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11 September 2012

The perfect 15-minute no-gym workout

When you’re on vacation or a business trip, access to a gym can be unreliable. The good news is that you don’t need equipment, much less a gym, to score a workout.

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What’s the No. 1 reason for not exercising? Not enough time. Life is busy - especially if you travel frequently. But setting aside a little time to sweat can have a huge payoff: According to a 2011 study in the journal Lancet, people who fit in just 15 minutes of exercise each day were healthier and lived three more years than those who didn’t. That’s why I recommend getting a minimum of that amount of activity daily, no matter how hectic your schedule is.



When you’re on vacation or a business trip, access to a gym can be unreliable. The good news is that you don’t need equipment, much less a gym, to score a workout. Almost anywhere you go, you can squeeze in this fast and effective no-gym workout, which targets your major muscle groups using nothing but your own body weight. All you need is a watch or clock to keep time, plus a few tissues to mop up the sweat!

To warm up, march in place, lifting your knees high for 30 seconds, then jog in place for 30 seconds. Do each exercise for one minute; for a 15-minute workout, complete the circuit below twice.              

Try to transition as quickly as possible from one exercise to the next to keep your heart rate up and your calorie burn high.

The No-gym Workout Circuit

1. Squats: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back as you bend your knees and squat down as if you’re sitting back into a chair.

2. Pushups: Place your hands directly under your shoulders. Keep your back flat and your core muscles tight. Bend your elbows and lower down until your chest is a few inches from the floor.

3. Jumping Jacks: Do as many as you can in one minute to get your heart rate up!

4. Lunges: Alternate forward and reverse lunges for 30 seconds on each leg. Take a large step forward, shifting your weight onto your leading leg. Lower down so your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is over your ankle. Keep your back straight. Push back up and step backward with the same leg into a reverse lunge.

5. Plank: Rest your forearms on the ground with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Come up on to the balls of your feet, keeping your back flat and your core muscles tight. Hold for one minute.

6. Squat Jumps: Sink down into a squat and push off into a jump. Land softly and push your hips back as you return to the squat, keeping your core muscles engaged.

7. Bicycle Crunch: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your ears. Crunch up and twist, drawing your right elbow toward your left knee. As you draw in your left knee, extend your right leg straight out. Switch sides, drawing left elbow to right knee, and extending your left leg out straight. Continue crunching, switching sides each time.

When you’re through, go on a short walk or step in place to cool down - and wipe away the sweat with a few tissues.

(By Katie Riley for Beauty & Confidence)
Image of woman exercising from Shutterstock.

 
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