Fitness In Five Minutes A Day

What is the minimum amount of exercise needed for health and fitness? While it depends on the person, lifestyle, and goals, the general wisdom is that 20-60 minutes per day of cardio pumping, iron lifting, or muscle stretching is necessary.

While no one could deny that these numbers produce optimal results, it is possible to accomplish great things in a shorter time.

The truth is that most badly out-of-shape people have lost a crucial “body-mind” link, a connection that helps them to feel the physical hunger for healthy movement. They hate sweating, don’t like walking, and often confuse thirst or emotional pain for hunger.

For those of us who have to ease our way back into an exercise routine, even five minutes a day can be a life saving door into a healthier world.

Here are the rules for fitness in five:

1) In order to get the most out of this routine, it should be spread out over the day. We’re suggesting sixty seconds of work at 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm. This approach is called “Greasing the Groove” and has an exceptionally powerful effect.

2) Concentrate on the abdominal muscles. They are the most important group of voluntary muscles in the body, aiding posture, digestion, and sexual function. Critical to athletic performance, they transfer power from the lower to the upper body. When it comes to appearance, the abdominals are called “the window of health”—we are judged more often by our belt-lines than any other single physical factor.

3) It is virtually impossible to tone the abdomen without benefiting other muscle groups.

What exercises are best? I would suggest a tri-pronged approach: a “killer” exercise, a light exercise, and one that can be done in public—while walking or driving.

1) A roller wheel. These are available in any sporting goods store for about five dollars and are the only ab exercise devise worth your money. Beginners roll out from their knees, more experienced exercisers from their toes.

2) Hip lifts. Lay on your back, brace your hands at your sides, cross your feet, lifting your feet and knees from the floor. Now contract the abdominal muscles and lift the hips from the floor. Relax and repeat the hip lift for sixty seconds.

3) Power breathing. Contract your abdominal muscles HARD as you walk or drive. Combined with proper breathing techniques, this can actually be the perfect ab exercise. There are many yoga, Tai Chi and martial arts teachers who can teach you proper breathing techniques—if you haven’t had training or studied this, don’t assume you already know how—seek out a teacher!

While the “Grease the Groove” technique is powerful (and can be used to develop strength, flexibility, or coordination) it is not intended to substitute for your longer cardiovascular workouts. It is offered as an addition, or for those days when you just can’t exercise, or as a way for the non-exerciser to begin. Consider it a doorway to a fitter, healthier world.

Fitness and Health Guide for Busy Moms

When you’re busy balancing work, kids, and home life in general, you might feel that there’s not enough time in the day for health and fitness. The word “exercise” just doesn’t seem to fit into your vocabulary. But there’s good news. With just a little daily commitment, you can achieve good health and fitness in no time without adding stress to your already busy schedule.

Start with Slow Exercise and Build Strength

Get started with slow, easy exercises that you can handle. Do about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise or activity each day or at least several times per week. Start with less strenuous activities and then work your way up to more strenuous exercises as you build muscle strength. This will improve your fitness and health without putting too much strain on your body, especially if you’ve been inactive for a while.

Some examples of low fitness activities you might try include walking, playing outdoor games with your kids (ball, tag, volleyball, badminton, flying a kite, etc.), walking the dog, mowing the lawn or gardening, housework, walking stairs, or riding a bike. When you want to have fun with your kids, opt for the park instead of the ice cream shop. Be mindful of physical activity in everything you do. This will help your kids get exercise as well without feeling pressured about it.

If you work outside the home, you can take walks during your breaks. Even a daily 15-minute walk can make a big difference!

Increasing Activity

As your body grows stronger, you might choose to add some aerobic exercise to your daily routine. Do this slowly and increase the intensity and time of your aerobic activity in short increments so you won’t overdo it. Aerobic exercise helps you burn more calories and improve heart health.

Some examples of aerobic fitness activities include fast walking or jogging, cycling, dancing, swimming, skating, skiing, step aerobics, or racket sports. You can also enroll in an aerobics class if you feel you’re ready to commit to it several times per week. Or, there are DVDs that teach you to do aerobic workouts at home.

Another way to increase fitness activity is to invest in exercise equipment such as a treadmill, fitness band, yoga mat, ab wheel, workout weights, row machine, or stationary bike. These allow you to work out in the comfort of your own home with the same results as outdoor fitness activities.

Pamper Your Muscles

Be sure to pamper your muscles a little before and after workouts. Do stretches before working out and then “cool down” afterward to allow your muscles to relax. Also, take soothing baths after a workout or in the evening before bedtime to help your muscles and body to relax. This will make workouts more enjoyable and give you something to look forward to each day.

Supplement Your Diet for Better Fitness and Health

To enhance your fitness efforts, supplement your diet with nutritious items such as protein and amino acids or other vitamins and minerals. There are nutritional shakes, protein shakes, vitamin supplement pills, nutrition bars, and other items to enhance your diet as you increase your fitness activity. These will also enhance your overall health. Look for vitamins that are specifically designed for women.

As a busy mom, don’t neglect one of the most important tasks of all – taking care of your own health. With good health and fitness, you’ll be able to keep up with your kids and share activities with them like never before!