Easy Exercises for Beginners

Bending and stretching exercises are good for beginners because they are easier and less likely to cause injury than more strenuous aerobic exercises. Even after you advance to more strenuous activities, it's a good idea to prepare for each workout with a few minutes of bending and stretching. In addition to bending and stretching, there are safe beginner's exercises you can do lying down on your bed or a floor mat, or sitting in a chair.

Bending and stretching: Standing with legs apart, bend forward, backward, and to each side. Exercises you can do lying down on your bed or a floor mat:

• Foot and toe exercises: Wiggle and circle toes of both feet.

• Then circle each foot, first in one direction, then the other.

• Knee raises: Lying on your back, bring one knee up as close to your chest as possible, then lower it slowly. Repeat with the other knee.

• Rolling: Lying on your back, raise arms as high over your head as you can. Stretch, then roll side to side, slowly.

• Head/shoulder lifts: Lying on your back, take a deep breath. As you exhale, lift your head and shoulders.

• Leg circles: Lying on your side, raise one leg and move it in a circular pattern. Turn and repeat with the other leg.

Exercises you can do sitting up in a chair:

• Arm circles: Raise both arms in front of you. Make a big circle with each arm, first in one direction and then in the opposite direction. Next, stretch arms out to your sides. Move arms in circles in one direction and then in the opposite direction.

• Push up: While seated, push down on the arms of your chair and try to lift your body off the seat.

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