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10 Health Benefits of Exercise (Plus, a Fun At-Home Workout to Boost Your Immune System)

With so many people rightfully focused on protecting and building their immune systems, it’s important to remember that exercise is key to our immune system health.

In fact, science shows even a single workout can amplify our ability to fight off germs.

Researchers at the University of California-San Diego of Medicine found, for example, that as little as 20 minutes of exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects that help your immune system.

Now, it may be challenging to get to the gym right now, but don’t allow yourself to give up on that exercise!

Below, for example, are some excellent workout routines you can do right at home.

This is provided by one of our very own team members here at The Art of Anti-Aging, Jamie, who has been with us from our very start.

Before we get to Jamie’s workouts with step-by-step instructions (and NO equipment needed)…

Here is a quick reminder of 11 key benefits of exercising:

 

10 Benefits of Exercise

  1. Activates your immune system, including helping to ward off viral and other pathogenic illnesses.
  2. Increases your daily energy for other activities and to be productive throughout the day.
  3. Helps reduce disease risks such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
  4. Strengthens your heart, keeps your arteries clear, and improves blood flow.
  5. Boosts your happiness levels.  Exercise has a positive impact on mood and can ease gloominess of depression and reduce anxiety to promote relaxation.
  6. Improves your sleep.  Exercise helps strengthen your circadian rhythms and promote better quality sleep.
  7. Maintains and improves mobility as you age.
  8. Helps keep those excess pounds off.
  9. Boosts your confidence by setting & committing to certain exercise milestones and working to achieve your goals.
  10. Increases your stamina and strength.

Now, as for Jamie’s exercises below…

Depending on your current condition, you can focus on one or multiple of the different body-area routines each day, go through the entire routine, or customize however you want.

Note that if you haven’t exercised for a while, start slow, including going through the exercise slowly to ensure your form is correct. Even doing ONE of these exercises per day to start is far better than doing none!

ALSO note — you want to follow what Jamie, the woman in the pictures, is doing, and NOT what her dog is doing, which seems to be a whole lot of sitting and watching 🙂

 

WARM UP 

These 2 exercises are great at warming up both your upper and lower body and  raising your heart rate.

Plank Jack

 

This is a combo of a plank and jumping jack.

  • Start in a high plank with your palms flat, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Keep your body in a straight line
  • Jump your feet out and in to the sides (like jumping jacks). Try not to let your butt and hips bounce as you jump.

TIME: 30 seconds

Rest 30 seconds

Repeat exercise again for 30 seconds

Inch Worm

 

This exercise helps strengthen and stretch your muscles.

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides.
  • Bend at your waist and place your hands on the floor. Allow your knees to bend slightly, as needed to enable your hands to reach the ground.
  • Walk your hands forward to come into a high plank with your hands flat, wrists stacked under your shoulders, and your core, quads, and butt engaged. Pause for a second.
  • Walk your hands back to your feet (try to keep your legs relatively straight) and stand to return to start. That’s 1 rep.

TIME: 30 seconds

Rest 30 seconds

Repeat exercise again for 30 seconds

 

LOWER BODY

Air Squats

 

  • Stand up straight with feet a little wider than hip width, toes facing front.  Tighten your stomach muscles
  • Drive your hips back—bending at the knees and ankles and pressing your knees slightly open—as you…
  • Sit into a squat position while still keeping your heels and toes on the ground, chest up and shoulders back. Think of it as if you are sitting in an invisible chair 🙂
  • Strive to eventually reach parallel, meaning knees are bent to a 90-degree angle.
  • Press into your heels and straighten legs to return to a standing upright position.

REPS: 25 total

Challenge your muscles: To increase difficulty an alternative to air squats are JUMP squats.  Add an explosive jump at the end of each squat as you come down. When you land, lower your body back in the squat position to complete one rep.

REPS: 15 total

Forward Lunges

 

  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Engage your core.
  • Take a big step forward with your right leg. Start to shift your weight forward so your heel hits the floor first.
  • Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the right shin is vertical. Your knee should be bent at a 90 degree angle. It’s OK if your knee shifts forward a little as long as it doesn’t go past the right toe (it should be directly above your ankle).
  • Press into the right heel to drive back up to starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

REPS: 12 each leg (24 total)

Challenge your muscles: To increase the cardio and make it tougher, try doing split jumps.  Stand with your feet in a staggered stance, left foot in front of your right, two or three feet apart. Lower your body into a split squat (a). Quickly jump up and scissor-kick your legs so that you land with your right leg forward (b). As soon as your feet land, lower your body into a split squat (c). That’s one rep.

REPS: 12 each leg (24 total)

3 Point Toe Touch

 

  • Stand with your feet close together and your core engaged. Come into a half-squat by bending both knees just a little and sending your hips back.
  • Shift your weight into your right foot and lift your left heel so you are only resting on your left toes.
  • From this starting position, maintaining a half-squat, tap your left toes directly in front of you, then return to start. Immediately tap them to the far left, then return to start. Now tap them behind you, then return to start.
  • Continue this way, tapping front, together, side, together, back, together, as quickly as possible without putting much weight at all in your left foot. You should really feel this in your right glutes (your supporting leg). Focus on keeping your core engaged and back straight throughout.
  • Do all the reps on one side, then repeat on the other side.

REPS: 6 full rounds on each leg (18 taps each side)

 

UPPER BODY

Pushups

 

  • Start in a high plank with your palms flat, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor.
  • If you need to modify, you can drop to your knees if needed.
  • Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms. That’s 1 rep.

REPS: 10 for females / 25 for males

Plank Tap

 

  • Start in a high plank with your palms flat, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged.
  • Tap your right hand to your left shoulder while engaging your core and glutes to keep your hips as still as possible.
  • Do the same thing with your left hand to right shoulder. That’s 1 rep.
  • Continue, alternating sides.
  • To make this easier, try separating your legs a little more.

REPS: 30 total (15 each side)

 

FULL BODY

Crab Toe Touch

 

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet in front of you, resting on your heels. Place your palms on the floor behind you underneath your shoulders, fingers facing toward your body. This is the starting position.
  • Focus on contracting your core.
  • Lift your right foot toward the ceiling and straighten your leg, while simultaneously lifting your butt off the floor and reaching your left hand to tap your right toes.
  • Return to the starting position and then repeat with your left foot and right hand.
  • Continue, alternating sides each time.

REPS: 10 on each side (20 total)

Loaded Beast to Runner

 

  • Start on all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and hips over knees. Lift your knees 1–2 inches off the floor and sit your butt back toward your heels.
  • Pushing with your quads, explode forward and step your right foot to the outside of your right hand so that you’re in a low lunge.
  • Bring your right foot back to meet your left and your butt back toward your heels again.
  • Repeat the movement, this time bringing your left foot to the outside of your left hand.
  • Continue, alternating legs.

REPS: 10 on each side (20 total)

Mountain Climbers

 

  1. Get in a plank position. Keep your hands under your shoulders, with your core and glutes engaged, hips in line with shoulders, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Quickly bring your right knee in towards the chest. As you drive it back, pull the left knee in toward your chest.
  3. Alternate back and forth between legs at a quick pace.
  4. Repeat.

TIME: 30 seconds

* * * * * * * * * * *

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7 thoughts on “10 Health Benefits of Exercise (Plus, a Fun At-Home Workout to Boost Your Immune System)”

  1. Great routine! I like to alternate these kinds of movements with resistance band training on alternating days of the week.

    Reply
  2. Do you think that you can eventually create a You Tube video of these exercises with the recommended duration and repetitions so that we can follow along? It is so much easier to work out that way.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Fun, thank you.
    The only one that is questionable is the Crab Toe Touch. I wonder if it’s hard on the rotate cuffs…

    Reply

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30 top herbs and botanicals

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