Keep your strength up!

By: Tuchau Bui, Healthy Aggies intern

Summer is right around the corner and you know what that means! Time to hang out with friends and family at the beach while drinking ice cold lemonade and soaking up the warm sun. This is the perfect season to relax and unwind.

Unfortunately, after a few months of staying indoors during winter you find it difficult to become active again. During long periods of inactivity, our muscles are not being used which leads to a loss of muscle strength and endurance. But you needn’t rush to the gym. Start slowly and gradually add in more exercise along the way.

Here are three easy exercises you can begin with at home to help you prepare for a strong summer. Remember to stretch before starting and rest for 15-30 seconds in between sets. Also, keep a water bottle close by to stay hydrated!

  1. Squats

Muscles targeted: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstring, hip abductors and adductors, gastrocnemius, soleus, tibias anterior, rectus abdominals, and erector spine

 

Benefits:

  • Increase leg and bone strength
  • Improve core stability and overall balance
  • Strengthen thighs and glutes

Workout: 10 reps, 3 sets

Start by standing with your feet at about shoulder width apart with your toes pointed slightly outward. Bend your knees while keeping your spine straight and looking straight ahead. Your body will bend forward a little as you squat. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Finally lift yourself back up into a standing position.

squats

  1. Walking lunges

Muscles targeted: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings

 

Benefits:

  • Strengthens leg muscles and glutes
  • Improves core strength and stability
  • Improves overall balance

Workout: 10 reps each leg, 3 sets

Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Step forward with one leg and bend your knee until it is at a 90-degree position while bending your rear knee until it nearly reaches the ground. Your back should remain straight. Then stand up again by stepping forward with your rear leg while straightening your front leg.

walking lunges

  1. Triceps dip

Muscles targeted: triceps, biceps, shoulder muscles of upper arms

Benefits:

  • Strengthen triceps and tones the back of your arms
  • Strengthen biceps
  • Improves core strength and stability

Workout: 10 reps, 3 sets

Start by sitting on the mat with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place hands behind you with fingertips pointing toward your feet. Lift hips above the mat. Then bend your elbows and lower your hips until they almost touch the ground. Straighten your arm to bring yourself back up.

Triceps dip

Repeat these exercises at least 3 times a week. As you progress, you can slowly increase your workouts to include more reps or mix in additional exercises. Eventually, your ideal amount of exercise should be about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week.

By engaging in regular exercise, you will be able to reap the multiple benefits it brings to your body. Your muscles and bones will be strengthened, you will burn more fat and calories, and your metabolism and immune function will improve. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get up and get our move on!  Let me know how it goes for you.

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