There’s no shortage of fitness options and workout styles out there, and which one is the best or most effective is the subject of much debate. Ultimately, though, the best exercise routine for you is always going to be the one you actually *want* to do, and therefore, the one you actually DO. Whatever it takes to get you off the couch and moving around is the “best” exercise.
2022 got off to a rough start for us, and my normal daily routine became badly derailed. Motivation was at an all-time low, and I was sorely in need of a self-care routine overhaul. I didn’t want anything overly ambitious. Right now, sustainability is more important. The routine needed to be simple, enjoyable and something I could do while distracting myself with an audiobook or podcast. I know every excuse in the book for why I can’t or don’t have time to exercise, so I wanted to preemptively remove as many of the objections as possible.
The following routine is a combination of simple stretching and bodyweight exercises that do not require any equipment. I took several of my favorite easy yoga poses and flanked them with warm up and cool down (“flow down”) exercises from Meredith Shirk’s ‘Svelte’ program. These exercises are just lovely. Meredith’s approach can be described as functional movement, bodyweight bearing exercises combined with a good dose of stretching. The workouts are not complicated and can be done anywhere you happen to be. I’m not normally a big fan of workout gurus, but I really love her style. The exercises feel good to do and I actually look forward to doing them. As an experienced exercise dropout, that’s a big deal to me!
I linked each of the warm up and cool down exercises to a Svelte video demonstrating the move. They’re all very simple movements, so once you’ve done them once or twice, you’ll only need to glance at the list to go through the sequence.
In particular, I’m kind of addicted to one of the moves, ‘good mornings’. They’re an excellent way to start the day, getting the blood flowing a little faster while simultaneously stretching some of the major muscle groups. I find myself doing good mornings randomly throughout the day. It just feels good to do them! ♥
When you’re ready to move beyond these simple exercises, there’s a great deal of free workout inspiration – from full body routines and HIIT combos to targeted exercises and guided meditation – on Meredith’s YouTube channel; however, I highly recommend checking out her website. In particular, she has an excellent ‘One & Done’ workout program that offers a variety of simple bodyweight exercise combinations for beginners and more intermediate users. The program promises to be “low impact” and “high reward,” and I would say that’s pretty accurate. The workouts do not feel grueling, but they tend to sneak up on you and you definitely feel them the next day!
- warm up -
- yoga -
pyramid pose (R&L)
half lord of the fishes (R&L)
easy pose with forward fold
legs up the wall pose