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Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

Five Easy Exercises that Can Give You Great Results

Five Easy Exercises that Can Give You Great Results

Most people don’t think that exercise can be easy, but it actually can—you just need to utilize the right exercises for the best results. With some help from our fitness expert, here is a list of 5 easy exercises that can give you great results.

You won’t even have to go to the gym!

5. Squats

“If you are just a beginner, or if you aren’t quite ready for weights, you can still do a simple beginner squat,” says Sean Wells, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and the fitness expert at bistroMD. “Squats are a great exercise because it is a simple activity that can really sculpt your leg muscles.”

If you are a beginner, or prefer to stay at home, you can use two sturdy chairs as support. With your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down by bending at the knee and keeping your back straight, and your chest up. Follow through with a count of 10 seconds, holding for 2 seconds at the maximum tension point and then returning to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 3 times in a row for better results.

4. Side Planks

“Side planks are great for strengthening your abdominals, your back and your shoulders,” says Sean. “It's a beneficial exercise that you can do almost anywhere.”

The proper technique is to start out by lying on your side, with your legs extended and with your left arm resting in front of you. Lift up your body by firmly placing your right forearm against the floor. Make sure to breathe, and exhale as you lift your hips off the floor, balancing your body weight on your forearm.

Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch sides.

3. Abdominal Crunches

“If you just want to focus on getting your abdominals into shape, abdominal crunches are one of the easiest, most effective ways to do this,” says Sean.

Start out by lying on your back with your knees up and your arms against your sides, with your feet planted flat on the ground. Slowly lift your head and then your shoulder blades, contracting your abdominal muscles. Pull forward until you are halfway to your knees.

Hold this position for about 5 seconds, and then release. Repeat four times.

2. Leg Lifts

“Leg lifts are a very easy exercise, and is a great way to tone your abdominals and to work your front and inner thighs,” says Sean.

Start out by lying on your back with your palms down and with your hands under your behind. Lift up your legs from the ground—about 2 inches. Continue to lift, and keep your abs tight so that your shoulder blades are off the ground. Be sure to keep your abs tight with your chin up, and make sure to breathe slow and in a good rhythm as you lift through for a count of about 10 seconds.

Repeat this exercise three times.

1. Toe Reach

“If you want to firm and tone your abdominal muscles, toe reaches are also another great exercise,” says Sean. “Toe reaches can also help increase core muscle strength, but if you’ve had previous back problems, you need to check with your physician first before doing this activity.”

To do a leg fit, begin by lying on your back with your legs crossed and your feet flexed. Raise your legs to a 90 degree angle (as best as you can), and then extend your arms while keeping your chin up.

Make sure to breathe slowly as you crunch up, and reach toward your toes through a count of 10 seconds. Hold yourself at the maximum tension point for a minimum of two seconds, and then lower your legs back down.

Repeat three times.

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