It’s in our twenties that we’re most probably - the best that we’ll ever look, the strongest that we’ll ever be, and the wisest … errm, that’s kind of debatable. But, it is surely the time we start to take our body more seriously. For those who’ve got it going for them, kudos! For the rest of us, here’s a list of 20 exercises we may want to start with, or include in our workout routines -
Almost every one of us by now, is hit by wanderlust. More travel means lesser workouts … because, no gym. Right? Wrong. Very little or zero dependency on equipment means that you can work out just about anywhere! So pack your bags and leave the guilt behind.
2. Stretches and Bends
Stretches and bends are excellent warm-ups and cool-off exercises around workouts. As for the days you’re too lazy or short on time and cannot manage a full-fledged workout, simply do a stretches-and-bends workout. You may not burn as many calories, but the bends will help you maintain flexibility.
So here’s the thing. You DO NOT have to spend big bucks on a gym membership to get fit. Just get a skipping rope instead. A good 30-minute workout is all you need, and you’ll start seeing results soon. Sure, we used to skip as kids, and it seems like no big deal, but skipping is actually an intense full-body workout. To make your workout more exciting and challenging, replace regular ropes with battle ropes.
No, we’re not insisting on taking part in those 42 km marathons. But, why not incorporate a little bit of running in your fitness routine? It’s a great full-body workout that helps lose weight, uplifts your mood, and even boosts confidence. You can run wherever you want - on a track, in a garden, around your building, or even up and down the stairs. That brings me to the next one - staircase workouts.
5. Staircase Workouts
Short on time? We all are, aren’t we? That certainly does not mean you miss out on your workouts. The next time you enter your office building, ditch the elevator and run up the stairs. These workouts can very easily be incorporated into your busy schedule. Think about it, 30-second breaks for a couple heel dips will only do you more good than harm.
Ok, do not CTRL+T and search for this term; chances are, you won’t find it. It’s a term I use for all the possible exercises one can do while taking a loo-break - super-quick, one-minute spot jogs, lunges, squats, tuck jumps and stretches. Only request, please don’t keep the washroom occupied for too long.
When you’re in your twenties, there’s so much happening, it can get exhausting at times. That’s exactly why, you should take time out and shake it off, literally. Dancing not only improves flexibility, but is also a great stress-buster. There’s a plethora of dance styles, from the sensuous trio - salsa, bachata, and meringue, to the more energetic forms like hip-hop and zumba.
Some wise soul once said - those who know their moves on the dance floor, really know their moves. ‘Nuff said.
Thinking about hitting the gym? Opt for kick-boxing instead. Combining martial art technique with cardio, this is a sure shot way of burning fat faster. This technique works on your entire body, helping you tone up, and also increase your core strength.
It is believed that the fitness level of regular cyclists is the same as someone younger to them by almost a decade. So, if you’re in your twenties, chances are, you’re around the peak of your fitness. To continue to maintain that, it only makes sense to include cycling in your workout routine.
10. Krav Maga
We’re at the peak of our lives, and that makes our twenties the right time to push our boundaries. Talking of pushing boundaries, Krav Maga, like most combat training techniques, will work wonders, if incorporated in your fitness routine. The self-defense system that was initially developed for Israeli Defense Forces, is now popular across the globe and is often included in cardio fitness routines. Just like other martial arts, Krav Maga, too, helps increase core strength and agility, but, it’s way more badass!
11. Circuit Training
These workouts typically last 30-60 minutes and combine the best of all - flexibility, dynamic strength training and static strength training exercises, coupled with jogging between stations. The idea is to perform these exercises in a circuit, with little or no rest in between. This isn’t one of those easy peasy workout routines, it's much tougher than it sounds. But then, us 20-somethings, we enjoy challenges, don’t we?
Our body loses mass as we age and twenties is the perfect time to engage in resistance training. A major plus point of building body mass is that it helps you increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) - which means, you’ll burn more calories. Yay, no?
In our twenties, we want more from our workouts than just losing on inches. We want to build on our strength while working on flexibility too. Gymnastics drills are excellent for this purpose. Plus, that well-toned sexy bod, who wouldn't want!
Sure, you can’t include adventure sports in your everyday workout routine, but the idea is to take it up more often. As an alternative to hiking, look for areas around that allow you to walk uphill. This acts as a more strenuous workout than walking on a flat plain. The benefits? Everything that people in their twenties need out of their exercise - a good cardio as well as an excellent lower-body workout, increased bone strength, lower stress, and lower instances of insomnia.
Bring out the musician in you, invest in a double-base kit and drum your way to well-toned limbs. Sure, it’s not an exercise, but think of it as one, because the benefits are no less - relieved stress and better cardiovascular health.
Ask anyone, swimming is one of the easiest ways to tone-up and improve flexibility. It’s a great low-impact workout that also strengthens the back and shoulders, and increases lung power. Swimming is probably the only exercise that doesn’t tire you as much, while you’re at it, which enables you to workout longer than you otherwise would have. The result? A mere 30-minute swim can help you burn upto 765 calories, depending on your weight and pace.
17. Spot Jogging
Spot jogging does not require equipment or too much space, and you can do it just about anywhere. The no-fuss exercise can fit well into any kind of combination workout routine. If, however, you do not wish to do anything other than spot jogging, it is recommended that you jog for at least 20-30 minutes everyday.
18. Mind-Body Fitness Exercises
These exercises may come across as too ‘slow and boring’; but mind-body fitness exercises like Yoga, Pilates, and Tai-Chi help improve core strength, energy-flow and flexibility. Zen is a habit best inculcated at a young age.
19. Sufi Spinning
Well, this one’s more meditation than exercise, but Sufi spinning or whirling helps balance energy flow and causes release of endorphin and serotonin - the ‘feel good’ hormones that instantly uplift your mood. Stress? Busted!
20. Help-Your-Mom Exercises
Cooking, gardening, making the bed, cleaning the house. May sound boring, but housework is one of the best forms of exercise. Plus, that smile on your mom’s face … priceless, eh?