Well Being

You’ve Got 5 Minutes, Make the Most of It

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We're all busy these days. We eat half of our meals in cars and the other half on the phone. Or at least it seems like it. One of the main excuses things I run into when trying to exercise is a lack of time. Well, if you've got 5 minutes you can do a lot of good.

Here's the schedule:

Minute 1: Stretch

Stretching promotes blood flow and relieves tension in your body. It can help you melt away stress and relax, plus it helps with your flexibility and takes no equipment and little room to do. Find some helpful stretching techniques here. Don't worry about getting in a full body stretch, you won't have time. Just pick something that seems sore, or doesn't get stretched often, and do that for one minute.

Minutes 2, 3 and 4: Push-ups*

If you've only got time to do one exercise. This is the one you want to do. It's a great upper-body and core workout, it's quiet, and it takes zero equipment to do properly. Try and do sets of 10 with 30-45 second breaks in between. Do this for 3 minutes. Proper push-up technique is here. You may not be able to do the classic at first. That's OK. Try it with your knees on the ground or even try it standing up and pressing against a wall in front of you like you would press against a floor. If you start either of these ways you can work yourself up (or actually down) to the classic floor push-up.

Minute 5: Stretch Again

Now that you're slightly warmed up, the stretching will be more effective at increasing your flexibility and it still retains the benefits we talked about previously.

That's it!

If you're scoffing at something this simple that takes 5 minutes, just remember that you have to start somewhere. Know that, at some point in time, Moby Dick was just “Call me Ishmael” at the top of a blank page. Next time you've got 5 minutes until your favorite show comes on or until your hot-pocket is cool enough to eat, don't watch the ending of that crappy show that's on before hand. (You won't get it anyway because you missed what Rebecca said during the opening.) And don't just stare at the new, flakier crust wishing it was “go-time” already…

You've got 5 minutes! Make the most of it.

[tags] 5, minute, workout, tip [/tags]

*If you find yourself doing this once a day, alternate ab crunches with your push-ups. It's not nearly as complete an exercise as a push-up, but it works a group of muscles that don't see much action during your day-to-day activities. (Crunches technique here.)