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‘Anytime-anywhere workout’ tough on fat, gentle on joints

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This time of year, perhaps more than any other, you may be thinking about recommitting to exercise.

But there are real obstacles to exercise for anyone any age. Maybe you think you don’t have the time or the right equipment and you feel uncomfortable at the gym.

Forget about all of that. You’re in control and you get to choose when and where you work out and for how long. Too good to be true? Not at all…

I’m going to give you a few tips here and a simple template to create your own workout on-the-go, perfect anytime and anywhere — a hotel room or your own living room.  This way, you’ll have fewer reasons to back out of your resolution to be fit and healthier in 2017. But most important, you can feel comfortable getting your exercise on…

First, shake the old idea that a workout has to be an hour long. Moving at all is better than not moving. You will benefit in many ways from 10 minutes. While it’s true the shorter the workout the more intense it should be to give comparable results to the longer exercise sessions you may have done, shorter and moderate sessions are also going to be better than nothing.

Second, choose a time frame that’s reasonable. Do you have seven minutes? Do you have 20 or 30? My suggestion would be to choose 10 minutes or less and create your workout to fit that time. Then if you have more time you can repeat the sequence you created once or twice.

Third, choose exercises that alternate upper and lower body emphasis to keep your heart rate elevated. While it’s not as stimulating for heart rate as doing a constant run, bike, or elliptical for instance, it will definitely boost your heart rate at least as much as a brisk walk level. For example, a squat followed by a push up, followed by a lunge would be lower body, upper body, lower body.

Fourth, to make the actual task of putting exercises together simple, create two lists of exercises that are appropriate for you. Lower body exercises that work for you if you have knee issues might be knee lifts in place, bridges on the floor or ball, or hamstring curls on a ball. If you have to work around a shoulder issue, choose upper body exercises that you can do safely and pain free. If not push ups, how about a minute of “air-boxing?”

Last, to complete your own 7-minute workout, list either 7 or 14 exercises going back and forth between your upper and lower body. You’ll do them either one minute each (7 exercises) or just 30-seconds each (14 exercises).

You can use this simple system any time to make your own workout. Include a warm up and cool down by reducing intensity on first and last few exercises or adding a few minutes of walking. Add two or three core exercises and you’ve done the hardest and most important thing about exercise. You have stayed consistent even on your busiest of days.

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