It’s mid-July, which means that summer, as well as 2023, is about halfway over. Now is a good time to get outside and get active, whether running, biking or just splashing in the water with friends and family. It’s also a great time to build good exercise habits that can carry you through the rest of the year.
So we on the Well desk thought it would be a prime opportunity to highlight some of the best workouts and activities we’ve covered so far in 2023.
Over the last six months, Well has looked at the whole spectrum of physical fitness, from intense boxing and HIIT workouts to exercises aimed to keep you feeling energetic as you age. We’ve spotlighted exercises that not only focus on maintaining fitness, but also on sustaining mobility in the long term.
Here are a few of our favorite workouts of 2023.
Getting Fit Fast
Quick Body Weight Routine
There is no better excuse for not working out than “I just don’t have time.” But researchers have repeatedly found that even carving out a few minutes for daily exercise can make a huge impact on health, longevity and happiness. So, with that in mind, we came up with this simple, 10-minute workout you can do in your living room to make sure excuses don’t keep you from feeling your best.
Intense Body Weight Exercises
Let’s face it, getting fit means getting sweaty. And if you’re short on time, you’re going to have to sweat hard. Enter the world of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, where exercisers jump from one strenuous exercise to the next with minimal breaks.
True HIIT workouts (and there are many fakes out there) push you near your limit, let you barely catch your breath and do it again, which maximizes the workout over a short time period. But don’t let that scare you — beginners can start out less strenuously and slowly ramp up. So, if you want an hour’s worth of exercise in 30 minutes, here’s one to try.
Before there was CrossFit or HIIT, there was boxing, which has long been one of the best ways to get in shape fast. But you don’t have to get in a ring with someone or even punch anything. Just learning to shadowbox and fitting that into your daily workout can be a rewarding and even slightly cathartic experience.
In this article, we demonstrate how to jab, cross, hook and uppercut as well as offer a fun 20-minute HIIT-style boxing workout.
Exercising as We Age
Body Weight Exercises
Outside of death and taxes, there is one certainty in life: All of us are older today than we were yesterday. But aging doesn’t mean we can’t have a robust, energetic fitness life, and picking the right workout routine is a crucial part of longevity and aging well. For instance, squats are an effective way to build stability in the lower body, prevent injuries and ensure you can easily get down on the floor and back up again. If you are looking for other ways to stay fit as you age, take a look at these five exercises selected by exercise experts.
One of the most important concepts for fitness and aging well is mobility, which combines strength and flexibility. And few exercises are as good for mobility as yoga. As we age, our tendons tend to stiffen, and yoga can help you maintain your flexibility. So, if you’ve never tried it and are concerned about creaky joints at any age, here’s what you need to know to get into yoga.
Enjoying the Weather
What is the most popular sport in the world? It’s an impossible question to answer, but few would deny that tai chi is at least in the running. This martial art, which focuses on smooth movement instead of dynamic impacts, is a mainstay in city parks across both China and the United States. Think of it as yoga mixed with kung fu and dance.
The best way to get into it is to find a teacher and start learning moves with names like “Wave Hands Like Clouds” and “Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain.” Here, we’ve selected a few beginner moves to try.
Hiking might not seem like a difficult sport at first blush. After all, it’s just walking on a trail. But it doesn’t take much for a pleasant day outside to turn into a miserable slog that causes you to swear off the hills forever. For instance, a classic beginner mistake is to bite off more than you can chew by taking the wrong hike.
This article will help you find the right hike and offer other tips to plan a safe day out, like what to bring and how to avoid twisted ankles.
While swimming laps is a perfectly fine workout, it’s nice to mix things up a little in the pool sometimes. Aquatic exercises are a surprisingly popular and accessible alternative to lap swimming that build muscle without taxing the joints. Learn moves like power pulls and stirring the water, and try this short workout for a new way to enjoy the pool.
Discovering Hidden Workouts
The term “core workout” is often associated with sculpting the abdominal muscles. But, experts say, choosing a core workout that makes you look good at the beach totally misses the point. The most important part of the core is a complex set of lesser-known muscles that wrap your spine and trunk that allow you to move confidently and avoid injuries.
So skip the crunches or situps in lieu of planks, which exercise those crucial, harder-to-see muscles. Also, look for exercises that involve some form of twisting in order to target different parts of the midsection.
Another often-overlooked group of muscles that can have a huge impact is the pelvic floor. In addition to helping with core strength, these muscles hold in place organs like the bladder, the bowel and the uterus. Not only are they often not exercised enough, experts say, many people don’t even know they exist. However, there is a series of simple exercises you can do to stabilize these muscles that may help you to better enjoy everyday activities like running, jumping and even laughing.
Playing the Mental Game
None of these workouts will be helpful if we never get out the door or put on workout gear. At the end of the day, the most important fitness advice is to find a way to exercise throughout the week. That might mean finding workouts we love and can’t wait to do. But other times our stubborn brains need a little nudging. Here are a few psychological tricks we can all use to get up and get moving.
Is there a workout or sport you’ve been thinking about trying? Let us know in comments, and we might write a future “Why Not Try” column about it.
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