Over the last century, machines have replaced humans in many tasks. Few decades back we were a physically active race, which was walking to work, lifting heavy objects, getting enough exposure to sun. But recently we have become couch potatoes, doing all our work from a single spot, leading to multiple health problems. Advancing technology may have many benefits, but it has made us the unhealthiest race to walk on earth.
Dawn of the Digital Era
The digital economy has expanded firm boundaries and driven a fundamental shift in the nature of firms. Physical presence is no longer a prerequisite to do business. Which is leading to a severe sedentary work style. To counter this secondary pandemic, we have to make our bodies and minds stronger.
Following a well-balanced fitness regime, with proper diet and sleep is the need of the hour. This will not only make you stronger, but will also improve the supply of oxygen to the brain, making you smarter and sharper.
15 powerful workouts for your body and mind:
It is high on the list for complete body fitness. With one fluid movement hinging forward at the hips with a neutral spine and bent knees, coming back up to standing, and repeating. Through this exercise you’re working every major muscle group in your body.
Note: build basic strength in your body for a month or more before trying out deadlifts. Benefits of deadlift includes – better posture, helpful in weight loss and improves grip strength. Along with all this it also increases primary anabolic hormones, that aid in fat loss and muscular growth.
It is a well-known compound exercise which is a combination of a front squat and an overhead press. Thrusters are deemed to be one of the most beneficial exercises, since they’re a full-body movement useful in daily life. Thrusters help improve coordination, muscular endurance and balance. They help you gain both upper and lower body strength by working the quadriceps, glutes, and shoulders. Thrusters also help you develop a strong core.
Also known as ‘Bhujangasana’ in Sanskrit, is one of the best exercises to strengthen your lower back and a must do in your workout routine. It strengthens the spine, stretches chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen. It tones buttock, improves menstrual irregularities, ease symptoms of asthma, relieves stress and fatigue. Practice this movement to make your spinal region strong and agile.
Also known as ‘Adho Mukha Svanasana’ in Sanskrit, is one of the easiest stretches to strengthen your entire body. It tones your core, strengthens bones, works on glutes and hamstring muscles, strengthens your arms and improves blood flow to the brain.
Cat & Cow pose
Also known as ‘Marjaryasana/Bitilasana’ in Sanskrit, is a gentle exercise that stretches and strengthens the muscles that stabilise the spine. This simple pose powers up your brain and improves focus, coordination and mental stability. The cat/cow pose improves blood circulation between the vertebrae of your spine and it helps in relieving back pain and stress.
Also known as ‘Eka Pada Rajakapotasana’ in Sanskrit, is one of the best exercises to open hips. It helps in lengthening hip flexors, lower back, stretches the thighs, glutes and aids in digestion. As per Ayurveda it helps relieve stress, sadness and fear stored in your hips. It is one of the best exercises for professionals stuck at home, as it stretches muscles surrounding your hips and lower back, which tighten from excessive sitting.
Also known as ‘Virabhadrasana’ in Sanskrit, is a pose that strengthens the arms, shoulders, thighs and back muscles, all in one go. This pose is named after Virabhadra, a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. It strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back, opens your hips, chest & lungs, improves focus, balance and stability and energises the entire body. Practicing this pose will stretch out your body and increase your core strength.
In a 2012 study, Paul Williams, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found runners were leaner and lighter than men and women who did equivalent amounts of any other type of exercise. It burns more calories than any other form of exercise as it requires multiple muscle groups functioning hard and optimally together. Also it has ‘the after-burn effect’ where you can continue to burn calories up to 48 hours after you work out. Try running for weight loss, de-stressing and improved metabolism. It is the most cost-effective way of being in shape and beating the blues.
It is one of the best cardio exercise suggested by experts. It aids in improving bone density, decreases foot and ankle injuries, improves coordination, improves breathing pattern, cardiovascular health, keeps you calm and makes you smarter. Yes, jumping rope can make you smarter, according to the Jump Rope Institute, jumping aids in the development of the left and right hemispheres of your brain, which further enhances spacial awareness, improves reading skills, increases memory and makes you more mentally alert.
Burpee is a full-body workout that promotes cardiovascular health. It provides you with extraordinary strength. The primary steps are executed in four movements, which are collectively known as ‘Four count burpee.’ Burpee is a whole-body workout and is also called Bastardo exercise or Body Blaster exercise.
This is a high intensity workout, which adds immense strength to your muscular bulk, legs, and rest of the body. Burpees are effective in improving posture, body strength and composition. It utilises muscle groups from lower and upper body improving your lung and heart capacity.
It is truly a full-body move working on your glutes, legs, triceps, shoulders and maximum benefit going towards strengthening your core. It is a dynamic movement working on your entire core, which is far superior than regular crunches, which only works part of your abdominal muscles. They are also a lot easier on the spine compared to other ab exercises that require you to lie down.
Bonus: They give you a nice dose of cardio at the same time. You can include them in your regular workouts for warm ups, in between your strength moves or at the end of your regime.
If you are fortunate enough to have a pool around you, don’t think twice and just jump into it. Swimming is an undisputed superstar of workouts, which works your entire body and cardiovascular system. An hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running, without all the impact on your bones and joints.
Benefits of swimming include – it works your entire body inside and out, it is appropriate for people suffering from injuries, arthritis or other conditions, improves your sleep, boosts your mood and torches calories. Hence if you have an access to a swimming pool, use it as a cool down workout or an extensive cardio routine.
It is a traditional workout beneficial for building upper body strength. It works the triceps, pectoral muscles and shoulders. When done with proper form, they can also strengthen lower back and core by engaging abdominal muscles. Pushups can be done from virtually anywhere and don’t require any equipment. Pushups is an effective workout which can be weaved into your daily routine, which will help you gain upper body strength and proper posture.
It is a dynamic strength training exercise that requires several muscles in your upper and lower body to work together simultaneously. Many of these muscles help power you through daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, bending, or carrying heavy loads. They are also very essential for all athletic activities, strengthening your back and leg muscles. Adding squats to your workouts will help boost your exercise performance, decrease risk of injury and keep you moving more easily through the day.
It is an upper body strength training exercise, which strengthens back muscles, arms & shoulders. Along with all other benefits it also improves your grip strength. Pullups are considered as an advanced exercise, which is more difficult than chin-ups. But a pull-up can be modified using an assisted machine, but you’ll still get all the benefits.
Number 1 Rule before beginning any fitness routine – Warm up. Start with light stretching, and focus on parts that have immobilised due to long periods of inaction. Always give yourself a day in between strength training to allow your muscles to recover.
One has to be regular and consistent to be healthy and strong. Other aspects like weight, shape & look are temporary and should not be the main focus of starting any routine. Exercising should be one of the morning ablutions which completes your day. Start small, be regular and see the changes long term.