Stretching helps maintain flexibility. We often overlook that in youth, when our muscles are healthier. But aging leads to a loss of flexibility in the muscles and tendons. Muscles shorten and don't function properly. That increases the risk for muscle cramps and pain, muscle damage, strains, joint pain, and falling, and it also makes it tough to get through daily activities, such as bending down to tie your shoes.

Use our illustrated exercise guide to discover new exercises to try in your workouts, learn which muscle groups different exercises target and how to perform them correctly. The clear images show correct form and the written instructions will guide you through the exercise movement. Want to build your own workouts with these exercises? You can do exactly that and much more with a Fit account. Check it out and start your free trial today!
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift right leg straight back and up; at same time, hinge at waist and bring hands or fingertips to floor in front of left foot. Bend both knees, bringing right knee behind left knee. Press back up through left foot to return to previous position. Do 15 reps, keeping leg raised, then switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Take the stairs. You know, some people pay to use stairs (read: they buy a stair stepper machine), so if you work or live above the first floor, consider using your stairs as a privilege. Using the stairs is great cardiovascular exercise, and also tones your calves, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and abs. Next time you're about to take the elevator or escalator, take the stairs instead. If you have some time to spare, take an extra trip up and down. Or, try a stair-based workout like this one.
The barre method uses your own body weight for resistance and focuses on small, deliberate movements that focus on specific groups of muscles, specifically muscles that aren’t used in other workouts. Muscles are worked to the point of fatigue, and then stretched for relief. Proper form, body alignment and posture is stressed, which in turn leads to an overall strengthening of core muscles and the appearance of an aligned, lean body.
Individual and group time to exhaustion duration are presented Table 2. Time to exhaustion duration ranged from 3.94 to 9.44 min (S1: 6.07 ± 1.71 min, S2: 5.59 ± 0.99 min, S3: 6.23 ± 1.68 min) and did not differ between sessions (P = 0.156). Individual and group CV are presented in Table 2. The ICC was 0.795 (0.493, 0.950). The typical error of measurement was 0.30 min and the smallest worthwhile change was 0.28 min. Bland-Altman plots for raw and log transformed data are presented in Fig 3. LOA was equal to 15.59.
^ Jump up to: a b c d Basso JC, Suzuki WA (March 2017). "The Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood, Cognition, Neurophysiology, and Neurochemical Pathways: A Review". Brain Plasticity. 2 (2): 127–152. doi:10.3233/BPL-160040. Lay summary – Can A Single Exercise Session Benefit Your Brain? (12 June 2017). A large collection of research in humans has shown that a single bout of exercise alters behavior at the level of affective state and cognitive functioning in several key ways. In terms of affective state, acute exercise decreases negative affect, increases positive affect, and decreases the psychological and physiological response to acute stress [28]. These effects have been reported to persist for up to 24 hours after exercise cessation [28, 29, 53]. In terms of cognitive functioning, acute exercise primarily enhances executive functions dependent on the prefrontal cortex including attention, working memory, problem solving, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, decision making, and inhibitory control [9]. These positive changes have been demonstrated to occur with very low to very high exercise intensities [9], with effects lasting for up to two hours after the end of the exercise bout (Fig. 1A) [27]. Moreover, many of these neuropsychological assessments measure several aspects of behavior including both accuracy of performance and speed of processing. McMorris and Hale performed a meta-analysis examining the effects of acute exercise on both accuracy and speed of processing, revealing that speed significantly improved post-exercise, with minimal or no effect on accuracy [17]. These authors concluded that increasing task difficulty or complexity may help to augment the effect of acute exercise on accuracy. ... However, in a comprehensive meta-analysis, Chang and colleagues found that exercise intensities ranging from very light (<50% MHR) to very hard (>93% MHR) have all been reported to improve cognitive functioning [9].
Exercise doesn't have to be done at the gym. You can work out in the comfort of your own home. And with calesthenic-type exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, and sit-ups, you can use the resistance of your own weight to condition your body. To boost your strength and aerobic capacity, you may also want to invest in some home exercise equipment.
In summary, if you're only interested in a basic understanding of HIT methodology and where much of it originated I would suggest starting with a far less technical book. I suggest starting with the last published edition of Ellington Darden's "The Nautilus Book" and perhaps "Total Fitness: The Nautilus Way". If you like what you read and want to dig a little deeper into the evolution of HIT read Darden's more recent book, "The New High Intensity Training: The Best Muscle-Building System You've Never Tried". If the gears in your head are in high gear after that and you really want to get DEEP into what evolved from the original Nautilus protocol _then_ you go for "Superslow" or preferably "The Renaissance of Exercise: A Vitruvian Adventure Volume 1". When your grasp of all the aforementioned material is truly solid then move on to Doug McGuff's writing. McGuff's ideas do not surpass or supplant Hutchins' but rather sharpen the points with brilliant thoughts and clinical observations from a medical physician's perspective. Doug McGuff, MD published his "Ultimate Exercise: Bulletin #1" in the late 90's and later updated that with "Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week", both of which are hugely valuable contributions to the literature on HIT methodology and philosophy. His article about "Stoicism in Training" is critical reading.
If you notice words like high intensity, fat blasting, sweat producing and similar phrases, you can almost guarantee that the video is for intermediates at the very least and probably more suited for advanced users. The reason you want to start off slow is so you don’t get burned out the very first time you struggle through it. This doesn’t mean don’t challenge yourself, it just means start off with something you can have success in finishing and build on that success.
Brooke has integrated the fundamentals of breathing, core stabilization and pelvic floor awareness into a safe method that enables women to not only gain strength and stability during pregnancy but also prepares them for a healthier delivery and postpartum period. As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I wish more fitness professionals had the knowledge and expertise that Brooke brings to the industry. I always feel very comfortable referring my patients to Brooke because I know that her methods are safe and align with the physical therapy model of functional stability, posture and strength.

Natalie Jill is a very popular fitness trainer who you will see guest starring on some of the other sites and channels found in this list. Her best videos can be found on her personal fitness blog which shares workouts for weight loss, exercise ball routines, jump rope workouts, booty belt workouts, body weight exercises and more. Natalie also shares great healthy recipes and useful nutrition tips on her site.

The plank is a yoga position that is basically a push up at the top of the action; you're suspending your body in a straight line from your toes while holding your body at an incline with your arms pressing straight up from the ground. Better yet, you're squeezing your abdominal muscles while you're holding the position. This works the transverse abdominis, the deepest-lying of the abdominal muscles. Though not visible, strengthening it will enhance your core stability and posture, both of which add to the effect of an upright profile.

The baseline characteristics of the study participants are presented in Table 1. No differences between the training groups existed at study entry. In both groups, men spent more hours in sedentary behavior and had significantly higher weight, height, and VO2peak compared to women. Contrary, more women than men performed at least 30 min of daily physical activity (Table 1). The included participants had higher VO2peak (11%) compared to those with no exercise logs. They also had higher VO2peak (17%) and height (1.7%) compared to dropouts, but a lower BMI (3.7%) (p < 0.05). A higher proportion of the included participants performed 30 min of daily physical activity compared to the dropouts (77.3% vs. 66.1%, p < 0.05).
Recruitment criteria were one or both of sedentariness and dysmetabolism. Thus, we selected subjects who were not physically active or involved in any exercise program; that is, they had a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, before entering the study, they were carefully screened for metabolic problems which attested a dysmetabolic status, as increased levels of plasma glucose, free fatty acids, triglyceride, and urate in fasting state. Both criteria were verified by means of family doctor databases of subjects.