Here we are 3 weeks into the new year. How do you feel your fitness goals are going? If you are beginning to struggle with your schedule or finding time to get to the gym, whether it is a little or a lot, I am here with some good news. Even small amounts of exercise done consistently can add up to huge benefits for your health and your waistline.
If your goal is to increase your overall health, walking briskly for 15 minutes a day can improve mood, cardiovascular health and heart health. You could also ride a stationary bike, elliptical or use a stair-stepper.
If your goal is weight loss, 15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with compound weight exercises or cardio intervals will create a small caloric deficit that will help with weight loss when paired with a daily caloric intake deficit. In general a pound of fat is 3500 calories. In order to lose a pound a week you will need to create a 500 calorie deficit a day via intake (eating) and exercise. Fifteen minutes of HIIT can burn approximately 150 to 200 calories (this depends on your % of lean muscle, the type of exercise and the intensity). Your daily caloric intake should reflect your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) minus 300-350 calories so that when combined with 15 mins of HIIT you have your daily 500 calorie deficit. You can find out more here on calculating your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
If your goal is muscle gain, 15 minutes of compound (multiple joints/muscle groups) resistance (weighted) training can be as effective as 35 minutes of isolation resistance training. Use dumbbells or even gallons of water or laundry detergent to do exercises like squats, dead lifts, military press and lunge step backs.
Ultimately, 30 mins to an hour of exercise 5 to 6 days a week is ideal for overall health and weight loss or weight management. However, life sometimes does not make this time commitment easy, so instead of throwing in the towel, set that timer for 15 minutes and get moving!
Submitted by Jodi Langellotti, avid runner, fitness enthusiast and Health and Wellness Coach.