We've Rounded Up Our 5 Favorite Exercises for National Fitness Day
May 1st celebrates fitness and all that it does for our mental, physical, and spiritual health. Get moving with our top 5 favorite exercises!
There’s no better way to celebrate National Fitness Day than by partaking in a sweaty, empowering workout.
Whether you want to renew your fitness goals, outperform your best mile, or simply honor your body and its strength, we have 5 insanely good exercises for you to do so.
Read on to get inspired and motivated to move that body of yours.
National Fitness Day History
Google has it that National Fitness Day was founded by Kim Bielak in 2017. But rumor has it that its celebration began years before.
The United Kingdom, for instance, was ahead of the curve by three years, with fitness celebrations taking place in London’s Covent Garden back in 2014.
Whoever founded it first had the same intention—to honor fitness and all that it has done for our health—mentally, physically, and spiritually.
What Fitness Can Do For You
Who knew fitness had so many perks?
Knowing what they are may just help you take that first step, and continue taking those steps.
Here’s what physical activity can do for you...
- Combat depression, anxiety, fatigue, and cognitive impairments
- Promote better, deeper sleep
- Support your “afterburn”—the burning of calories post-workout. Studies show that you can burn up to 200 calories in the 14 hours after a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout
- Keep your muscles and bones strong and healthy, reducing your risk of osteoporosis and chronic disease
- Craving a better sex life? Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise can boost one’s sex drive (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
- Skip your afternoon Starbucks run and hit the gym instead. Studies show that exercise combats fatigue—even among those with chronic fatigue syndrome
5 Health-Enhancing Exercises to Do in the Comfort of Your Own Home
We’re not just going to tout National Fitness Day without giving you some of our favorite exercises!
We’re touching on your core, cardio, booty, hips, and everything in between. Grab a friend to break a sweat with and feel the health benefits seep into your pores!
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) isn’t just for the younger crowd anymore. It’s one of the best workouts one can do at any age.
In fact, this form of exercise touts all the anti-aging benefits. With the stimulation of the pituitary gland, HGH (human gonadotropin hormone) is released, which increases brain activity, burns fat, protects arteries and small blood vessels, and increases blood flow.
HIIT is a workout that involves high-intensity exercises (like sprinting or burpees) for a short period of time (10 to 30 seconds), followed by rest that is 2 to 3 times the length of high-intensity bursts (30 to 90 seconds).
If you’re jumping for joy thinking, “So, my rest time takes up two-thirds of my workout?!”, you should know that there’s a caveat…
Those “rest” periods don’t mean you just sit down and relax. Rather, you keep moving to maintain 40-50% of your maximum heart rate—AKA an activity (like walking) where you can carry on a conversation.
2. Walk It Out
When in doubt, walk it out.
Studies show that by walking just one mile a day, cognitive function improves significantly.
So much so that in one 1989 study, 169 out of 299 dementia-free people between the ages of 70 and 90 reduced their cognitive impairment by approximately 50%—just from walking.
Suffering from low back pain?
Yearning to be more flexible?
Struggling with your balance?
Pilates may just be your new go-to workout.
Joseph Pilates, who founded this form of exercise back in the 1920s, dubs the core (which also includes the hips and shoulders) as one’s powerhouse.
Hi Goal: To fuse the mind and body in such a way that you can achieve optimal balance, strength, and health without even thinking.
The great thing about yoga is the wide range of classes that studios offer.
Prenatal yoga? Check.
Stress-relieving, essential oil yoga? Check.
Restorative, chair yoga? Check.
With a yoga class for everyBODY, it’s only a matter of time before you find one that feels like it was made for you. The cherry on top is the array of therapeutic benefits that come along with it—enhanced muscle strength, flexibility, respiratory and cardiovascular health, sleep, and wellbeing, and decreased stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
5. Resistance Training
According to science, resistance training is medicine.
Resistance training—which usually involves weights—improves physical performance, movement control, walking speed, functional independence, bone development, low back pain, cognitive abilities, and self-esteem.
NativeTip: Talk to a certified personal trainer so that you can have someone show you how to properly lift weights and execute each exercise.
How to Move Well
NativePath has an entire video library full of tutorials to help you relieve pain and move well.
How Much Should I Work Out Each Week?
Despite all of the advantages that exercise offers, it’s lacking in nearly 80% of Americans.
Want to guess the percentage of Americans who participate in light-to-moderate physical activity?
You may be thinking, “Wow, we’ve gotten lazy.”
However, I’d like to argue that we’re not lazy people. We’re stressed people.
When societal demands have you waking up and immediately diving into the day’s duties, finding time for self-care can be challenging.
From getting the kids ready for school to driving through traffic to get to work to eating takeout for lunch and slumping on the couch after another exhausting day, it makes sense why 80% of us don’t get the healthy exercise we need.
If you’re thinking you have to do an intense workout 5 days a week, we have good news.
To maintain optimal health, all you need is at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week.
Here are the exercise recommendations based on intensity:
- Moderate-intensity: 150-300 minutes per week
- Vigorous-intensity: 75-150 minutes per week
- Or an equivalent combo of the two intensities
The Bottom Line
Celebrating National Fitness Day is just one way to get back to your native roots.
Grab a friend or family member and have a go at one of the 5 exercises above. Your brain, body, and overall health will be better for it.
Have questions on how to move well and incorporate collagen into your workout regimen? Comment below and we’ll get back to you with a science-backed answer!
As always, be sure to consult a health care professional before adding anything new to your diet, supplement, or exercise regimen. NativePath and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any diseases. All NativePath material is presented for educational purposes only.