Easy At Home Workout
Updated on November 20, 2020 | By: Dr. Peter Lejkowski
The verdict is in, and science has repeatedly shown that performing regular exercise is the most no-nonsense path to staying fit, becoming mentally and physically resilient, and preventing a number of age-related problems.
Have you been receiving your dose of exercise medicine?
Did you know that in Canada, at least 4 out of 5 adults do NOT meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week? This statistic should be both shocking, as well as depressing, as it is now known that regular exercise positively affects over 30 chronic diseases.
In addition to their “medicinal” properties, some forms of exercise (specifically resistance exercise) play an important role in our ability to stay functional and independent as we move into old age.
The Golden Rule of Exercise
I know what you are thinking, “yes, I know exercise is good for me, I just don’t have the time and expertise to get started!”
I get it, the exercise recommendations may seem daunting, but let me give you some hope.
Here is what you need to understand about exercise:
Any physical activity that you perform (type or quantity), which is more than your current physical activity level, will produce significant positive effects on your body (and mind) over time!
Your body craves and readily adapts to any quantity and type of exercise. And, just like all good things in life, the benefits are RELATIVE to your starting point (i.e.: your baseline).
In their recent expert panel, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) dropped the previously held notion that the “accumulation of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity should be acquired in bouts ≥10 min”, and shifted away from their preference of a few specific types of movement behaviours, taking an important note from the available science and recommending a “mixture of the movement behaviours that influence a range of health outcomes”
Simply put, if you are currently not exercising at all, incorporating even a little bit of ANY exercise into your day or week will lead to positive outcomes, as long as you are consistently engaging in exercise on a regular basis.
The Argument for Resistance Exercise
It is common for most people to favour aerobic exercise (i.e.: running, cycling, rowing). The convenience of simply putting on a pair of shoes and going for a run is very attractive. Although aerobic exercise does promote improvements in cardiovascular health and has been shown to reduce risk factors for many chronic conditions and early death, it has its limitations.
Resistance exercise is a form of physical activity that is designed to increase fitness and conditioning by using external resistance (weights, bodyweight) to load the body. While the primary aim is to increase muscle tone and strength, the effects of resistance exercise go well beyond muscles.
Similar to aerobic exercise, studies have shown that resistance exercise can also yield positive effects on chronic health ailments, and reduce mortality (chance of dying).
Compared to aerobic exercise, resistance exercise is a more potent stimulus for growing and maintaining muscle mass. A properly implemented resistance exercise regimen also leads to adaptations in the nervous system (i.e.: improved muscular recruitment and body awareness) and it helps preserve joint health and bone quality. This is particularly important for maintaining mobility and function as we age.
As a clinician, I know first hand that when it comes to the management and prevention of injuries, resistance exercise forms the foundation of all science-informed strategies.
Both myself and Dr. Alison Lejkowski are McMaster University Department of Kinesiology Alumni. The researchers at the McMaster Centre for Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Research are serious, world-renown heavyweights when it comes to nutrition and exercise physiology.
To learn more about the benefits of resistance exercise, read their review on Resistance Exercise Training as a Primary Countermeasure to Age-Related Chronic Disease.
Stop Overthinking Exercise
Whenever I suggest to someone that they should increase their amount of weekly resistance exercise, I am often met with resistance (pun intended). The top 3 reasons for the resistance are:
- Lack of time/motivation
- Lack of access to resistance exercise equipment (gym)
- Fear of injury
To be blunt, reasons 1-3 for why you are not exercising all have to do with YOU overthinking resistance exercise.
Recall “The Golden Rule of Exercise” – even a little bit of exercise can go a long way, as long as you are consistent with it.
You do NOT have to spend hours performing resistance exercise to see benefits. Even a few minutes a day will set you on a path to better strength, health and resiliency. Can you find the motivation to perform 10 minutes of resistance exercise? This should not be difficult; just put it in your schedule and build it into your daily routine!
You do NOT require much (or any) equipment to get started. A number of foundational bodyweight exercises can target the whole body, leading to benefits.
You do NOT have to expose yourself to the risk of injury. You can keep the exercises simple, and work at a comfortable intensity as you build your tolerance to resistance exercise.
You need to let go of the notion that resistance exercise is for the grunting meatheads that fill big box gyms in the evening hours. Using simple, mild-to-moderate intensity bodyweight resistance exercises can be just as effective for achieving health benefits as exercising using heavy loads, and fancy equipment. This is why we created a “full body workout at home” routine for you.
EASY AT HOME WORKOUT:
SIMPLE FULL-BODY WORKOUT AT HOME CHALLENGE
Anyone who has met me knows that I am a big proponent of resistance exercise. I believe that anyone who gives it a chance can reap significant benefits in a short period of time, using low-tech exercises.
To help get you started, I have created an educational video that guides you through an easy full-body workout at home.
The video describes in detail, 5 exercises that target all of the major muscle groups in your body. The exercises DO NOT require any special equipment.
Watch the video!
In the video, I walk you through how you should perform the exercises, and I provide several variations of each, in case you wanted to make them more or less difficult.
Are you ready to step up to the challenge?
I challenge you to perform the exercises in the video for 3-5 days out of the week for 8 weeks. If performed as described in the video, it should take you about 20 minutes to perform this exercise program from beginning to end. Depending on your experience and fitness level, it may take even less time.
Take the challenge and experience the physical and mental benefits of resistance exercise first hand!
I am so confident that this simple challenge will change your life, that I am willing to volunteer my time and expertise to help you succeed.
If you would like to take the challenge, but you are worried about exercise technique, or simply have questions about resistance exercise, I will arrange a time for me or one of my healthcare provider colleagues to personally meet with you at our clinic in Burlington or virtually, to answer any questions you may have.
We will do this FREE OF CHARGE, as long as you are willing to share your story and experience with us.
Simply drop us a line in the contact form provided at the bottom of this page or click on the chat button (red and white icon on the bottom right), and send us a message stating “I want to take the resistance exercise challenge”.
Better yet, keep yourself accountable by taking on the challenge with a friend, co-worker or loved one. It is much easier to stay motivated when you are going through the program with a partner.
So what are you waiting for? Watch the video and learn first-hand how easy and beneficial it can be to build resistance exercise into your lifestyle.
Learn more about our fitness programs.
Check back regularly as I will cover more topics related to simplifying health and fitness.
Future post: “Importance of adequate protein intake for health and performance”
About the Author
Hi, I’m Dr. Peter Lejkowski
I am a practicing clinician, a published author, an educator, entrepreneur, consultant, anatomy nerd and a movement junkie. To learn more about me, click here. To chat, leave a comment or send me an email by filling out the form below.