It’s amazing how many times I hear that most people don’t have time to exercise.
Deadlines, kids, pets, meetings, reports – everything for everyone else.
Without work, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the good things in life, right?
You’re probably thinking, “I already know my life is busy. I don’t need it spelled out for me.”
Well, maybe you do.
Yes, all of these things are important, but they also need to be put into perspective. You, yes, you, are the main ingredient in the recipe of your life. Without you, there wouldn’t be all that money coming in. All those deadlines being met. All those reports being written and all those meetings attended. And on the family side, who would be there to go to the soccer games and spelling bees, cook dinners or organize yet another f**king Girl Scout Jamboree?
Well, ladies and gentlemen of the workforce, you too can have a better busy life if you would just take the time to exercise. That’s right, maybe entertain the thought of being a little selfish. Do something for yourself. Holy shit! What a concept, something for yourself; something that will benefit both your work and family life. With a proper exercise program, your quality of life changes dramatically. That’s right! Your stress-handling capabilities are strengthened and you sleep better, resulting in better quality time with your family.
Here we go back to that statement again: “I have absolutely no time to exercise.” This time with my response: “Are you f**king hard of hearing?”
Contrary To Popular Belief
No one needs to spend countless hours in a health club or gym to get in shape and be healthy. I may be pumped up in staying fit always but I hate seeing nightclubs disguised as gyms. I’d rather stay at home doing some exercise of my own! Now, back to the real deal. If you have 15 minutes, you have enough time to exercise. Don’t even try to say that you don’t have 15 minutes. You can pull 15 minutes out of your ass – whenever emergencies arise, or, for that matter whenever something stupid arises.
Let’s start considering your health and well being as one of those “emergency situations.” Take 15 minutes, three times a week – that’s 45 minutes a week for those of you who are too busy to do the math. Forty-five minutes to perform a combination of resistance and aerobic training.
Most of us think of resistance training as going to the gym and lifting endless amounts of iron, aerobic training and running forever on a treadmill. How can you do all of this in 15 minutes, you ask?
The truth is, you can’t. What you can do, however, is train only your major muscle groups with exercises referred to as “multi-joint exercises.” As the name implies, these muscles require more than one group of muscles to be included in a movement. A pushup is a great example of a multi-joint movement.
Performing a pushup requires you to use your chest, shoulders, and triceps to complete the exercise.
Another example of a multi-joint movement is a chin-up that requires your upper back, shoulders, and biceps to do the exercise.
Here it comes, like the shot heard ‘round the world: “Are you crazy? I’m so out of shape that I can’t even do one push up, let alone do a set of them!”
When the dust settles from that excuse, you’ll find there is more than one way to exercise a certain muscle group. A beginner should try to lower himself or herself down instead of pushing or pulling up. Fitness professionals use the term “negatives” for this type of training. It is easier for you to lower weight than to lift it. If you are not strong enough to lift, then lower. It provides the same benefits.
Those two exercises cover all of the major muscles in your upper body – and it took a little more than two and a half minutes: 80 seconds of work is 80 seconds of work. If you perform 20 military push-ups with a four-second count (two up, two down) or 20 negative push-ups with a four-second count (down in four seconds), it still is work. A set of 20 chin-ups using the same count is another 80 seconds. That’s 160 seconds of activity or about 2.67 minutes. Sorry, there is no rest period. You’re too busy to rest!
It’s important to exercise your lower body as well since these are the parts of your anatomy that provide mobility and help you accomplish all of your busy chores. The largest groups of muscles are those that move the hip and knee joints, more specifically, your buttocks and thighs. These muscles can be exercised with a multi-joint exercise known as a split squat.
Stand facing a wall. Lock your elbows and position your hands on the wall. Place one toe against the wall and the other toe back far enough so that it feels comfortable. Now, squat down so that you touch the floor with your back knee and rise back up to the starting position. Perform 25 repetitions and then switch legs.
The most often neglected area of your body is the midsection.
To exercise this area adequately, you will need to exercise your lower back muscles and your abdomen. My favorite, if done correctly, is the “windmill.” Some of you former athletes may remember these from high school sports. Stand up straight with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms up to shoulder height. Touch your right hand to your left foot (or as close as you can get). Slowly return to a straight posture. Now, touch your left hand to your right foot.
By now you’ve worked all of the major muscle groups in your body and are wondering, where is the aerobic training? That’s right, jumping jacks! Well, my now-exhausted executives, the jumping jack, when executed properly, is one of the best all-around cardiovascular exercises. It also exercises the shoulders, postural muscles (middle back) and calves.
Keep your arms perfectly straight and bring them completely over your head. Ready? Begin. Much more difficult than you remember, huh? A set of 25 repetitions of this very simple exercise needs to be inserted at the beginning of your workout and in between every set of resistance exercises. This will keep your heart rate up throughout the entire workout.
This workout – when done consistently and properly – will yield a much better quality of life for you and the people who depend on you. And it only takes 15 minutes!