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Cover image for What kind of physical exercises do you maintain to be fit and healthy?

What kind of physical exercises do you maintain to be fit and healthy?

shofol profile image Anower Jahan Shofol ・1 min read

Hi, folks, I was wondering what kind of physical exercises should be considered as a bare minimum to be fit?

I don't want to be a bodybuilder. I just want to be healthy, not to get diabetes, back pain, cancer or heart issues. I try to walk regularly. But, I am getting fat, having back pain and sick on every seasonal change!

So, what do you do to be healthy?

physcial exercise

Cover Photo by Chander R on Unsplash

Discussion

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For what you want to avoid/prevent, you need to take care both of exercise and healthy diet. Healthy diet is actually more important (70-80%) for keeping your weight normal (or losing weight) and being healthy. On the other side, exercise will help you with back pain, better posture, having more energy, feeling better, …

 

This. Healthy diet is essential to a healthy lifestyle. You can't exercise your way out of a poor diet.

That said. I run but walking is key. I walk anywhere I can. I take the stairs instead of the elevator any time it's reasonable (I work on the 4th floor of a building so I do it there. I didn't when I worked on the 11th). Adding simple exercises like pushups, squats, and planks is also a relatively low barrier to and exercise routine.

 

I'm a chronic pacer. I eventually started using a step counter app and I cover a ridiculous amount of distance just in my home. Highly recommended ;)

 

Yes, I also try to walk but I should take stairs instead of lifts too. That's a great way and I am amazed that you did that on the 11th floor too!

 

Yes, that's a reasonable point. I was thinking about this when I was posting.

I avoid junk foods totally. The only reason I see for my fat is that I eat a fair amount of rice, chicken or fish in my regular meal. Maybe these should be controlled.

How do you know that your meal is healthy? Do you follow any doctor's advice?

 

Avoiding junk foods is a good first step. Basically, everything is healthy when consumed in moderation, except for junk foods (pizzas, burgers, sweets, cakes, sodas, ...). You can have a cheat meal from time to time and eat some junk food.

The only reason for fat is that you eat more than you burn. It's simple math ;)
People usually underestimate the number of calories they eat and overestimate the number of calories they burn by daily activity and training. For tracking the number of calories you eat, you can use some app, like MyFitnessPal which is free. A number of calories burned can be estimated (there are some online calculators), but for something more precise you need smart-/fitness-watch.

 

I work out for 40-60 mins and leave a 2-day gap between workouts to give my body time to recuperate, and I've never been in better shape! I don't devote days to certain body parts. I just do these:

1) Bent-over rows (upper back, shoulders, core)
2) Dumbbell deadlifts (lower back, thighs, core)
3) Dumbbell squats (glutes, back, thighs, core—pretty much everything, really)
4) Calf raises
5) Bicep curls
6) Chest flies and presses (with dumbbells)

The best lesson I've learned over the years is to really work on maintaining proper form, especially for squats. You don't want to ever injure yourself. Plus, maintaining proper form means you'll engage your core more often to keep your body stable.

Between workout days, I like to do yoga before going to bed. This helps increase my range of motion and is fantastic for relieving stress.

 

That's a great list, Aleksandr. Thanks! Do you do these at home? And, how do you know that you are following the proper form?

 

Yup! I do these at home with a simple set of dumbbells on a weight rack.

 

its more about two things really.
1) being active in anyway that gets you out of the chair and moving for a period of time.

2) Dieting , making sure your diet is in check.

you don't need to bodybuild or crossfit or even go to the gym to get both of these.

However , i will say that getting out of the chair and into a fresh scenery at the gym helps my mental cognitive for programming and for work in general.

 

Yes, after having bad long-lasting back pain, now I try to get up and move after sometimes. But, I think I should concentrate on the diet. Do you have any suggestions for the proper diet? Do you follow any doctor or trainer's advice?

 

WORKOUT:

REST:
2 days per week

FOOD

  1. Track Calories -> most important
  2. Macroturients
  3. Micronutrients
  4. Hydratation
  5. Meal timing
  6. Supplements
 

Thanks for the food part! Dino. Looking for it.

 

No problem. Most important thing if you want to be lean is to track calories, I recommend this app:
loseit.com/

Whatever you eat, track it. You can eat whatever you want but make sure you stay in your calories limit. It is simple: if you consume more calories than you eat you will lose the weight.
And, don't go into to the extreme caloric deficit ~400calories deficit per day is enough. If you to extreme you will not be able to do it on the long run which is crucial.

 

I would say that any sport that works all your body is a good choice.

I've been doing yoga for already 5 years, and one of the best decisions in my life; my back, shoulders, neck and legs feel way better than before.

Trying to apply some 'chair yoga' while I'm working, but my body starts to complain if I skip any class (try to go to 3 times per week)

 

Iru., can you recommend some good online resources for starting yoga?

 

Downdog app is really nice for lots of levels, guided and very configurable.
If you don't wanna pay, there are plenty of youtube channels, just gotta find a style of teacher that suits you

 

I've been doing yoga on a regular basis, as well as following the hundred pushups regime. I also bike or walk everywhere which helps me keep up some basic level of fitness.

 

Thanks for the resource, Ben. I will check the pushup way.

 

When I wake-up 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 100 squats; during the day I usually spread 20-40 chin-ups/pull-ups and sometimes a couple of minutes of planks (minutes non consecutive).

I don't like gyms, too much testosterone, sweat, loud music and too many people for me :|

 

Very nice list to be followed, Robertorojasr. Do you follow these daily?

 

I may skip 1 day on a week; I think is better to leave days off tho, but if I do that lazyness start to creep :\

I really don't have any more knowledge than a few years practicing martial arts in the past, so for better advice I would ask an expert, although I don't think my routine is too heavy or risky.

Finally, I would recommend always start very slow, no extra weight and don't push yourself too hard, no glory in get injured and having to rest for a month. No productive either, if something non-muscular hurts, STOP, articulations and ligaments shouldn't hurt, no pain no gain is only for muscle and even that with caution, muscle get a little ruptured with exercise, a lot of rupture and you have an injure that will take maybe months to recover. If someone have never made much physical activity, should check a doctor before, and start SLOW, dead slow, stupidly slow, build with care. It's not a sprint is a marathon, think in a routine that you can keep from now, not something that will kill you in a month.

 

I wasn't doing any exercise for 2 years and I gained 30kgs.
But since I started dancing I am loosing weight, getting stronger, having new friends and having super fun! :)

My after-work schedule:
Monday: New Jack Swing
Tuesday: Locking, Popping
Wednesday: Urban Choreography
Thursday: 2x Hip Hop
Friday: Krump

And of course stretching/yoga after trainings

 

Let me share mine :

for day in working_days do :

 -  10  to 30 pushups

-  10 to 30  abdominal exercises

-  use stairs in place of lift. #I work on the 5th floor of a building, I never use the lift, 

I keep doing the same routine every day.

Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.
James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

 

Hi Espoir, what is the first point? The stair part is really inspiring. I will surely keep that in mind.

 

Yeah, I corrected it... check it now... hope you will get what I mean

 

I typically take a couple of walks during the day on weekdays. Based on tracking I've been doing of this, it works out to about 2.3km a day at roughly 6kph, though the route I take has a somewhat steep hill part way through (Google Fit ends up counting each walk as about 15 heart points (minutes exercising weighted by cardiac activity)).

I've been considering doing Tai Chi again as well. Most people don't realize it, but it's actually a rather thorough workout if you do it right (It's seriously challenging to move through the sequences that slowly without falling over).

The bigger thing though is eating healthy, which I honestly need to get better about myself.

 

Thanks for sharing the tracking details, Austin. Didn't heard about Tai Chi before!

 

Even if you're not trying to get ripped or become a bodybuilder, getting to the gym on a regular schedule (2-4 times a week) will do wonders for your overall health and mental state. Surrounding yourself with others who are pushing to be healthier will motivate you to do the same, and the boost of energy and endorphins you get from finishing a workout will often push you to make advancements in other parts of your life too!

 

Actually, going to gym is bit costly for me now. What kind of exercises do you do in the gym? That will give me an idea how much workout should we need.

 

I bought a punching bag and hung it up in my garage for $100. I've been kickboxing every day for 30 min, I've lost 15 pounds since Jan 1st, only 10 more pounds to reach my goal weight!

 

Only by punching! Are you following a diet with it? Will you continue this after reaching your goal or do something else?

 

Well, punching and kicking yes. My diet is pretty good already so I didn't make many changes, just added exercise. I'll continue this activity until I get bored, then I will find something else, maybe running.

 

Powerlifting has been a godsend for me. It's a great stress reliever. It may not be for everybody but the feeling of releasing whatever grievance you have in a positive manner really helps.

Before that, I did sports, dragon boat paddling specifically, but any sport where you meet different people and you don't have to talk about coding is an excellent cooldown from a week or a day of coding.

 

Any movement is better than none. Unless that movement is off a cliff, I suppose.

That said, I'd like to contradict some of the other advice here. I wouldn't recommend dumbells or any kind of machine.

Look into calisthenics (exercises that use only your own body weight). Also, check out routines that use kettlebells. This will give you a great balance of flexibility, strength, muscle endurance, and cardio. And it will work the small (but important) muscle groups which are mostly ignored by dumbells and machines.

 

Cycling. I ride, at minimum, one hour per day with one rest day a week. I've been doing it for 5+ years.

It's a great cardio work or, burns a lot of fat, helps your lungs and heart, it's very low impact on joints and bones and best of all it's fun.

10/10 would highly recommend.

 

Well. I was in the same situation a year ago, here what I did:

  • When at work I use stairs instead of lift (I work on the 8th)
  • I try to cook my own meals and avoid restaurants to the maximum
  • I cook my meals for the entire week and separate small portions for each day. This way I avoid larger portions due to not being hungry when deciding what to eat
  • I go to the gym 3 to 4 days a week mostly because of my back pains. I really don't try lose weight with workouts, only with diet

A piece of advice, don't try to change everything in your daily routine at once. Take small steps. Otherwse u will fell demotivated in a few weeks

 

Bad news: to lose weight any sort of exercises is next to useless, the only thing that helps is eat less. :(

Good news: eating way less is surprisingly easier than you think! 😃

Disclaimer: health and medicine related stuff is extremely individual. I can and will tell what I do and what and how worked for me personally. It might not work or be harmful for other people depending on their individual physiology and health. Plus I'm very far from medical education and practice, you really should consult specialists and even after that proceed with extreme caution.

OK, now to fun stuff. What if I told you you can eat at least twice as little and lose weight without feeling hungry, weak or anything? 😃

At least, that was the case for me. If anything I felt better and more energetic because I stopped overeating and feel too heavy and too sleepy. I discovered that I can literally eat twice as little as usual and not feel hungry or anything.

Being frankly I felt some discomfort at first, some unclear feeling of something not being right, being unusual. But that was just mind tricks my brain played on me. The brain doesn't like changes, it doesn't like when things don't go as usual so it makes you feel like something's wrong and as if you have to make it as before. Thus I didn't have heavy feeling in my stomach and my brain was telling me it's not right and I have to eat more to get this heavy feeling back! But assessing my actual physical state I found time and again I feel no hunger, no stomach ache, no weakness or anything. Quite contrary my actual physical state was better than usual after lunch. So I kept ignoring the signals my brain was sending and after some time I got used to eating less and it became my new norm.

Even before that I read a long post on research regarding health benefits of intermittent fasting (which are surprisingly many and proven for mice; for humans it less clear due to challenges in conducting direct experiments). So after I discovered it's so easy to eat that much less, I thought how hard can it be not to eat for a 24 hours? Apparently, again, much easier than one might think! 😃

A hint: to fast for 24 hours you need to skip just 2 meals in a row, not 3. ;) Consider this: say, you had a breakfast at 8 am. Now you skip lunch and dinner this day, sleep at night and by 8 am next morning 24 hours have passed at which point you can eat again. But I don't eat breakfast, so I just additionally skip lunch every other day or every two days, I'm not super strict about my diet. :)

Yet another piece of a diet I'm not strict about but still keep in mind and try to aim for is a Keto diet. Again you can read a lot about how it's beneficial all over the Internet. :) But as long as I'm not strict about it I'm not in ketosis, thus I'm just on a low-carb diet in the end. Still aiming at near zero carbs intake is a much more clear goal for me. Thus I always know how much carbs I should eat: exactly zero. And all the carbs I do eat are too much and against my diet. Too bad but whatever. 😃

In the end after some months past all these adjustments to my diet I lost about 10 kg. And I wasn't overweight before that either! Thus I didn't try to lose weight, it just happened. 😃

I think these actually the most important factors that can protect you from getting diabetes, back pain, cancer or heart issues. But you asked about exercises, so I'll continue. :)

First, why exercises won't really help you loose weight. Compare the numbers. In about 2 hours on a bicycle I spend about 500 kkal. I usually ride 2 to 4 times a week. Let's take maximum: 4 times a weak, thus loosing 2000 kkal per weak additionally. Now when I do literally nothing lying on a sofa all day long I spend about 3000 kkal per 24 hours. That's at least 21000 per weak. 2000 more at best change nothing for me. Most likely, I consume all the 500 kkal I spent on a bike immediately after that 'coz I feel hungry.

Does that mean you shouldn't exercise? Absolutely not! 😃

I like riding a bike very much I think it's a great activity for so many reasons and beneficial for both physical and mental health in so many ways, I can't recommend it enough! 😃

But as long as I work from home and too lazy to go to gym and weather doesn't permit riding a bike, I exercise with a kettlebell. At home, right next to my desk. :)

As for particular exercises with a kettlebell I don't think they matter much. I do whatever I feel like doing at the moment, from simple squats to swings to pushes to whatever.

Additionally to that I do some common bodyweight exercises on the days I don't do kettlebell. Anyway I never perform heavy or very intensive training, just 30-40 minutes to stay somewhat in shape. :) Overtraining is a real thing, I'm just very far from it, but you might not be if you really serious about your training. Be careful.

I hope these simple and not strict at all advice might be helpful and will encourage your curiosity and activity towards better health. 😊

DISCLAIMER AGAIN: I'm mostly healthy person, I don't have severe preexisting conditions (though I have some chronic conditions it's almost nothing) and I haven't become much healthier. Thus what I described might only help relatively healthy person become a bit more healthier, that's it. You should always consult with health professional before experimenting on yourself!

 

Move a lot, walk quickly, regular stretching, & I don't eat until I'm full (EVER ... and I'm currently eating a [yummy] Ho-Ho). Been doing that for 25 years while sitting at a desk everyday and still weight the same as when I was 25 (5'10", 165lbs). Also, I mostly game when I get home and my wife cuts the yard (I cook).

 

Every day I do at least 1h of cycling and on the weekends made some races! This way keep me motivated and fit.
If you want to check my instagram instagram.com/aorelhas. Feel free to follow and drop me DM to get in touch.

 

I workout at home (have a pullup bar). I do lots of calisthenic workouts.

M, W, Th = Pushing exercises (Horizontal and vertical, ex: Push-ups, handstands)
T, F = Pulling exercises (Front, back, vertical pulls, ex: pull-ups, back lever, front lever)
Saturday = whatever I want to exercise.

15 min morning, spread throughout the day, then 15 min evening. Try to do pullup/ pushup before bed.

Sunday = rest. Mostly light stretches.

 

I used to be a personal trainer, and I have certification in sports and nutrition.

My recommendation is do whatever kind of activities you enjoy most as a start. You don't need to be sport specific oriented.

I'm not sure how your back pain is. If it's a symptom that needs treatment, then seek a physiotherapist.

If it's general you are weak in area and needs to strengthening it up,then consider going to the gym and do some sort of resistance training. Do for example variations of back extensions, barbell good morning, glute bridges, deadlift, etc. Just Google it.

Nutrition is important. if you are serious about dieting, then it should be 100% focus as much as your training.

Get the eating habits correctly first, such as introducing more veggies, proteins and preferable complex carbs. If you wish to eat candies/junk food, then be disciplined. Do it once in a week as a start. That's one way of the strategy to do it.

When you feel the habit is on track, then do calorie counting, and then transitioning to macros counting.

 

I walk everywhere. I sold my car more than seven years ago and live in a walkable neighbourhood, so I run all my errands on foot. That and just taking walks for the heck of it. I don't run.

Morning yoga, but that's only an 8-minute routine after getting out of bed. Currently in a 100-day streak.

I've been going to a gym for a few months, but it's expensive (personal trainer) and I only have a couple of months left. I did buy some stuff to do some workouts at home, plus things like floor exercises that require no equipment (well, a mat helps...)

Not much of any of the above lately with a concussion, a bad cold (yes, cold, not the other thing) and a gout attack, all in the past three weeks. I'm cursed.

 

I strongly agree that gym is not required (e.g. running, biking, boarding, etc). But I also think that it starts with little things: Standing while working (if your desk is height-adjustable), taking the stairs instead of the elevator, drinking enough, have some timeouts, stretching, ...

 

Weight yourself everyday. Know your numbers. Do intermittent fasting + one meal a day. Avoid added sugar. Try to avoid unhealthy fat as much as possible. I do a combination of jump ropes + calisthenics every day. Manage yourself to avoid injury. Try to sleep healthy.

 

I know how you feel and I want to share what I do and what makes me always happy, well motivated, concentrated and fit:

Food:
I always try to have a nice meal for lunch every day. Every Sunday I take some time to prepare lunch for the upcoming week. This saves time in the evenings of the week days.
After Work, I eat veggies, fruits and bread.

I always try to keep in mind to stay a little under 2000 calories per day.

And I drink a lot of water. A lot means for me around 2 liters per day plus coffee and sometimes one little bottle of a softdrink.

Sports:
I go to gym 2 times per week for 2 hours. I always start with 30 minutes of running and afterwards I do exercises. I take a little less weight but therefore I do 15-20 repetitions. This is good for not bulking up. But your muscles become stronger and well defined. The running at the beginning is good for a lot of things. You burn calories, you stay fit and it's often a bit like meditation if you have the right music on your ears.
I recommend not to split but to train your whole body. I think, this might be what you need.

Additional I go to play Football two times per week. This is just for fun but helps me to get work away from my head and put something completely different inside.

 

I like to keep my exercise very simple which I am able to do anywhere. So I do some basic forms of push-ups, squats, lunges. I still cannot do pull-ups as lack of strength, but I do hang for some seconds. I also do skipping some times. If I don't do skipping then I do walking.
I avoid doing weight training as I feel it is a bit complex for me.
My main purpose of doing exercise is to elevate my heartbeat for some amount of time, so that heart remains healthy.

 

I try to avoid:

-Milk
-Candies
-Sweet breath
-junk food
-sugar drinks

How do I eat:
-5 times per day (this maintains my metabolism active).
-Proteins(meat most chicken) and vegetables.

My workout:
-I try to workout two following dais and rest one(this allows rest to my muscles).
-Don't spend money on gym, I work out at home or at the park, I do calisthenics is a very effective way to get muscle and burn calories, there is a plenty video tutorial on youtube for beginners, easy to do and you only invest one hour of your time.

 

I practice muay Thai twice a week, gym twice a week and walk in the evenings with my wife when the weather is nice. I also try to ride my dirt bike every weekend except during summer.

I highly recommend any martial art or boxing. The cardio is awesome, and the confidence boost from feeling more capable in your body is a big plus. Also having a class with a schedule makes it a lot easier to stick with it.

 

I'm one of those with lower back problems though I've spent my childhood, adolescent and early adulthood playing basketball. I've also have other medical issues. Given that I've got friends that have never moved a finger, I've concluded that it is all about the genes and all the rest do for fun and personal taste.

Once the issue starts, it is not easy to escape from. Chronic pain is like that and has a cascading and recursive effect through psychology and how your brain tries to protect pain.

East healthy because it is tastier and more reasonable. Exercise because you like it and you can have fun and because moving around is reasonable. All the rest is chance to not have an injury that can trigger a vicious cycle and genes.

Some people are just lucky and some not.

 
  • no junk food -run around 10 km per week (two session of 5km)
  • drink a lot of water (up to two liter per day)
  • avoid to use the personal computer out of the working hours
  • 5-a-side soccer
  • go to work with bike or by foot if possible
  • eat often but not too much
  • go outside and make a stroll with or without other people (in the former case I advise you a podcast or Spotify)
  • sleep around 8h and sleep well
 

Getting your heart rate up via some sort of cardio, drinking plenty of water, and yoga (or stretching) may be a good start. It's what's helped me the most.

 

I do pilates and barre. Lately I've been doing RingFit Adventure, which is an RPG where you battle monsters by doing exercises. Very fun!

 

Jogging and push ups including what I've learn when I was in karate before my coding career ...set ups