So you haven’t exercised in awhile because it just simply “takes too much time”… It’s not because the gym is too far away or that you forgot your socks or that there’s no gas in the car. No, the simple truth is that it’s time consuming… or so we think. I mean who has time to exercise for 50 minutes each day? That sounds exhausting…
The Way We Think It Is
The majority of us think that we need 50+ minutes of intense exercise to justify hitting up the gym. Anything less is a waste, right? When we add this mentality with the fact that it seems we have fewer and fewer free minutes each day then you can see how it can add up to a sedentary life. Maybe that’s why over 35% of U.S. adults admit they are inactive during their free time! Seriously, over 1/3 of us don’t do much when we have leisure time and we aren’t talking about running a 5K. We are simply talking about getting up and getting off the couch. That’s staggering especially when you think of all the negative health affects an inactive lifestyle can have…
Being inactive has been demonstrated to lead to a population wide 20% increase in heart disease and over a 10% increase in diabetes (among other aliments). Plus, get this: being physically active during your free time can increase your life by as many as 4.5 years… yeah it’s important. So what are we to do?
Getting the Most Out of the Time You Have
What if improving your health only took 15-20 minutes a day? Seriously, only 20 minutes of brisk walking (no not running or lifting) can reduce your risk of early death by reducing your risk of heart attack and many other negative health effects. Plus, if you want to kick it up a notch, it doesn’t take an incredible amount of time either! You can do this in the form of quick at-home circuits that will increase your heart rate, burn calories and build muscle! Strength-training circuits are one of the best ways to boost your activity level in a hurry for a minimal amount of time. Let’s dive in.
Your Efficient At Home Circuit
It’s time to really get the most out of the time you have available to improve your health with at home fitness! You can do this simple workout literally anywhere you have a little space. From the gym to your living room to outside on a nice day, this can really get your heart rate elevated and burning calories. [Note: be sure to be cleared by your physician before beginning ANY exercise program.]
It’s simple. Let’s create a workout that is composed of 8 exercises that work your entire body. We will alternate between exercises that work your major muscle groups (building muscle) and more cardio exercises that will get your heart rate elevated and will also help build muscle. A combination like this will blast calories while building muscle… the best of both worlds!
The main focus is that we will perform these moves in a timed fashion for 30 seconds each doing as many reps as you can during this time with proper form. That’s the key: you have to push yourself the entire time which in essence means they are each tailored to your current exercise capacity. Fit individuals will be able to perform more reps while beginners will perform fewer – it’s all relative to your current status! Don’t worry if you can’t perform many reps, you will get there and continue to build on it! Make sure to take little to no rest (unless you really need it) between sets, as in less than 20-30 seconds between exercises and 60 seconds between sets! This method will have your heart rate elevated the entire time while helping you get an incredible workout in a short amount of time!
So to help you out, we’ve created a simple, effective workout you can perform anywhere. Just keep it at a high intensity relative to your exercise capacity and you will be good to go:
- Jumping Jacks
- Bodyweight Squats
- Mountain Climbers
- High Knees
Give it a try and go through these 8 exercises in order and perform each for only 30 seconds. Go through a set and then take 60 second break and perform for a total of 3 sets! If you maintain a high intensity the entire time, you can get in an incredible workout in less than 15-20 minutes!
Nope, you won’t get incredibly ripped doing this once a day nor will you be the epitome of health in a few workouts. The point is that this is an effective way to improve your health in a short period of time. Which to us is way better than simply skipping exercise altogether, right?
By: Erica Silva