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It happens to the best of us: Busy schedules and long to-do lists often get in the way of fitting in some exercise. But working out offers benefits beyond just the physical. It protects our heart health, improves brain power and strengthens muscles and bones. It’s also a proven stress reliever and mood booster.
The reality of our schedules makes getting outdoors or to the gym every day somewhat unrealistic, even with the best intentions. The good news is that as little as 10 to 15 minutes of physical activity can have a big impact on your physical, mental and spiritual health.
Start Your Day Off Right
The next time you have a busy day, start it off the right way with a quick workout that doesn’t need any special gym equipment. It just needs you!
Body weight training uses your own body for resistance. It helps promote cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles and gets your focused for your day ahead.
Try these simple body weight exercises for a great and effective 10-minute morning workout:
Squats strengthen and tone your legs. When squatting, make sure to keep your chest high. You won’t receive the full benefits of this exercise without maintaining good posture.
Push-ups help increase upper body and back strength. Modified versions are okay, but try to work up to doing the standard push up — no matter how far down you can go.
Sit-ups are important for helping tone and strengthen our core, which is our center of stability and balance. The stronger your core, the easier it will be to complete exercises.
Make sure you’re doing sit-ups correctly:
- Cross your arms over your chest
- Touch your elbows to your knees at the highest point of your sit-up
Sit-ups can be replaced by crunches for a modified version but be sure to challenge yourself.
Focus on your posture during lunges to make sure you get all the benefits of this exercise. Place your hands on your hips and step forward into the lunge. Make sure that both legs make a 90-degree angle and then bring your feet together. Repeat.
Hold: 1 minute
Planking helps tone your core and lower back. Lie down with your stomach on the floor with your legs straight out behind you. With your arms bent at the elbows, push yourself up and rest on your forearms and toes. Tighten your abs and squeeze your glutes.
You should be looking down at the floor, and your neck, back and legs should form a straight line. Hold for one minute. If one minute is too ambitious at first, lessen the time and try working up to one minute as you continue this circuit.
Repeat Each Exercise
These five exercises make one complete circuit. Repeat each exercise, in order, three to five times, depending on your fitness level. Rest between each circuit for 15-30 seconds.
These simple exercises can be a great part of your regular workout routine when life gets too busy to get to the gym. You can take it anywhere, and it only takes 10-15 minutes to get important physical, mental and spiritual benefits and start your day right.
This material is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment and/or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.