Monday, January 6, 2014

Get a Whole-Body Workout in 7 Minutes with this Routine

Setting exercise goals takes less time than you think: A basic workout can be done in 7-15 minutes using your own body weight as resistance.

Group exercises at sunrise

Are you a time-conscious adult? Setting exercise goals takes less time than you think: A basic workout can be done in 7-15 minutes using your own body weight as resistance.

Research from the American College of Sports Medicine supports high-intensity circuit training using one's own body weight in a routine that takes only 7 minutes. Depending on how much time you have, you can perform this routine once in the morning and 2-3 times later in the day, getting a great workout with great health benefits in less than 30 minutes.

Follow along at home using this YouTube video or using the 7-Minute Workout app available for your iPhone or Android.

Benefits of short-duration high-intensity circuit training

  • Promotes strength in all major muscle groups
  • Balances strength throughout the body
  • Can be modified to increase intensity, endurance or duration
  • Improves insulin sensitivity for blood-sugar regulation
  • Increases circulation and cardiovascular benefits
  • Supports overall mood and energy
  • Eliminates the need for equipment or facilities (your body weight is the equipment)

Sample exercises included in this study for a 7-minute routine (click the links for the individual Exercise)

Guidelines

  • Spend 30 Seconds on each of the exercises above.
  • Rest for only 15 seconds or less between exercises.
  • Rest for one minute between 7-minute sets.
  • 2-3 sets is ideal to maximize the effects of a High intensity workout program (15-22 minutes total).
  • Be sure to have a safe space to work out, either in a gym or a dedicated workout space.

Remember that while the 7-minute workout is short, it can be intense. Please take time to understand the proper form of each exercise and recognize when you have reached your limit. If you have cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, or any health concerns that could prevent you from performing any of the above exercises, please consult with a health care professional and gain prior medical clearance before attempting them. Proper form is important to prevent injuries.

— By Andrew Simon, ND, naturopathic doctor and resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health

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