One of the terms I LOATHE is 'cookie-cutter'. We're all unique snowflakes. Then why should our workout routines be the same? Authoritative information has its time and place but something I strongly believe in and recommend to others is -- you ready for this? Our OWN judgment. Read. Gather as much information as you can on whatever it is that intrigues/ concerns you. It's of utmost importance that you go over conflicting information and then form your OWN opinion. Believe in your OWN eyes. Listen to your OWN body. In a nutshell: What works for your best friend, may or may not work for you.
Let's consider 3 types of people: Type A - unfit and mortally afraid of any kind of physical activity; Type B - not exactly the poster child of fitness but enthusiastic about physical activity; Type C - physically fit and works out regularly.
Type A: Starting from the bottom
If you belong to this group and you're reading this: forget form, forget frequency, forget duration. Just do it. (I hope, Nike doesn't sue me.) If you can't sprint, run; if you can't run, jog; if you can't jog, walk. If you want to engage in an activity in a public place and your reluctance is solely generated from what others around you might think, it's time to ask the tough question: do you really care? Should you? Like every other aspect of your life, when it comes to health, you're on your own. A person, who judges someone trying to do something productive, is a loser. Their opinions of you don't matter. Go get your workout on.
Since you're starting from scratch and unless you're REALLY geared up and excited about this (unlikely, as you hate exercise), perhaps, you should start small. But don't consider it small though. At this stage, when you still don't find the idea of getting sweaty from some kind of activity appealing, 10 minutes of walking, 3 times a week could be your baseline. You can gradually build up on that and walk 30 minutes, 5 times a week.
Use a fitness tracking app on your phone or an old fashioned notebook to keep track of your workout progress so you know how far you've come, and how far you want to go.
Type B: Don't stop believing
Journey is always right. ALWAYS. So you're a Type B dreamer and your dream is to be fitter, more active and stronger, but you haven't figured out exactly how. If you have the will, you're halfway there. Perhaps you're a mother/father of 2 kids, or long hours at work pretty much leave you without the option of going out for a run.
You have enough space in your room to comfortably stand and squat, yes? And you have 15/20 minutes? Well, then start doing squats.
Squats are relatively simple to perform, require no equipment, and can be done just about anywhere. More importantly, although squats are often regarded as "leg" exercises, they actually offer benefits for your entire body.
Stand with your feet just over shoulder width apart.
Keep your back in a neutral position, and keep your knees centred over your feet.
Slowly bend your knees, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle.
Return to starting position.
Breathe in as you lower; breathe out as you return to starting position.
Repeat 15-20 times, for 3 sets.
Do this 3 times a week.
Also, pay no heed to the multiple pseudo-psych studies that claim taking selfies is a sign of a mental disorder. Use your selfie game to motivate yourself and track progress.
Type C: Be flexible
So, you're there. You've managed to set up a system that works for you and you get compliments for the achievements you've unlocked. Congrats. Pat yourself on the back; you should be able to - flexibility being one of the 4 main components of fitness. Wait, you can't?
In the pursuit of muscles, many of us seem to forget flexibility. Here's why flexibility is so important:
Reduces stress in the exercising muscles and releases tension developed during the workout.
Assists with posture. Proper posture minimises stress and maximises the strength of all joint movements.
Reduces the risk of injury during exercise and daily activities because muscles are more pliable.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms by your sides.
Exhale as you bend forward from hips, lowering head toward floor, while keeping head, neck and shoulders relaxed.
Wrap arms around backs of legs or touch the floor with flat palms, and hold anywhere from 45 seconds to 2 minutes.
Bend knees and roll up slowly to release.
Whatever type you belong to/ can relate to, take charge. Get started.