Absolutely! But before I tell you about it, you have to promise do something: throw out the idea that your “workout” has to be long, hard, and sweaty.
Since we threw out the idea of the long-hard-sweaty workout, what could be left? A workout that’s quick and actually works. Research has shown that multiple, short bursts of exercise are just as effective as one long workout. In fact, these small bursts can be even more so, since most of us can find five minutes to exercise on days we might otherwise not have time for it. Think about when you might be able to find five minutes. I have confidence, you’ll find it!
Figured out where you can find five minutes to exercise? Awesome! Let’s think about what we can do with those five minutes. Life has certain demands like grocery shopping, housework, walking the dog. Life also has certain pleasures – cooking, watching TV, or getting down and playing with the grandkids. So let’s take advantage of them. You might have heard about how we should all aim to take 10,000 steps every day. Walking the dog for five minutes can get you a lot of those steps. Can five minutes of your evening TV time be used to stretch your muscles or do some core-strengthening planks? Probably! I even have clients who will do squats, lunges, and pushups while they’re on hour-long conference calls. Your five-minute workout is really only limited by your imagination, and it really works when you combine it with some aspect of your daily life that you’re already doing anyway.
Of course, you also have the option of making your Five-Minute Workout a real butt-kicker too. If you want to make it harder, and maybe get a little sweaty, consider using high-intensity interval training. The interval concept is perfect for when we only have a few minutes to sneak in a session. Here’s how it works: Pick an exercise, do it as hard or as heavy as you can for a short time (15 to 30 seconds), and then rest for the same period of time before doing it again. Believe me, you’ll be glad when that five minutes is up! As an added bonus, interval training has been shown to be much more effective than traditional “cardio” training for weight loss, fat burning, and building stamina.
The Five-Minute Workout is no gimmick. There are no videos to subscribe to, or any special equipment needed. Just you, and a little effort (five minutes’ worth, actually). We are surrounded by opportunities to move more, stay active, and feel better every single day, though sometimes it takes some brainstorming to figure out how to use them. My workshop, “The Five-Minute Workout!” takes you through that process. Find your time for a five minute workout, plus create strategies to get around the challenges that life throws at you, and discover how five minute really can make you fitter and stronger. Join us for the next workshop, on May 7th in Portland, Oregon.