not-so-friendly) game of indoor hoops can burn more than 600 calories per hour. Running full-court can also improve your athletic endurance, not to mention balance and coordination as you play hard D and put up some shots. And while a full-on 5 v. 5 game is always fun, you only need one other person to get the stakes up (and earn those bragging rights). What’s not to love?
16.Soc-it to me. Don’t relegate soccer to a warmer weather-only sport. When it’s too cold to get outdoors, indoor soccer is a solid option for kicking out your frustrations and working up a sweat. And the benefits are worth it: Soccer means crazy good cardio, plus some sneaky core work with every pass, shot, and corner kick. Studies show the world’s favorite sport can also improve oxygen uptake (a measure of cardiovascular fitness) in adult athletes, and help with balance, too. Score!
17.Kick it up a notch. It’s a full body workout, a stress reducer, a self-defense class, and flexibility workshop. No, folks, this isn’t a magic pill. It’s the power of kickboxing. Combining karate-style kicking with boxing punches, kickboxing takes the best of both worlds to give your upper and lower body a kick-ass workout. It burns about 750 calories an hour, and the emphasis on core movements will help tone the body as well. And if you’re ever in a situation where you need to throw a punch or two, kickboxing’s got you covered.
18. Start swinging. Who knew swinging cast iron could reap such huge benefits in so little time? If you want to combine strength training and cardio workouts into one effective, calorie-blasting workout, pick up a set of kettlebells. One recent study found that, in a 20-minute workout, participants were burning about 20 calories per minute — the equivalent of running a 6-minute mile pace. Ready to get saved by the bell? Check out these 22 kick-ass exercises to get started.
19.Row it out. Turns out those rowers at the gym are onto something. Each rowing stroke can be broken down into a leg press, a dead lift, and a row (how’s that for a full-body workout?). And though you’re stationary, since all the muscles are working at once, that heart rate shoots up just as fast. Not up for rowing solo? Rowing classes can torch up to 1,200 calories in just one hour-long session. Plus, the resistance is created by how hard you push or pull, so the intensity level is up to you.
20. Get some hang time. Lifting weights is hard work. But using your own bodyweight to perform challenging moves, all while suspended from different angles? Welcome to TRX. A favorite among Navy SEALs, the portable suspension trainer works the whole body, including the core, and does it all while you fight against gravity.Exercises can be modified depending on your fitness level, making it a worthwhile investment no matter what your fitness level is. If you’re not ready to purchase your own system, check out local gyms for TRX classes and trainers.
This article was read and approved by Greatist Experts Ilen Bell and Noam Tamir.
What’s been your favorite indoor workout this winter? And what are you stoked to try? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet the author directly at @Kissie326.