“Our culture is really pushing this narrative of ‘you can do it if you really want to,'” she said. “It’s very simplistic.” Life happens. Research suggests that the real path to longevity and consistency in any activity is “to enjoy it and feel fulfilled,” she added. It gets easier when we celebrate our progress, no matter how incremental, and find our way back when we stray off course.
Consider a couch workout!
If the desire to spend time on your couch feels overwhelming, make your couch work for you: use it as a piece of equipment to aid your workout.
With a couch, you can do sit-to-stand exercises, Dr. Brady said. You can turn around and do push-ups or planks.
And if you want to watch TV while you work on your couch, choose programs with ads and try the “business challenge,” Ms Winfrey-Kovell suggests. During these breaks, do steps or leg lifts, or keep dumbbells next to you and lift until the program returns. Just make sure you can maintain good posture and form.
“We don’t want to exercise with our backs in a prawn position,” she said. But “if the hips are in the right position, the spine is aligned, the shoulders are back, and your feet can touch the floor,” you can do a lot on a couch.
Try this 20-minute kickstarter routine.
Ready to start? Dr. Brady recommends starting with this basic muscle building routine. The only equipment you’ll need is your own body and a set of resistance bands, which you can buy online for less than $20. (See the list of the best Wirecutter options.)
Perform each exercise, in order, 10 to 15 times, then go back and repeat for a second set. The exercises alternate muscle groups and should be done with a moderate level of intensity, regardless of how you feel.
1. Pumps (or modified pumps)
3. Seated rows with resistance band
4. Buttock bridges
5. Overhead presses with resistance band
6. Bird Dogs
7. Resistance Band Pulldowns
Danielle Friedman is a New York journalist and author of “Let’s Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Remodeled the World.”
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