Ran across this excellent website the other day that in my opinion is one of the best out there for finding good exercises for beginners. The site Beginner exercises at Fitness Republic list over 95 beginner exercises that you can pick from and has them arranged in a number of different ways such as by body area, muscle group or equipment needed (although most of the routines require no equipment or maybe some basics like a mat or exercise ball, resistance band or steps.
Looking over some of the exercises the beginners level seems to focus a lot on building a good foundation. There’s a lot of moves for the core and improving flexibility and strength. I also notice quite a few moves that concentrate on that pesky area behind the upper arm, you know where all that loose skin seems to want to hide!
There’s just too much stuff on this site to go over in a short review like this. There are tools to help you build your own personal workout, there are fitness videos, meal and weight trackers, logs for your workouts and much, much more.
A lot of women over 50 (and yes some men too) develop the cursed “flabby arm” syndrome. Why? It could be one of or a combination of two things. Loss of muscle mass and/or increase of fatty mass.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles the aging process naturally involves loss of muscle mass beginning around the age of 40 and increases as we get older. This is called sarcopenia. Because of this it is very important for older people to include resistance or weight-bearing exercise to their fitness routines as well as cardio for the heart and lungs.
One of the areas of the body that seems to lose muscle mass the quickest in a lot of women (and paradoxically add fat at the same time) is the arms, more specifically the triceps muscle area.
One really effective exercise to fight the loss of muscle and tone up this underside of the upper arm is the “triangle push up”. The American Council on Exercise, one of the leading certification agencies for Professional Fitness Trainers, rate the triangle push up as the number one exercise to combat flabby arms!
Triangle push ups are performed just like regular push ups except instead of placing your hands beneath the shoulders you form a triangle with your pointing fingers and thumbs in front of your chest . Be sure to keep your back and torso rigid and your head aligned with your spine while lowering and raising your body in a normal push up motion. This exercise has a medium to high level of difficulty so it can be done from your knees or even from the wall push up position.
Follow this link to read the ACE study on the Three Best Triceps Exercises. This is a PDF file so if you’d prefer to download it and read later you can simply right-click on the link and chose to save it to your computer.
A recent article in US Today suggest that as little as 15 minutes a day has significant health benefits. The article reports on an eight year study done on over 114,000 subjects and the results have been repeated by several other smaller studies around the world.
Fifteen minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, like a brisk walk was shown to reduce the participants risk of death by 14 percent and added three years to their expected life span.
More is better
Of course it’s still recommended that adults do at least 30 minutes of exercise 4 – 6 days a week but this should motivate those who may feel that if they don’t have the time or are otherwise unable to do 30 minutes than there is no need to even start.
Sure more may be better but even half of whats recommended is still beneficial.
Here are two really great beginner exercises from Men’s Health (don’t worry, they’re good exercises for women too) that can be done at home that will really raise your basil metabolic rate (BMR) therefore burning extra calories long after the exercises are over.
The routine is based on using simple, easy to do moves in what’s called a “count down” sequence. 15 reps of each then 14 reps without stopping and so on until you reach 1 rep.
This will probably be too challenging for some but the great thing is it’s scalable and you can start at fewer if you choose, the author of the article suggest eight.
The article contains instructions on how to do the routines, both written and excellent video (although I would wager nobody over 50 doesn’t remember doing squat thrust). Oops, I guess I gave away one of the exercises. Told you it was a simple one that you could do at home. Now click on the link below to find out what the other one is.