For millions of time-crunched Americans, exercise takes a back seat to life's many obligations. It's so easy to let a couple of days, weeks, even months go by without including exercise and movement somewhere in your daily routine. Some people never get back on track. Maybe it's time to take a new approach.
Think quality, not quantity.
New exercise research shows that it's the intensity of the work -- not the duration or time put in -- that matters most in measuring the quality of your cardiovascular workout. This applies to both weight control and increasing your cardio capacity. In other words, if you can work in some short bursts of high-level exercise, you won't need to set aside 45-60 minutes or more during your busy day for a workout.
The workout on these pages takes only 8-15 minutes a day. The concept is to do short, high-intensity bursts of physical activity. The best part? After you are done exercising, your body will continue to burn calories at an elevated rate throughout the day. So turn up the music and let's go!
Robert Reames is the official trainer and nutrition consultant on The Dr. Phil Show and is a contributor to the Fox News Channel.
Warm up with the twist or march in place for about 2 minutes. Be sure to cool down when you are done exercising.
A. Stand with your feet firmly planted a little more than shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. With your arms tight against your sides, make your hands into fists and bend your elbows 90 degrees.
B. Punch with your right hand. Bring your arm back to the starting position.Punch with your left hand. Do not fully extend your arms during the punching motions. Let your upper body flow with this cardio burst.
A. Stand tall with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and your arms stretched out from your sides.
B. In one motion, lift your left foot toward your right knee and bring your right hand down to touch your raised foot. Repeat this motion with the opposite hand and foot.
A. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms bent in front of your chest with your hands in fists.
B. In one motion, step forward with your left foot and punch with your left arm. Repeat 10 times on the left side, then repeat the motion on your right.
A. Stand with your knees bent at an approximately 30-degree angle.
B. Staying in this position, take eight steps forward, then eight steps back.
A. Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart. With your arms out to your sides and hands in fists, bend your elbows at 90-degree angles.
B. In one motion, lift your right knee to the side and bring your right elbow down to touch your knee. Repeat on the left side.
A. Stand with your feet slightly apart and your arms bent at your sides.
B. Slide your left foot against your right and bend at your waist while pushing your arms up and to the left. Return to your original position, then repeat the movement on the right.