How to get fitter in 15 minutes a day

How 15 minutes a day can make you healthier

Life is full of competing priorities, and you might assume that you don’t have time to train properly unless you can squeeze an hour into your day. But did you know that exercising for just 15 minutes a day can have a big impact on your overall health?

Fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot to you, but fitness experts and scientific studies agree that it’s enough to make a difference. Any amount of exercise is better than zero. If you are new to fitness or haven’t been active for a long time, a short 15 minute workout may be best to start with anyway.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends starting small when it comes to fitness with just 10 to 15 minutes of activity per day. Whether it’s walking or something more complex, these short workouts can still be extremely beneficial for your body. Plus, starting small will help you establish a daily workout routine.

Keep in mind that exercise recommendations aren’t uniform, so it may take some time to figure out what you need, what you like, and what works for you. If you have any health conditions that might affect your exercise routine, be sure to speak with your health care provider before starting a new regimen. Here’s what to know about how to start exercising for better overall health.

just start

White and green sneakers walking down a city street.

Mei Xu/EyeEm/Getty Images

When in doubt, walk first. Walking is a great way to get your body moving without getting overwhelmed. In addition, you can add 15 minutes of walking for Your daily routine even if you’ve never exercised before, it’s that simple.

Going for a brisk walk can help get your heart rate up. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, this may, in turn, help lower blood pressure and increase energy. It will also get your body used to a workout routine and start building your stamina. To reap the full benefits of a walk workout, remember that you’re not window shopping. Make sure your pace is fast enough to increase your breathing while still allowing you to carry on a conversation.

Make sure you wear good walking shoes which provide ample support for your feet. Find a quiet nature trail to add mental health benefits to the offering, or listen to music or a podcast to make the time pass faster. This can be especially helpful if you’re worried about focusing on your time, rather than just enjoying the ride.

And you can walk anywhere that suits your lifestyle – whether you’re walking in the park, around your neighborhood, on a treadmill or even around your apartment, movement is movement. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your walking time or incorporate it into your daily life. If you use public transit, for example, you might walk to the next stop rather than the one closest to you.

The more you walk, the more likely you will start to walk faster, which is great, because your blood will pump more. This will also allow you to move on to other more intense workouts. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself into these workouts – go at a pace your body is comfortable with. There is no rush to head for rigorous training. Just walking for 15 minutes a day can really make a difference to your overall health.

Other 15-Minute Workouts to Try

Woman doing warrior yoga pose in the park.

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That you didn’t want to walk for your daily movement goal or if you’re up for a challenge, you can try other 15-minute workouts.

Some 15 minute workouts that can work for a variety of fitness levels include:

  • Yoga: Yoga practices run the gamut of experience levels, so you can walk through some footage in your living room in poses that work for you. Depending on the style of yoga you practice, you can incorporate stretching, aerobic exercise, and/or strength training.
  • High Intensity Interval Training: HIIT is a great way to get your heart rate up when you do short bursts of maximal effort cardio followed by short periods of rest. Because the intervals are short and customizable, you can easily scale them to 15 minutes. Remember to leave a rest day between HIIT workouts. If you train five days a week, for example, you can include HIIT training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, leaving Tuesday and Thursday for a different type of training.
  • Bodyweight training: Bodyweight workouts are great for fitness beginners because you can do them at home and they don’t require any equipment – you’re literally using your own body weight as resistance. These exercises include things like push-ups and sit-ups. As with HIIT, you can do them in short circuits when you have 15 minutes to spare.
  • Full body workouts: When time is tight, it makes sense to do exercises that work several different muscle groups at once. Some activities, like swimming or rowing, are full-body workouts. You can also alternate exercises for 15 minutes to work your whole body, such as push-ups with squats.

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Is 15 minutes enough?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week for adults, which comes down to 30 minutes a day if you train for five days and rest for two. But what do you do if you really only have 15 minutes a day to devote to training?

You’ll be happy to hear that several studies over the years have found the benefits of short durations of exercise, like 10, 15, or 20 minutes a day. For example, a 2011 study in The Lancet concluded that working out for 15 minutes a day increased life expectancy. A 2016 study from the European Society of Cardiology found that older people who exercised 15 minutes a day had a lower risk of death. Even 15 minutes of vigorous activity per the week was linked to a lower risk of premature death in a 2022 study.

A male couple are walking in a park.

Wera Rodsawang/Getty Images

Often a 15-minute workout is space-filling or a springboard, but it doesn’t have to be. If you just love a 15 minute workout or don’t have time for anything more than that, you can still find health benefits here. Remember some of your daily activities probably also count towards your weekly physical activity quota.

Keep in mind that your fitness routine should always be well balanced, even if the sessions are shorter. It is important to practice both cardio exercise and strength training, either at the same time or on different days. cardio strengthen your heart and lungs, while strength training strengthens or tones muscles. Together, these two workout types provide a complete workout that keeps your body healthy as a whole. It’s also important to include rest days in your schedule, especially if you’re doing high-intensity activities.

At the end of the line

Don’t be afraid of start with a simple fitness routine after wondering how to start training, even if you’ve never trained a day in your life. While the gym can be daunting and workout videos can be daunting, something as simple as walking around your neighborhood can have a positive effect on your overall health. Just getting out there and getting your body moving is a great way to improve your fitness. There are many ways to move, it’s all about finding a routine that works for you!

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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