Combine the best of two worlds with amazing benefits for your longevity and health
“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence
Photo By: Lance Cpl. Anna Albrecht
In the modern era of exercise and health, there have been numerous inventions, new exercises, and revolutionary new methods of keeping yourself in good health and living longer. However, we think that it’s important to go back to your roots, at least while you are first looking to get into a healthy active lifestyle. Running and pushups are two of the most basic types of exercises that you can do and they have been proven for a long time to help increase your level of fitness and increase your chances at a longer life as a result.
It has been proven that doing pushups every day or taking a jog a few times a week is a minor act that will set you on the right path towards a healthier lifestyle. If you are finding the new exercise fads and crazy diets a bit overwhelming, you’re in the right place. We’re going to cover why each of these workouts is beneficial and why, when used in conjunction, they can be vastly beneficial to your health.
Pushups are probably one of the first exercises that you can ever remember learning about. That’s because they are easy to do, require no equipment, and are very beneficial to your upper body strength and muscle endurance. Though you might think that this workout is too old to be useful, it actually remains a staple in the endurance communities as one of the best workouts you can do for your upper body.
Over time, the classic pushup has been modified hundreds of times. Often times, people find themselves outgrowing the workout and needing to make it more difficult using weights and other people to assist with their workout. You can also include twists to help your explosive muscle strength like clapping between pushups and adding mountain climbers to each pushup.
The benefits to doing pushups are rather obvious--they help to build upper body strength. The muscles that this exercise works are the triceps, pectorals, and shoulders. If you employ the right form when you do them, you can also help to strengthen your back and core by tensing your abdominal muscles. The great thing about pushups is that they can be done anywhere that you have enough space to lie down.
That means that even if you are traveling and don’t have access to a gym, you can do your daily workout just as you would do any other day. There are a lot of benefits to including pushups to your daily workout routine.
You probably won’t be asking how to do a pushup any time soon because it is such a common exercise, but in case you are, here is how to do one:
- Put your hands on the ground directly in front of your shoulders
- Support the back end of your body with your feet
- Lift your body off of the ground so that it is flat
- Push up and down, keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle when you are down
And remember: Be consistent! You can learn about habit formation by Sam Thomas Davies. He shares 10 lessons he learns from developing a daily push-up habit.
You really don’t need anything to do a pushup, but there is one drawback to frequent pushups. They can often lead to soreness in the arm and other upper body joints. That’s why some people who choose to do pushups elect to wear some gear to help support joints while they are doing a lot of pushups. Don’t worry--this equipment won’t get in the way of you being able to do a pushup from anywhere. It usually comes in the form of sleeves like this or wristbands to help support the wrists, which take a lot of stress when you are doing a pushup.
Wrist braces are a must for those who are experiencing pain while doing pushups but want to try and include it in their workout.
If you truly want to get the most out of your pushups, you could also elect to use a pushup board. A board like this will help you to put your hands in a variety of positions while you are doing your pushups to make your workout more comfortable and also allow you to work many different muscle areas. If you love doing pushups as part of your daily workout routine but want to introduce some variety into the workout, then this is a great option. There are 9 possible pushup positions that allow you to push a variety of muscle groups to the limit and build muscle rapidly.
For those of you who are concerned about the safety may read What Are the Benefits and Risks of Doing Daily Pushups? before they start.
Another one of the most common workouts that you can do from home without any equipment is jogging. Jogging has been a favorite for many of those who seek a healthy active lifestyle because it gets you out and moving and also allows you to have a scenic way to work out. You can run through parks, your neighborhood, and you can even do it in the comfort of your own home while you watch television on a treadmill.
Apart from being a very enjoyable exercise for some people, it also offers a lot of health benefits and affords you some flexibility when it comes to options to get the most out of your jogging workout. One of the main benefits of jogging is cardiovascular fitness, which is often neglected by people but is one of the most important things that you can possibly do for your body. Heart health is absolutely essential for longevity.
Along with heart health, the other health benefits that you can count on from a habit of jogging are strengthened muscles, the burning of calories, healthy weight, and strong bones.
Just like with pushups, jogging is an exercise that you don’t really need much equipment to do. Although, there are some things that you can get to make it more comfortable and enjoyable for you. You probably want to wear athletic shorts and a comfortable t-shirt as well as get a comfortable, supportive pair of running shoes. If you have subpar shoes and don’t want to get a whole new pair, you can try to get some breathable insoles to make your feet more comfortable.
When people run a lot, some can experience knee pain and discomfort as a result of the overuse of the joint. One way that you can combat this is with a knee brace to help support the knee joint and keep you out of pain on your runs.
Using Both to Maintain Your Health
So, now that you have a little more background knowledge on what these two basic workouts have to offer, you might be interested in combining them to create a simple and effective workout. Jogging and pushups pair very well together as workouts because they each do something different that works out a different, but important part of the body. While jogging helps with cardio health and endurance, pushups help to create raw muscle strength and tighten your core.
When worked in combination and used creatively, you can certainly structure a decent complete workout around these two exercises and reap a lot of health benefits as a result. If you haven’t ever constructed a workout, there’s no better place to start than with a workout that only has two exercises involved.
You might know that you want to combine the two workouts, but you don’t know the exact best way to do it. Well, it’s pretty simple and much easier than structuring a regular workout with dozens of different exercises. The best way to work with both of these exercises in one workout is to do interval training.
Interval training has been around for some time but has only recently begun to rise back in popularity as more people look to simplify and intensify their workouts in one fell swoop. If you are going to use running and jogging in an interval-type workout, you just need to decide how much of each exercise you want to do.
For long-distance runners, this might mean running a mile and then doing 40 pushups. For those looking to build more short-term speed and explosivity, you might want to run for 2 minutes and then drop and do 20 pushups. However you decide to structure it, it should be tailored to fit your goals as an individual.
Though we have entered a stage in history where workouts are becoming more and more elaborate, there is actually quite a bit that you can by just using your body weight, some creativity, and determination. Two workouts that won’t ever go out of style are pushups and jogging. These workouts can be done anywhere and have been proven to have numerous health benefits.
If you are looking to construct a simple, affordable, and satisfying workout around simple exercises, you should consider interval training using jogging and pushups. It’s the best way to mesh these two important exercises into an organized, useful routine. Be sure to put safety first and use whichever safety equipment you need, such as knee braces and compression sleeves/elbow braces!