Research found that strength training can reduce your chance of having multiple heart-disease risk factors—such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and obesity—by 37%. And you don’t need to lift weights to benefit. This routine uses your body weight and a sturdy chair to tone and tighten. Don’t forget: Give your muscles time to repair themselves (and prevent injury) by taking two days off between strength training workouts.
1 min: March in place.
1 min: Standing leg lift.
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, holding onto the back of the chair. Slowly lift left leg to the side, keeping it straight and slightly behind hips. Bring back to start. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
1 min: Sit with hands on the edge of the seat. Slide your backside off the chair and bend elbows as you lower body down a few inches. Push back up until arms are straight. Repeat.
1 min: Stand with back to the chair and feet wider than shoulder-width, toes turned out. Squat as if about to sit in the chair. Hold for 2 beats, then push back up to the start position. Repeat this movement.
1 min: Sit tall on the edge of the chair with back straight and hands placed behind head. Lift left knee and twist torso to bring right elbow to left knee. Return to start and repeat on the other side, bringing right knee toward left elbow. Continue switching sides.
4 min: Repeat all four moves
Leg lifts, chair dips, plié squats and seated crunches.
1 min: Cooldown
Stand up and stretch arms overhead as you lean side to side and take deep breaths.