Look better and live longer in 15 minutes a day

It is hard to deny the benefits of a regular exercise routine.  Aside from helping to maintain a healthy body weight, regular exercise regulates mood, hormone levels and sleep patterns.  Individuals who exercise are more confident, more productive and live longer than their non-exercising counterparts.  Those individuals who elect not to take up regular exercise point to a busy lifestyle or lack of time as the rationale for their decision. 

Well, as you probably know by now, excuses like “I don’t have the time” are simply not acceptable around here.  Instead of hopping on my soapbox to rant and rave about excuses, I decided to look into just how much exercise, in terms of time and effort, was required to make a meaningful difference.  The good news?  You can add 3 years to your life in 15 minutes a day.  The bad news?  The time excuse is officially worthless.  I don’t care what you say, you can commit 15 minutes a day to exercise.

Taking it one step further, I went ahead and created a week of workouts that will provide you with the bare minimum 15 minutes you need to begin to transform your life and body.  No, you don’t need any equipment.  No, you don’t need a gym membership.  Yes, you can stop trying to think up an excuse and just Do Work already. 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

When the alarm goes off, do not hit the snooze button.  Get out of bed, wipe the crust from your eyes and the drool from your mouth and get moving.  Stretch out a little. Touch your toes, do some side bends then some trunk circles to get your body moving. 

Yep, time to exercise. 

Working out first thing in the morning, before breakfast, increases energy levels and alertness; you will also boost your metabolism and regulate your appetite. Because you are still in a fasted state, your body will burn fat as fuel.  Finally, inserting a workout first thing in the morning makes exercise a priority and part of your daily routine.  Consistency is key, so working out in the morning gets it out of the way, reducing the likelihood of having to choose between exercise and other responsibilities later in the day.

Now that you are awake and have been thoroughly convinced of the benefits of an A.M. workout, do this:

Complete the following exercises, 30 seconds each for 3 rounds or as many times as you can in 15 minutes. 

Bodyweight squat

Jumping jack

Push-up

Mountain climber

Alternate lunge

Jumping jack

Flutter kick

Mountain climber

Steam Engine

Plank hold

If for some reason you are unable to complete this workout in the morning, get it done at some point during the day.  Take workout clothes to work and do it at lunch or before you get in your car to drive home, do it as soon as you get home, do it while you sit in the stands at your kids T-ball practice.  Just do work!

Tuesday/Thursday

All you have to do is walk, hike, jog, run or bike for at least 15 minutes.  If you’d like, do it first thing in the morning to keep your workout consistent; otherwise, at lunch, after work or after dinner will work fine too.  Remember, 15 minutes is the minimum.  If you can do more, by all means create your own workout program that will allow you to keep improving. 

Saturday and Sunday

On the weekend your exercise responsibilities could not be simpler; have fun doing something that requires movement.  Get your buddies together for a flag football game or pick-up basketball.  Go for a hike with your significant other.  Take your kids to the park or sports field to play, anything! Kickball, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, hide and seek, I don’t care just run around and break a sweat. 

So there you have it, 15 minutes a day is all that it takes to get started on the path to improving your health.  My hope is that by committing 15 minutes a day to exercise and yourself you will realize that making a significant change in the way you look and feel is not that difficult.  Truth be told, I hope you think this routine and the 15 minute deal is easy and you email me to ask, “What’s next?”

I am looking forward to your emails.