This program isn’t just for the true beginner who has never touched a weight before; it’s also suitable for anyone who has taken an extended leave of absence from training. How long has it been since you went to the gym regularly? Six months? A year? Five years? No worries: The following routines will get you back on track in—you guessed it—just four short weeks. Let’s get to work.

One of the easiest parts of starting an exercise program is deciding to do it. Usually there's something inspiring you to make a change: Maybe you tried on a pair of jeans that were too tight or there's an upcoming event—a reunion, wedding, or party—where you're going to see people you haven't seen in a while. Whatever it is, you're motivated, you're excited, and the fantasy of a new, slimmer you is enough to inspire you.
In London, the Medical Officer of Thorpe Coombe maternity hospital approved and implemented the St Thomas method in 1940, presented as ‘Training for Childbirth - and After.’26 Wellcome Library [Internet]. Rodway H. Training for childbirth - and after (1940). 2015 Sep 24 [cited 2015 Oct 3]. Available from: http://wellcomelibrary.org/player/b16729006#?asi=0&ai=0. [Google Scholar] There was also interest from the USA, but this option did not materialize.29 Sydney Morning Herald [Internet]. Thomas BM: Obituary (1940). 2014 Oct 23 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://www.tiveyfamilytree.com/Barbara-Mortimer-Thomas-Death-Article-SMH-11-9-1940.htm. [Google Scholar]
3.  Move v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y but smoothly. "Explosive" movement is not only nonproductive, but also dangerous. Plus, moving slowly eliminates momentum, which ensures constant muscle loading. Make a movement last about ten seconds. (A chin-up should take about ten seconds from the lowest to the highest point, and then another ten seconds from the highest to the lowest point. Same goes for a push-up.) There is nothing to be gained from fast movements. Moving slowly prevents injury. (There are over 30 million exercise related injuries annually in this country; most of these can no doubt be attributed to high-force movement.) Keep your movements low-force and high-intensity. An analogy: If you attempt to lift your car quickly, you will likely injure yourself even if using proper form. If you try lifting it slowly and intensely, your chances of injury are nil. Think of how you drive your car over speed bumps... fast will cause damage to the car's suspension, slow will not.
Children who participate in physical exercise experience greater loss of body fat and increased cardiovascular fitness.[23] Studies have shown that academic stress in youth increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in later years; however, these risks can be greatly decreased with regular physical exercise.[24] There is a dose-response relation between the amount of exercise performed from approximately 700–2000 kcal of energy expenditure per week and all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in middle-aged and elderly populations. The greatest potential for reduced mortality is in the sedentary who become moderately active. Studies have shown that since heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, regular exercise in aging women leads to healthier cardiovascular profiles. Most beneficial effects of physical activity on cardiovascular disease mortality can be attained through moderate-intensity activity (40–60% of maximal oxygen uptake, depending on age). Persons who modify their behavior after myocardial infarction to include regular exercise have improved rates of survival. Persons who remain sedentary have the highest risk for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality.[25] According to the American Heart Association, exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke.[22]

Between August 2012 and June 2013, all men and women born between years 1936 to 1942 (aged 70–77 years), with a permanent address in the municipality of Trondheim, Norway, were invited to participate in a randomized controlled trial, the Generation 100 study. The primary aim of Generation 100 is to determine the effect of five years of exercise training on morbidity and mortality. The Generation 100 study protocol and study sample characteristics have been published previously [19].
Results Maximal blood lactate concentration was lower in OTS compared with NFO, while resting concentrations of cortisol, ACTH and prolactin concentrations were higher. However, sensitivity of these measures was low. The ACTH and prolactin reactions to the second exercise bout were much higher in NFO athletes compared with OTS and showed the highest sensitivity for making the distinction.
Pilates is great for individuals of all fitness levels. People who are just beginning a fitness program will find it’s a great way to ease into more intense methods of exercise. It’s also beneficial for pregnant and postpartum women and people wishing to strengthen their muscles after an injury. A physician’s approval should be sought before beginning any exercise program.
You may commit to crunches and planks, Pilates and yoga, all in an effort to target your abs, which they do, but don't stop there. Broaden your "rep"ertoire to include some of these other types of moves and methods (some of which you can do at your desk), and suddenly your core is being challenged with every motion—even though your mind is never on your middle. (Just don't forget abs are made in the kitchen too. Steer clear of these foods to prevent bloating.)
If you haven’t strength trained regularly, muscle loss may now reach critical levels, interfering with balance, gait, and other daily activities. But if you take up strength training, those changes are reversible: A number of studies including adults in their 70s have found that progressive strength training two or three times per week can lead to such improvements as increased muscle mass, more ease with everyday activities like climbing stairs and carrying groceries, and reduced joint pain.
Major variants: reverse ~ (curling the pelvis towards the shoulders), twisting ~ or side ~ (lifting one shoulder at a time; emphasis is on the obliques), cable ~ (pulling down on a cable machine while kneeling), sit-up ~ (have [chest] touch your knees), vertical crunch (propping up to dangle legs and pulling knees to the [ chest] or keeping legs straight and pulling up legs to a 90 degree position). Reverse hanging crunch (using gravity boots or slings to hang head down and pulling to a 90 or 180 degree form)

Making older adults exercise and keeping them in exercise programs is a major challenge. Understanding how older adults prefer to exercise may help developing tailored exercise programs and increase sustained exercise participation in ageing populations. We aimed to describe exercise patterns, including frequency, intensity, type, location and social setting of exercise, in older adults instructed to follow continuous moderate-intensity training (MCT) or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) over a one-year period.
Data were analysed using three different methods: visual inspection, parametric statistics and calculation of sensitivity for both OTS and NFO detection. Because the sample size was rather small (ie, maximal 5 for each group), data were first inspected visually. Parametric statistics and sensitivity calculation were used to support conclusions from visual inspection of the data. For the purpose of visual inspection, we created graphs with averages and SE for both the OTS and the NFO groups.
Leslie Sansone: Walk Off Fat Fast. This is just one of Leslie Sansone’s walking videos available on Amazon Prime that will give you the skills, form, and tips to take your walking outside to the trail. Walking is a low-impact, but effective way to lose weight and stay active, and it’s great for all ages. The video literally walks you through a few fat-burning walking programs set to beats per minute in workout music. Available for $2.99 to rent; $9.99 to purchase.
The first step to any workout routine is to evaluate how fit you are for your chosen physical activity. Whenever you begin an exercise program, it's wise to consult a doctor. Anyone with major health risks, males aged 45 and older, and women aged 55 and older should get medical clearance, says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise.
This study was supported by grants from the Liaison Committee for education, research and innovation in Central Norway, The K.G Jebsen Foundation for medical research and the Research Council of Norway. The funding organizations had no role in the design and execution of the study, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data, or in the preparation, review or approval of the submitted manuscript.
You’ll begin the program with a full-body training split, meaning you’ll train all major bodyparts in each workout (as opposed to “splitting up” your training). Train three days this first week, performing just one exercise per bodypart in each session. It’s important that you have a day of rest between each workout to allow your body to recover; this makes training Monday, Wednesday and Friday—with Saturday and Sunday being rest days—a good approach.
Zumba Fitness-Concert Live. Ever been to a concert and just danced around with abandon? This Zumba video is the next best thing and it’ll count as a workout! In addition to the cardio burn, you’ll feel all the electricity from the crowd during this 70-minute latin dance workout. The video features 16 high-energy, calorie-blasting routines that you can do all at once, or pause and break up into intervals.
Other strength training equipment. This includes weight stacks (plates with cables and pulleys), flexible bands, and flexible rods. Fichera says flexible bands are good for beginners, especially since they come with instructions. But he doesn't recommend them for long-term use; your muscles will likely adapt to the resistance and need more of a challenge.

It's important to note that you can spread your activity into intervals as short as 10 minutes. So if you have a very busy schedule, even doing three, 10-minute aerobic exercises per day, five days per week, will be sufficient. To get you started, here are the different types of exercise, how they benefit the body and what kind of activities they entail:


Within the MMB philosophical approach, the body’s nutritional and movement systems were integral. The key to maintaining a healthy digestive system and reducing fat percentage lay in regular exercise practice and a balanced diet. Checkley ridiculed fad diets, claiming they were unnecessary and irrelevant to a long-term solution.9 Checkley E. A natural method of physical training. New York (NY): William C. Bryant & Co.; 1890. [Google Scholar] Müller claimed that ‘When your digestive system has been invigorated through physical exercise you can safely eat almost every kind of food’.15 Müller JP. My system. London: Link House; 1904. [Google Scholar] Pilates recommended ‘to eat only enough food to restore the fuel consumed by the body’.46 Pilates J, Miller WJ. Return to life through Contrology. Nevada: Presentation Dynamics; 1945. [Google Scholar]
The 1980s also brought the grueling workouts from Buns of Steel with Greg Smithey. In Buns of Steel, Smithey guided viewers in a series of rigorous exercises aimed to tone their rears and thighs. Despite the rigor and intensity of the workout, or perhaps because of it, over one million copies of the VHS tape were sold. That said, I can't help but wonder how much of Smithey's—also called the Bunmaster— success is due to his uncomfortably vivid and surreal line: "Don't forget to squeeze those cheeseburgers out of those thighs!" Wait, what? Smithey comes off as pretty sleazy throughout his tapes, but don't let that stop you. The workout is, after all, titled Buns of Steel.
An early detailed documentation of a Western mind–body exercise philosophy was created in the late 18th century by Swedish medical gymnastics teacher Pehr Henrik Ling (1766–1839), who is remembered as the father of Swedish Gymnastics. Ling developed an apparatus-free method to improve functional movement and concurrently address the concept of prevention and healing of human diseases.4 Bakewell S. Illustrations from the Wellcome Institute Library: Medical gymnastics and the Cyriax collection. Med Hist. 1997;41:487–95.10.1017/S0025727300063067[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar] His early age rheumatism, experiences as a Fencing Master and his studies of medicine at Uppsala University influenced his ideas on the remedial benefits of physical training.5 Brodin H. Per Henrik Ling and his impact on gymnastics. Sven Med Tidskr. 2008;12(1):61–8.[PubMed] [Google Scholar] His 1853 book ‘Gymnastic Free Exercises’ stated: ‘It cannot be denied that the art of preventing disease is far preferable to that of curing it.’6 Ling PH. The gymnastic free exercises. Boston (MA): Ticknor, Reed and Fields; 1853. [Google Scholar] Ling regarded his ‘gymnastic free exercises’ as one of two separate yet related systems; the other being competitive gymnastics and athletics. Together, these two systems defined what became the Physical Culture or Gymnasium Movement of the 19th century.5,7 Brodin H. Per Henrik Ling and his impact on gymnastics. Sven Med Tidskr. 2008;12(1):61–8.
You’re only a week into the program, yet you’ll begin to train different bodyparts on different days with a two-day training split (meaning the entire body is trained over the course of two days, rather than one as in the first week). You’ll train a total of four days this week; the split includes two upper-body days (Monday and Thursday) and two lower-body days (Tuesday and Friday), and each bodypart is trained twice. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday will be your recovery days.
Do you have any health or physical limitations to consider? If you have back problems, knee issues, arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, or any kind of health or physical limitations, you need to consider these when looking at the array of exercise videos on the market. There are some that will push you to the very edges of your limits and others that can accommodate a necessity for lower impact and a slower pace yet are still effective. Ignoring health problems or physical limitations is very dangerous. Asking your doctor for any restrictions before shopping is a plus as well.
Pilates is a fitness method that was developed by Joseph Pilates in Germany during World War I. Originally intended to help rehabilitate injured soldiers, Pilates broadened his method to help people of all walks of life, including police officers and dancers, to strengthen their bodies. His method stressed the use of the mind to control the muscles and was often used to help heal and build strength in individuals who were recovering from injuries.
More recently, exercise was regarded as a beneficial force in the 19th century. After 1860, Archibald MacLaren opened a gymnasium at the University of Oxford and instituted a training regimen for 12 military officials at the university. This regimen was later assimilated into the training of the British Army.[145] Several mass exercise movements were started in the early twentieth century as well. The first and most significant of these in the UK was the Women's League of Health and Beauty, founded in 1930 by Mary Bagot Stack, that had 166,000 members in 1937.[146]
What type of exercise do you enjoy? – Do you love to dance? Do you like ballroom moves or hip hop? Do you enjoy martial arts inspired moves like kickboxing? Do you prefer walking? There are so many varieties of exercise videos available that you can find many that cater to the type of exercise you like to do. Don’t get locked into only one form though because learning something new can keep you from getting workout burnout. This is one of the reasons a popular exercise series called P90X3 is so popular. Every day you will have a new form of exercise to look forward to.
“The best exercise you can do if you only have 30 seconds each day is to learn and practice diaphragmatic breathing,” explains Carla Chickedantz, a personal trainer with Crunch gyms. “Diaphragmatic breathing is the most basic, original strength building technique that each and every human uses to build core strength as a newborn baby. As adults, we lose this skill and rely on auxiliary muscles in the chest, shoulders, and neck for respiration. This causes all sorts of problems. During our workouts, we often focus on the front, back and sides of the core, and neglect the top and bottom. Yes, the core is like a canister with the diaphragm at the top and pelvic floor at the bottom.”

This is an extremely high-skill movement, and is one of two Olympic Weightlifting events. HOW TO DO IT: Start with the bar on the ground with your feet hip-width apart. With your hands wide on the bar, keep a big chest as you deadlift the weight off the ground (similar to the beginning of the clean). Pull from the floor with your arms in a locked position. Then, drive your hips and pull the bar as high as possible. As you receive the bar overhead, drop down as quickly as possible and lock your arms into place in a squat position with the bar overhead. MUSCLES USED: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, traps, core, shoulders and back.

It is well known that exercise in the older population may prevent several diseases [1–4]. Reduced physical activity impairs the quality of life in elderly people with Alzheimer's Disease [4], Parkinson's Disease [5], and Depressive Disorders [6]. Moreover, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and cerebrovascular decline are associated with poor physical fitness because of the cumulative effects of illness, multiple drug intake, fatigue, and bed rest [7, 8]. The effects of physical activity and exercise programs on fitness and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in elderly adults have been widely studied by several authors [9–11]. De Vries et al. [11] conducted a meta-analysis focusing on elderly patients with mobility problems and/or multimorbidity. Eighteen articles describing a wide variety of actions were analyzed. Most used a multicomponent training program focusing on the combination of strength, balance, and endurance training. In 9 of the 18 studies included, interventions were supervised by a physical therapist. Intensity of the intervention was not reported and the duration of the intervention varied from 5 weeks to 18 months. This meta-analysis concluded that, considering quality of life, the exercise versus no-exercise studies found no significant effects. High-intensity exercise appears to be somewhat more effective in improving physical functioning than low-intensity exercise. These positive effects are of great value in the patient population but the most effective type of intervention remains unclear. Brovold et al. [7] recently examined the effects of high-intensity training versus home-based exercise programs using the Norwegian Ullevaal Model [12] on a group of over-65-year-olds after discharge from hospital. These authors based their study on the Swedish Friskis-Svettis model [13] which was designed by Johan Holmsater for patients with coronaropathy to promote their return to work and everyday activities and improve their prognoses. This model includes three intervals of high intensity and two intervals of moderate intensity, each one lasting for 5 to 10 minutes. Included in each is coordination. Exercises consist of simple aerobic dance movements and involve the use of both upper and lower extremities to challenge postural control [13]. Exercise intensity was adjusted using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale. Moderate intensity was set between 11 and 13, and high intensity was set between 15 and 17 on the Borg Scale.
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