(Good Things Utah) – Making the resolution to start an exercise routine at the beginning of a new year can be a daunting task, especially if you are completely new to the scene.
While there are definitely a variety of things to consider, the most important one, according to Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist with the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute, is to start slow in order to stay consistent with your routine.
Beck says the exercise will not only help you look good, but it will help you feel better. Physical activity will help you lower your blood pressure, attain a healthy weight, and improve your cholesterol and A1C numbers to reduce your risk of diabetes, among other health benefits.
If you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, Beck recommends doing the following routine three times per week:
1. Seal Side Jacks
This move is a great warm-up, especially for beginners. Stand with your feet together, arms out in front of you. Step your right leg out to the side while bringing both arms straight out to your sides. Return to the starting position and repeat the motion on the other side.
This move is a staple in most workout routines and for good reason. It helps strengthen the lower body, improve balance, and also revs up the heart rate! Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor as you bring your arms out in front of you for stability. Return to the starting position.
3. Prone Isometric Quad Activation
A deceptively effective exercise for the quadriceps, lie face down on the ground and prop yourself up on your elbows, legs straight behind you. Gently press into the floor with your toes on the right foot. Hold for a few seconds and then release. Do 10 reps and then switch legs.
4. Bear Planks
This is a fantastic exercise for the core! Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position with your wrists above your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Lift your knees just a few inches off the ground. Use your core to balance and keep your back flat. Slowly tap your hand to your opposite knee. Repeat with the other side. Keep going in an alternating fashion until 10 reps per side have been attained.
Beck recommends starting by doing 1 set of 10 reps per exercise and gradually working your way up to 3 sets of 10 reps (60 seconds rest between sets). The best part? You don’t need to go to the gym or use any weights!
For more tips on healthy living in the new year, visit Intermountain Healthcare.