Is anyone having a tough time motivating to exercise? Are anyone else’s jeans a bit snug from holiday cookies? Are you too busy or too tired to exercise? Not wanting to pay $100/month to join a gym?
I can relate! I have always exercised but have fallen off the wagon the last few years. Thanks to some motivation from Goldfish Kiss (Rebekah Steen - my sister’s husband’s sister), I decided to try this 20 minute plan.
Here’s the deal - find 20 minutes a day for exercise. No excuses. You can do this if it’s raining, if you’re tired, if you’re busy. Stick the kids in front of the TV. Don’t answer work calls/emails for 20 minutes. Find a conference call where you only have to listen. Take 20 minutes before you cook dinner.
Will you get in shape as fast as Barry’s Bootcamp or Kayla Itsines? Probably not. But you will get in shape better than you were when you were doing nothing!
I am using this as an entrance back into the exercise world. When you aren't used to fitting it into your day, it is hard to motivate. When you ate breakfast already and are too full to run 4 miles, you can still do 20 minutes. When you are traveling and just got to your hotel room, you can squeeze in 20 minutes. No need to wash your hair after!
What do you do for 20 minutes? Anything! As long as you get winded and a little sore (actually if you are like me, you will be very sore at first!). Push yourself a little more than what you usually do as it’s only for 20 minutes. For example, if you already walk a lot, walking for 20 minutes probably shouldn’t count. Try incorporating in some jogging or sprints or hills. Something to push you beyond what you do today. If you want different results, you need to have different actions.
I like to break it up into pieces - four 5 minute segments or 30 second segments or 1 minute segments with 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off. You get the idea. You could do 1 minute of cardio, 1 minute of weights - alternating until you get to 20 minutes. Get creative.
Example of what I did my first week. Feel free to make up your own-part of the fun! And send me any good ones you discover. I like doing a video or a class at least once a week. Even if I don’t love the video, that is how I will learn some new ideas.
Day One: Jog + Misc
jog 2.5 minutes, turn around and jog home
set a timer for 10 minutes - do whatever you can think of (sit ups, push ups, squats, plank, burpees, etc repeat)
jog 2.5 minutes, turn around and jog home
Day Two: Video
workout video (I googled “20 minute workout” and found something on youtube)
Day Three: Video
Tae Bo video for 20 minutes (memories from the 90z!)
Day Four: 45:15
1 min cardio warmup (jumping. jacks, high knees, etc)
45 seconds on, 15 seconds off - 6 different sections - repeat three times
push ups, squats, bicep curls, deadlift/hamstring lean overs, tricep dips, burpees (x3)
1 min cardio (jump rope, butt kicks)
Day Five: Hotel Gym
5 min elliptical (work in some hills and sprints)
5 min kettlebells
5 min abs - 5 sections 1 minute each - regular crunches, lower abs, side abs, with a ball, plank
5 min treadmill 30 sec low/30 sec high. Alternate from your baseline to either a sprint or a hill
Day Six: Video
exercise video (I definitely took breaks!)
Day Seven: 1 minute each - arms, legs, abs, cardio, repeat - no equipment needed
push ups, squats, sit ups, jumping jacks (4 minutes)
tricep dips, lunges, side sit ups, high knees (4 minutes)
lay down push ups, calf raises, reverse curls (lower legs up & down), butt kicks (4 minutes)
pike push ups, wall squats, plank, burpees (4 minutes)
side plank, straddle squats, bicycle, tuck jumps (4 minutes)
Day Eight: 1:2 weights needed
1 minute cardio, 2 minutes arms - abs in the end
minute 1 - jumping jacks
minute 2-3 bicep curls
minute 4 high knees
minute 5-6 pushups
minute 7 butt kicks
minute 8-9 shoulders - side raises, front raises, diagonal raises
minute 10 jump squats
minute 11-12 tricep kickbacks and tricep dips
minute 13 jump switch squats (alternating legs in front)
minute 14 15 rows
minute 16 burpees
minute 17-19 abs
minute 20 mountain climbers
Full disclosure - I am not a personal trainer. This list is not fully researched or in a strategic order. I just tried to do something different each day. Do what works for you. If you miss a day, don’t let that discourage you. 20 minutes a day 6 days a week is definitely better than you were doing before!
Do your best and push yourself. We are all starting at different levels. The point is to do more than you were doing before. If 60 seconds of jumping jacks is too much, how about 20 seconds on, 10 second break? 15 seconds on, 5 second break? Whatever works for you - as long as you get winded and push yourself beyond what is easy for you.
I am glad that I am doing 20 minutes a day of something for me. I’ve noticed that even a little exercise helps me to make better food choices. I am very sore - so it must be doing something. Maybe this moves into a bigger exercise commitment in February, maybe not. For now, this is more than I was doing before, and I feel good about it. Thanks again Rebekah for the inspiration!
Bonus points if you stretch after, if you make yourself hold your least favorite yoga pose for 2 minutes, or if your dog follows you the entire time (she is not used to me exercising LOL).