Start with small changes

It’s the beginning of the year and like every January, everyone’s focused on their new year’s resolution: Getting more exercise. As an Integrative Health and Life coach, let me tell you — between my clients and I, we’ve tried it all: exercise programs, workout classes, fitness challenges. You name it, we’ve probably tried it. So instead of making major changes, like tackling a 30-day workout plan, I work with my clients on incorporating small alterations to their lifestyle.

Starting small — that’s the best approach to cultivating a sustainable exercise plan, especially for those who have a busy schedule. But… where does one start?

Well, like most of my clients, I also spent a lot of time in front of a desk. Sitting or even standing at your desk all day can be tough on posture, so getting your exercise in to strengthen your core, back, and upper body, is key. Here are three of my easy, go-to moves that can be done anywhere. All you need is and .

Are you ready to make baby steps in your health journey with exercise and movement?

Seated resistance band row

elastic band workout

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs slightly bent out in front.
  2. Loop the band around the soles of your feet, cross it in front of you, and hold one end in each hand.
  3. Start with your arms straight in front of you, flexing your feet so your toes are pointed up to the sky.
  4. Pull back so you bend your elbows and your hands meet your chest.
  5. Return to the starting position.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

Mini-band glute bridge

elastic band workout

How to do it:

  1. Start the band above your knees. Avoid your knees to protect your joints.
  2. Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground about hip-width to shoulder-width apart.
  3. Make sure your feet are just beyond your fingertips when your arms are down by your sides. You can move your feet slightly further away if your hips are tight.
  4. Make sure that your feet are at least about hip-width apart so that you’re forced to press your knees out and open against the band to keep them in line with your ankles and hips.
  5. Raise your hips off the floor until your knees, hips, and shoulders are all in straight line.
  6. Pause at the top for 2 seconds, then lower back down and repeat.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

Resistance band bicep curls

How do to it:

  1. Stand with both feet on the resistance band, holding handles long next to your sides with your palms facing up.
  2. Slowly curl your hands up to your shoulders, squeezing your biceps and keeping your elbows next to your sides.
  3. When working with resistance bands, its key to keep your muscles contracted. So you don’t fully release at the extension, keep some muscle contraction.
  4. Repeat.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

The best exercise is the kind you love

Throughout my own personal experiences with exercise I’ve realized that the best way to get back in shape and stay on track with your health goals is to find exercise that you truly enjoy and love.

Getting back in shape doesn’t need to be complicated and doesn’t take a whole lot of equipment. All it takes is your body, the right mindset, a few small changes, and consistency, and you’re headed in the right direction.

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As the founder and editor of the blog , Joanne Encarnacion uses her personal well-being journey to bring attention to the deep connection between our mental and physical health. She shares her experience with anxiety and depression, and how for her, focusing on her physical health also means improving her self-image. She’s built a loyal following on Instagram, where she’s known for body positivity and honesty about how difficult it can be to prioritize your well-being, but how rewarding it is when you make it happen. In all of her work, she emphasizes that fitness isn’t about sweating your way to the “ideal” body — it’s an ongoing exercise in overcoming challenges and boosting your self-confidence from within.