With every day seemingly getting shorter for many people and the lack of time many people have with busy schedules, fitness and workouts can get pushed off in favor of other priorities. Often, people make the excuse of not having enough time in the day and I for one have been that person from time to time. However, I have learned that having an active lifestyle that incorporates any type of workout that is short is key for me to feeling better overall. Listed below are 4 exercises to start today that don’t require a lot of time.
Push-ups are a great exercise to start with if you have never exercised before or are restarting from a hiatus. Push-ups are considered a compound movement, meaning you move nearly all the muscles in your body while doing this exercise. Starting out slow and progressively increasing the number of push-ups you do daily is a great way to increase your cardiovascular health, core strength, and muscle building. Also, there are many various ways to do push-ups and any quick search online will provide plenty of ideas for mixing it up. The best part? Push-ups take less than 5 minutes to do.
While walking may seem like a redundant exercise to do, most people do not get in 10,000 steps. 10,000 steps are the recommended amount of steps every person should take every day. For some people to get in 10,000 steps, it is impossible. However, increasing the number of steps you take during the day will certainly increase blood flow, decrease stress levels, and improve cardiovascular health. One idea is to take the stairs in an office instead of the elevator. Another is to take a walk during your lunch break. And, if you must, you can certainly walk while browsing social media. Be warned you may just want to do that one in a park away from cars, bikes and other people!
Everyone remembers doing jumping jacks in elementary school. While some people may not have good memories of physical education classes in elementary school or jumping jacks in particular, they are still considered a great exercise. Jumping jacks are known for increasing blood circulation, and with control, developing muscle.
If Jumping Jacks or Walking are not cool enough for you or to elementary, try Burpees. This exercise also has many derivatives and is a great way to work your entire body out in a very short amount of time. A short search online will give you plenty of options to choose from.
There are many different versions of the plank, from your standard plank to advanced planks that involve a lot more strength in your core. At one point, planking became so popular adults and teens alike shared images of themselves doing the plank all over social media. The plank focuses on muscles and bones that enclose our vital organs while focusing on strengthening the core muscles to make everyday functions including sitting more pleasurable and less painful in the future. I have learned the hard way just how important a strong core is for being mobile and performing other exercise so in many ways, this is the best place to start! And while you will not necessarily see all the physical attributes associated with working out your core as fast as you might with push-ups, you will over time.
This classic also has many different ways to perform variations of the basic movement but simply doing proper sit-ups regularly is a fairly easy task to complete and a good place to start. Then, if you want to add new movements, you can easily learn them and add those to your new routines!
Perhaps the most important for an aging adult especially for those people who were once very active and athletic who quickly transitioned to working at a desk most of the time. Stretching is easy, not at all time consuming, and will help significantly with blood flow and overall mobility which should help with overall comfort levels but perhaps most importantly, will assist in preventing new seemingly random injuries which tend to occur more frequently as we age and are tight compared to our younger more mobile selves.
I just listed 7 different ways that any busy person can add to their existing lifestyle in just 5 minutes a day which almost anyone can afford. Mixing up routines and adding the number of sets or time to each can increase that daily number to 10 or even 15 minutes, which we can all spare too so really, there is no excuse especially when the positive benefits are weighed against all the negative ones of not doing anything at all. The three most important keys are to simply get started, set some goals and then develop a routine like the time of the day when you perform these routines.