Study after study shows that weight loss is one of the most difficult things people to maintain, especially after the age of 50. As our bodies age, our appetite’s often increase. This creates increased weight and a higher incidents of medical issues.

The goal is simple: lose weight gradually (about 1 to 2 pounds a week). This gives people the best chance to keep that weight off. The best strategy is a combination of eating less and moving more. And that means exercising!

We’ve collected some of the most effective exercises that are low stress and easy for beginners. They’re also very effective exercises for more advanced exercisers.

Dieting is most effective when you eat less and exercise more.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose weight.

The effectiveness of a workout depends on several factors, such as:

  1. Goals: The effectiveness of a workout is largely determined by the goals you have set for yourself. If your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable, your workout is likely to be effective.
  2. Consistency: Regular and consistent exercise is necessary to see results. Skipping workouts or not sticking to a consistent routine will reduce the effectiveness of the workout.
  3. Intensity: The intensity of the workout is another important factor. A moderate to high-intensity workout is more effective than a low-intensity workout.
  4. Variety: Mixing up your workout routine can prevent boredom and help you avoid plateaus in your progress.
  5. Diet: Exercise alone may not be enough to achieve your desired results. A healthy diet that supports your goals is an important component of an effective workout program.

An effective workout is one that is consistent, intense, varied, and supported by a healthy diet that aligns with your goals.


You don’t need special equipment to do a burpee. You can do this in a hotel room, in your office, or really anywhere that has enough room for you to lay down.

Drawing of a girl doing burpees.
Drawing courtesy Gabriela Serrano

They’re very easy and very effective.

  1. From a standing position, you drop into a squat.
  2. Then, you kick your legs backwards and do a push up.
  3. Then, you return to a squat.
  4. Finally, you leap into the air and then do this again.


Squats are another very effective exercise that you can do anywhere and really anytime. Even a child can do a squat! To raise intensity, consider adding adding weights. However, squats can be very effective by themselves.

Woman doing squats in a gym.

To do an effective squat:

  1. Stand with your feet as wide as your hip;
  2. Engage your abs;
  3. Move your hips back and down as you bend your knees to lower into a squat.
  4. Press feet into ground to stand back up.
  5. Repeat

Consider doing two rounds of 10 or 20 reps each.

Always remember: If it hurts, stop. Never exercise through physical pain.


Lunges are great with weights and without. They’re also very easy to do without equipment and in an office or home situation — or even a gym!

  1. From a standing position and with both feet roughly hip-length apart:
  2. Step forward and bend both knees, lowering until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Shift forward onto the lead leg.
  4. Push off on both legs and step through, lifting your back leg and bringing it forward so your rear foot lands ahead of you in a lunge position. (Be sure your knee is always slightly infront of your foot.)
  5. Then, move back up to the position of your back leg.
  6. Repeat.

As with other exercises, always listen to your knees. Never exercise if you feel pain.

Woman using weights to do lunges outside.


Planks focus on your core muscles. Done right, planks can strengthen both your core and your back, giving you a solid trunk for getting through the day.

Woman doing a plank outside.
The trick with a plank is to lift your butt slightly above the plane of your body, putting less stress on your back.

For beginners to do an effective plank, you’re going use your elbows instead of resting on your wrists.

  1. Come to all fours and stack your shoulders directly above your elbows, making sure your feet are shoulder-width apart.
  2. Look directly at the ground in front of you so your neck stays in line with your spine.
  3. Tuck your toes and lift your knees and hips, forming a plank shape with your body.
  4. Hold this for as long as you can, but aim for at least 10 to 30 seconds to start. The longer you hold the position, the stronger your muscles.


Doing a crunch is much safer for your back and shoulders than a push up, but emphasizes similar muscles. In fact, an equal number of crunches can create the same health benefit that pushups can have but without the possible harm to people new to exercise.

Woman doing crunches in a gym.

To do an effective crunch:

  1. First, lie on your back with your knees up and bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart.
  2. Place your arms across your chest, contract your abs and inhale.
  3. Exhale and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed.
  4. Inhale and return to the starting position.

Contact STARS Physical Therapy

For more effective exercises, go to our partners at WebMD, or contact us at STARS Physical Therapy. Not all exercises are for everyone. Some people need specialized exercises to tone muscles and reduce nerve pain. That’s where physical therapy comes in. Talk to us about a consultation by filling out our Contact Us form today!