Set yourself up for health success by adopting what I call the 2 “Cs” of training: convenience and consistency. Make your workouts convenient so you are more likely to do then consistently.
Why? To achieve any health and fitness goal you need to be consistently active, and the more convenient the workout, the more likely you will do it consistently.
So, pick an activity that is convenient—don’t forget to consider location, timing and length. The yoga studio around the corner might be conveniently located, but if you never make a class because they are too lengthy to be convenient, the benefits are moot. Instead, a good compromise might be to download a yoga podcast that you can do at home.
Basically, we all have enough reasons to skip a workout; don’t make convenience one of them. Walk regularly, join a local sports team, find a convenient gym or set up a home gym. Just commit to something realistic—anything—and do it!
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not giving you permission to take it easy. But a workout doesn’t have to be long or take placein a gym to be effective or intense.
Try the workouts below; they are effective, convenient and time efficient.
Option A: use any cardio machine, skip,or walk or run outside.
Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. Then do 10 sets of 15 seconds of hard work followed by 45 seconds of regular work. Recover for 5 minutes. Either cool down, repeat the above intervals, or try 2 sets of 3 minutes of hard work followed by 2 minutes of medium-intensity work. Cool down.
Option B: use the stairs in your home, apartment building or local park.
Walk up and down the stairs for 5 minutes to warm up. Then do 5 minutes of high knees, bum kicks, jumping jacks, and running on the spot.
Main section: walk up the stairs once, jog up the stairs once, and then run* up the stairs once. Walk, jog, or run in place for 1 minute. Repeat that cycle for 10 minutes. Each week, add on 1 minute of work until you can do 20 to 30 minutes of the above cycle.
*If running is too intense, jog instead.
Strength workout: “Minutes”
A. Five minutes on any cardio machine, skip rope, dance, or walk or jog outside.
B. Do a pyramid set using your home or apartment stairs.
Pyramid set of jumping jacks and step runs*: 5 jumping jacks, 5 step runs, 10 jumping jacks, 10 step runs, 15 jumping jacks, 15 step runs, 20 jumping jacks, 20 step runs, 15 jumping jacks, 15 step runs, 10 jumping jacks, 10 step runs, 5 jumping jacks, 5 step runs.
*Step runs: step up and down on the bottom stair quickly with each leg for the required number of repetitions.
Main set: Pick 5 strength exercises and 2 core exercises. Prioritize multi-joint strength exercises like squats, push-ups, and bent-over rows. Do 1 minute of each exercise, followed by 2 minutes of intense cardio. Rest for 1 minute. Repeat the cycle 2 more times. Cool down and stretch.
Sample set: squats, lunges, push-ups, bent-over rows, bridges, and front and side plank.