If I told you that you could burn calories in your sleep you’d think we’re full of it, right? It’s true! Let us explain. When you build muscle, your body continues to burn calories even after your workout. Often we’re drawn to workouts promising the highest calorie burn. Intense cardio programs like running, Crossfit, or interval training are tempting options for immediate reward, but in terms of sustainable fitness exercises the partner flexibility and strength training may be the better choice. Truth is, for every 10lbs of muscle you build you are burning 50 calories a day, at rest! That means you can take a whole day off from exercise and your body is still at work. Pretty cool, right? Here are a few exercises you can do to build muscle in your whole body.
Push-Ups / Planks: This workout is introduced in early childhood because it’s so effective! You work your chest, arms, and core muscles, and there are several variations that target different parts of the body. Try starting a workout with a set of pushups and ending it with a 1-minute plank. To modify, do your pushups on your knees to begin building your upper-body strength.
Squats: Balance your upper-body work with the lower body squats. Working legs, seat and core muscles this exercise can be taken anywhere. Going for a jog? Take squat breaks to catch your breath. Sitting at your desk at work all day? Wake up your legs with a set of squats.
Lunges: This is another lower body classic, working your legs, seat and balance. Add a pair of hand weights to your sets and you have one of the most accessible full body workouts.
Swimming: This is one of the most complete, low-stress forms of exercise you can do. With cardio, endurance and whole body strength training it’s worth carving out some time to get into the water, particularly if you have any joint issues or injuries.
Yoga / Pilates: We love yoga and pilates for developing strength, balance and flexibility. There are many styles of both practices, but fundamentally they are based on ancient practices for working the mind and body in harmony. And you can learn and practice easily in the privacy of your own home without breaking the bank with expensive studios. YogaGlo and Pilates Anytime are both great resources that we recommend.
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