One of the most common excuses for lack of exercise is that people just don’t have time. It seems our schedules are packed more tightly than ever before, which makes it challenging to fit everything in that we want to accomplish each day. If you have made a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle, then figuring out how to fit exercise into your daily routine is a key component. While it may not be ideal, exercising for just 15 minutes at a time has been proven to have fitness benefits. Try to find a few 15 minute blocks in your daily routine, and before you know it they can add up to a full workout.
Watch Your Intensity
If you only have 15 minutes to workout, you want to make sure that you get the most benefit from each of those minutes. Higher intensity exercises will provide you with more gains than lower intensity exercises. Don’t confuse intensity with impact. High impact activities place greater pressure on your joints. Examples of high impact activities are running or jumping. Lower impact activities, such as swimming or walking can still give you a good workout without placing additional pressure on your joints. If you struggle with joint pain, lower impact activities may be a better option for you.
15 Minute Workout Ideas:
No matter what your fitness goals are, you need to ensure that you address every facet of fitness. Your weekly routine should include aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility. Rather than performing the same exercise routine over and over, select exercises that address all 3 facets for maximum results.
Aerobic exercises are what most people think of as cardio. Swimming, hiking, running, walking, dancing, biking, and elliptical are all good options. Most gyms have an entire cardio section with a wide variety of machines to choose from. Some options, such as running, hiking, and dancing are higher impact, while others, such as swimming, biking, walking, and elliptical are lower impact. No matter which type of exercise you choose, make sure you get your heart rate up so you get the best results from your workout.
Strength training focuses on building muscle, which helps you burn more calories even when your body is at rest. You can accomplish this in several ways. Weight lifting is one popular option that is widely available. Most gyms have a mix of free weights and machines designed to help you perform a specific exercise. You can get a full body workout in by incorporating various weight lifting exercises into your workout.
You can also strength train by using body weight exercises. Push ups, pull ups, lunges, crunches, and mountain climbers are all examples of effective bodyweight exercises. Since you are not adding additional weight, it is easier to complete these exercises at a quicker pace. By incorporating bodyweight exercises into a Tabata style workout, you can strength train while also receiving the benefits of a cardio workout. Check out this article from The 12 Minute Athlete for instructions on how to complete a Tabata workout.
Flexibility is another important, although frequently overlooked, facet of fitness. Being able to move your body throughout a full range of motion helps make accomplishing everyday tasks easier, while also reducing your risk of injury. Pilates and yoga are both good choices for workouts that increase flexibility.
Make Every Moment Count
While longer workouts may be ideal, sometimes you have to take baby steps to fit exercise into your day. Even a 15 minute workout can have health and fitness benefits. By scheduling in multiple 15 minute exercise sessions in a day, you can complete the equivalent of a longer workout without disrupting your schedule. Make it a priority to fit in exercise whenever you can, and realize that short sessions are better than nothing.