1. Lateral tube step
Goal: Activate the glutes and abductors.
• Begin with an exercise band placed around and under feet, toes pointed forward and feet hip-width apart, with a slight bend in the knees. Standing straight and holding the band's handles waist-high, make a slow, controlled lateral step to the left. Repeat to the left for 15 steps. Then, repeat 15 steps to the right. One set.
2. Romanian deadlift
Goal: Strengthening hamstrings and glutes.
• Hold barbell in front, feet shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead, knees slightly bent. Guide the barbell to the floor along your legs, hinging at the waist and slightly bending at knees. Don't round your back. Now return to the starting position while keeping shoulders set back and together, engaging the glutes and slightly straightening your legs. (Note: Start with light weight or barbell alone and increase accordingly.) One set.
Goal: Stabilizing the core muscles.
• Kneel on a mat on all fours. Align your elbows directly beneath your shoulders, with your palms facing down. Align your lower body in pushup position. Hold this position while keeping your shoulder blades stable. Draw in your belly button throughout the plank to activate your abdominals and prevent arching of your lower back. Hold 30 to 60 seconds. One set.
Goal: Build core muscle strength, endurance
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and adjacent to a cable machine. With a slight bend in your knees and elbows, position the cable in front of your chest with your arms extended. With your torso upright, rotate your hips and trunk away from the machine. Return to the starting position. Draw your belly button in to activate your abdominals. Do seven to 10 reps. Switch to the other direction. One set.
3. Cable lat pulldown
Goal: Scapular stability
• Grasp handles and sit tall facing cable machine. With your palms facing the machine, align your wrists, elbows and shoulders with the cable. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Draw your lower abdomen in to brace your spine. While maintaining proper posture, pull your elbows straight down toward your hips. Return to starting position and repeat. Don't arch your back at any point during the exercise. One set.
It doesn't get simpler than walking. But Dr. Stacy Ingraham, an exercise physiologist at the University of Minnesota, said that by giving your walks some structure, it will help build a solid base for other activities.
Simple workout: Get on a treadmill for 20 minutes to an hour, two to three times per week, depending on your fitness level.
After a few weeks, when the workouts are comfortable, incline the treadmill 2 to 3 percent for the same amount of time. Or alternate: five minutes at zero incline, five minutes at 2 to 3 percent. Then repeat until you've reached your daily time total.
Benefits: The incline forces you to stabilize your core muscles, the deep ones within the abs and back. And, of course, you're working your heart. "Now you have core with cardio," Ingraham said. "Then maybe it's time to add a short run, or intervals on an elliptical trainer or stationary bike."