A Little Exercise Goes a Long Way

A Little Exercise Goes a Long Way

You know exactly how it goes – you only have 20 minutes between work and your kid’s ballgame so you skip your workout.

There’s no point in exercising for only 15 minutes, right?

I mean it surely can’t be beneficial – you’d barely break a sweat?!

This happens day in and day out, trading off those extra minutes because we don’t think they are worth the time to exercise. You could be missing out on some seriously good exercise that could not only improve your health but increase your actual lifespan!

Getting the Most Out of Your Spare Time

Most of us automatically think we need at least 45-60 minutes to get in a “good” workout! But what is the basis for this? Trust me, I get it and I regularly workout at least 45 minutes, but if you keep passing up the only extra 20 minutes you have per day you may be skipping exercise altogether – which can be deadly!

In fact, a recent 2015 study determined that the lack of exercise can be attributed to more early deaths than obesity! The study authors hypothesized that simply walking at a brisk pace for only 20 minutes a day is enough to reduce your risk of early death – pretty incredible!

If you’re like me, you want to push yourself a little harder to get the sweat rolling. Never fear! You can perform quick high-intensity interval workouts (HIIT) in your spare time to improve your health even more!

Another 2015 study determined that those who perform exercise at a high intensity had an overall 13% lower mortality rate compared to those who exercise at only a moderate pace. Plus, the great thing was that exercise duration did not matter – it was all about intensity! See, a little exercise can do wonders!

Quick HIIT Routine

Yes, you clearly should be exercising in your spare time – even if it’s going for a walk around your neighborhood! The health improvements can be very impressive. If you are looking for a high intensity way to blast calories and build muscle in 15 or less minutes then we can put together a full-body circuit routine that – if you don’t slack – will kick your butt and boost your metabolism!

By busting out a circuit routine we can actually boost our metabolism after our workout is over via EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) or commonly called the afterburn effect. In layman’s terms, this is the calories (measured via oxygen consumption) that it takes to return our bodies from the elevated post-exercise state to our normal resting state.

The main thing you need to know is that to elicit this EPOC effect we need to exercise at a high intensity for an extended period of time (the longer the better but it can still be induced in our spare 15 minutes) to really throw our bodies out of equilibrium – aka huffing, puffing, sweat rolling! 🙂

We can put this into practice by picking 8+ bodyweight exercises that work our entire body. These being bodyweight exercises means we can perform the workout at-home, in the gym, or even at the office! We will alternate between 4 strength training moves and 4 cardio moves to create this killer program. We alternate the exercises because during the strength training moves we have a chance to catch our breath while during the cardio moves our muscles have a chance to recoup!

Here’s an example HIIT circuit:

  1. Squat Jumps
  2. Squat with Side Deltoid Raise
  3. Burpees
  4. Pushups
  5. Mountain Climbers
  6. Walking Lunges
  7. High Knees
  8. Bicep Curl

When trying HIIT, go through the exercises in order. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds doing as many repetitions as you can with proper form.

Move between exercises at a quick pace with little to no rest between them – with only 1-2 minutes between sets!

Go through the order for a total of 3 sets, which will take about 15 minutes if you really push yourself. This is a great way to build muscle, increase your cardiovascular health, blast calories, and improve your overall health in a timely manner!

[Note: as with all exercise programs, make sure you are cleared by your physician before beginning one.]

HIIT Wrap-Up

When it comes to whether we actually have time to exercise in 15 minutes then we can see that we clearly do. This is why HIIT is so amazing.

Of course, this won’t produce the pronounced results that might occur with a full 50 minute strength training session that isolates one muscle group, but this quick program will help you will build muscle, blast calories, and frankly just improve your overall quality of life!

It’s time to throw those old excuses away about not having time to exercise and try HIIT. Your life may depend on it!

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Published by

Josh Anderson (M.S., PT) is the founder and editor of Always Active Athletics: “DIY Fitness, Food and Lifestyle – No Gym Needed” ((www.DIYActive.com). He strives to combine the latest science with fitness to help everyone exercise smarter from the comforts of their own homes!

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