This is not another New Year’s resolution piece. You already know that the recipe for good health is regular exercise, eating well, sufficient sleep, and managing stress. So if the formula is that simple, why do so many of us struggle to maintain our New Year’s health promises?
Overly ambitious, unrealistic goals — like losing 20 pounds in a month — set us up for failure from the start. While it’s natural to want visible weight loss results after a month of holiday overindulging, tight timelines produce only stress, guilt, and negative energy rather than the positive surge necessary for program adherence and success.
This year, lose weight, not momentum, with this one simple goal: Move vigorously for 20 minutes each day. That’s it. Fast fitness is not only effective and efficient, it’s achievable!
Here’s a sample of a quick, equipment-free, high-intensity cardio routine that can be completed anywhere, at any time -- so no excuses like not being able to make it to the gym.
For this interval circuit, you will conquer the highest, hardest volume of reps first, then gradually work down to lower reps. This pattern encourages completion since the exercises slowly shorten in duration. When you know you have only a few moves left, you will feel excited rather than disheartened.
Move quickly through each drill, resting for 30 seconds between exercises.
25 Jumping Jacks
With each jump, land lightly on your toes, keep your shoulders back and chin up.
20 Mountain Climbers
Begin in a plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Pump your legs up toward your torso. Don’t let your hips sag.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Hinge back at your hips lowering your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for two counts then push through your heels to return to the starting stance.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Hinge back at your hips as you drop your hands down between your feet. Shoot your feet back so you are in a plank position. Perform one push up then jump your feet forward, landing wider than your hands. Push through your heels to a standing position.
1 Minute Break
Grab some water and rest for 60 seconds. Repeat the circuit two more times.
Other examples of a 20-minute intense workout include: a run, a game of tennis with family or friends, sprinting your office stairwell with coworkers before lunch, or dancing in your living room with your spouse or children. Avoid boredom by switching it up, keeping it exciting and continually challenging yourself.
This year, be kind to yourself. Don’t stress if you miss a workout or eat an extra cookie. Being healthy is a lifestyle choice and takes practice. Just keep moving.