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Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

The Best Exercises to Celebrate Move More Month

Did you know only half of all adults move enough to maintain good health? Get up and move more this year with these best exercises to celebrate Move More Month!

The Best Exercises to Celebrate Move More Month


According to the American Heart Association, only half of all adults move enough to maintain good health. What’s more, one in three participate in absolutely no physical activity at all! 

For these reasons and because consistent movement offers numerous preventative health benefits, the American Heart Association conceived a National Move More Month.

Get up and move more this year! Celebrate the gift to engage in physical activity with the following effective exercises that can be completed as a virtual home workout during this unique period of time.

What Is Move More Month?

The purpose of More More Month is to promote simple but sufficient movement throughout the year. Although April receives its warranted dedication, the premise is encouraged during all months of the year. Specifically, its initiative is aimed at supporting more people to hit 10,000 steps a day or to hit the twenty minutes of cardio mark exercise every day.

The Heart Association exclaims the month is less about perfecting a specific form of exercise and more about embracing the foundations of movement and living an overall healthy lifestyle to enjoy a high quality of life. They reiterate moving simply and naturally building it into the day as opposed to doing intense workouts every single day. 

Easy ways to seamlessly add more movement into the day include:

• Vacuuming and doing other household chores
• Stretching for five minutes during a lunch break
• Walking around the block or up the stairs a few times
• Getting off the bus a stop early
• Walking while brushing teeth

Virtual Workout from Home

Virtual workouts reign supreme right now, so how can one maximize their results when working out from home? The key lies within the effort.

Fancy cardio machines and expensive weight equipment are not always necessary to achieve a powerful workout session. Rather, the energy one gives during their workout determines results. Focusing on the correct form, along with strategic intensity, helps maximize the positive effects of exercise.

The simplest ways to increase the intensity of a workout include:

• Taking less rest time in between sets
• Lifting/using heavier weights
• Increasing repetitions of exercises
• Performing HIIT workouts
• Adding plyometric components like jumping

In general, any type of sprinting whether on the ground, treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc. and compound movements that utilize multiple muscle groups are more intense moves as well.

Virtual Workout Options

This is a curated list of ten popular virtual workout experiences:

1. Nike Training Club App: Deemed the best free virtual workout overall by Insider, the Nike Training Club App offers high-quality strength, cardio, core, upper, lower, and full-body workouts with ample variety and expert trainers. Online classes range in length from 15 to 60 minutes and one can take individual fitness classes or choose a multi-week program devised by Nike trainers.

2. YMCA 360 on-demand videos: Targeted to different populations like children in recreational sports or older adults, these videos offer short and long workouts across several styles and keep time and rep counts. Although there is a limited number of workouts, it gives one a chance to improve and perfect them.

3. Life Time Athletic: For in-person members and non-members, this app allows access to various cardio, strength training, and yoga classes intended for beginners. Users can choose workouts based on different categories like muscle groups they want to work, available equipment, and type of workout.

4. Box + Flow: Led and developed by fitness expert Olivia Young, Box + Flow incorporates boxing and yoga into one intense but equally mindful workout. She hosts daily streams of workouts via Instagram Live. Though offering a free trial for the first seven days, they eventually require a subscription fee.

5. Camp Gladiator: Conducted through their live Facebook channel, they also have at-home printable options that can be completed anywhere. Although there is no evergreen library of workouts, each one is innovative and quite effective.

6. Jazzercise on Demand: A jazz workout can be just as intense as the regular kind. Combining multiple dance forms like jazz, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, and HIIT, new users can enjoy a free two-week trial to test out their fit.

7. YouTube: Literally, tens of thousands of users upload programmed workouts or their own exercise sessions for anyone to utilize and try. Anything from Zumba to body-building workouts can be discovered here. 

Beginner Workouts

The hardest part of developing a consistent workout routine is starting, especially when an overwhelming amount of different types and programs exist. But fear not, here is one aerobic and one anaerobic workout to kick start moving more.

Aerobic (Cardio) Workout

Walk at a leisure pace for 10 minutes, walk at a moderate pace for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest, or leisure walking for 15 minutes. Finish with a cooldown of 10 to 15 minutes walking at a leisure pace. 

The above workout can be completed as a run, bike, elliptical, or other cardio machine workout as well. If speed cannot be increased on a machine, up the resistance instead for the same benefits.

Anaerobic (Strength) Workout

Circuit 1 (Repeat 2-4x)

• 15 Body Weight Squats
• 10 regular or knee push-ups
• 12 tricep dips on the floor or slightly raised surface (like an ottoman)
• 25 bicycle kicks on each side

Circuit 2 (Repeat 2-4x)

• 12 bird dogs on each leg and arm
• 15 Frog Body Weight Squats
• 20 total Russian twists
• Hold glute bridge for 30-45 seconds

Moderate to Advanced Workouts

After nailing correct form and improving heart, lung, and muscle strength as a beginner, it may be time to advance the complexity and intensity of the workouts.

Once again, an aerobic and anaerobic option is provided.

Aerobic (Cardio) Workout

EMOM: Every minute on the minute (Repeat 3-4x)

*Perform each exercise for 30-45 seconds then rest for the remainder of the minute about 15-30 seconds

• Burpees
• Rolling tricep push-ups
• Jumping lunges
• Abdominal v-ups
• Reverse lunge into donkey kick (switch legs at 20 seconds)
• Mountain climbers
• Sumo squat pulses
• Plank shoulder taps
• Front lunge into opposite leg high knee jump (switch legs at 20 seconds)
• Lateral bear crawls

Anaerobic (Strength) Workout

Circuit 1 (Repeat 3-5x)

• 1a) 10-12 Weighted sumo deadlifts
• 1b) 10-12 Weighted back row
• 2a) 10-12 Weighted close leg squats
• 2b) 5-10 Pull-ups

Circuit 1 (Repeat 3-5x)

• 1a) 20 traveling lunges
• 1b) 1 min plank with alternating leg lifts
• 2a) 10 weighted curtsy lunges each leg
• 2b) 8-10 Bosu ball burpees (no jump)

The Bottom Line

Whether joining a live-streamed online workout with others or working out solo at home, so many active options exist for all fitness levels. 

What you choose to do is entirely up to you and your fitness goals, and any activity is better than going without!

References:

National Move More Month! Eat Right Iowa. Published April 15, 2020. http://www.eatrightiowa.org/post/national-move-more-month

MOVE MORE MONTH - April 2021. National Today. https://nationaltoday.com/move-more-month/.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on March 01, 2021. Updated on March 16, 2021.

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