Yesterday we discussed a few simple ways to adjust your diet to adhere to a "lose weight" New Years resolution and start shaving inches off that waistline. Today we'll delve into the world of starting a new workout routine to start getting some tone.
We're all feeling the strain of this economic time, so shelling out over $100/month to workout with a bunch of sweaty dudes powerlifting 900 pounds may not sound so appealing.
Thanks to the Internet and it's infinite supply of information (all of it true, I'm sure :)...) you can find a workout routine that is right for you. Here's a simple yet effective 15-minute routine to kick off your 2009 resolution.
Quick Fit 15-Minute Exercise Program
Thanks to the mind of Rick Bradley and his "Quick Fit" program, you only have to devote 15 minutes a day to working out. That's less time than it takes to drive to a gym. Heck, you don't even need workout clothes. Here are the four key components of Rick’s "Quick Fit" routine:
Aerobic activity: 10 minutes.
10 minutes of continuous aerobic activity: Walk, bike, stair climber, elliptical machine, run, etc. Stay active for 10 minutes. It's quite simple to fit into your day, if you think about it. Start slow, then work up to a brisk pace. Find your comfort level and push it - enough to cause noticeable breathing, but still allow you to talk.
Abdominal exercise: 50 Half bent-knee sit-ups. 1 minute.
Lay on an exercise mat or the floor with your back flat, your knees bent to about a right angle, and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your chin to your chest and keep it there, and extend your arms and hands, with your fingers pointed toward the tops of your knees. Now slowly lift the shoulders off the mat four to six inches, bringing your hands to your knees, and come back down. That’s one; repeat 49 more times.
Strength moves: 3 minutes.
Beginner: Use dumbbells to do these three moves, selecting the weight so that 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise is fatiguing.
Chest press. Lay with your back flat on the floor and arms extended out to your sides, bent at a right angle at the elbow, forearms pointed toward the ceiling, hands holding dumbbells. Press the weights up toward the ceiling, fully extending arms, then lower. Do 10 to 15.
Curls. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms straight down at your sides, palms facing the body, holding dumbbells. Bend arms at the elbow, keeping upper arm still but raising the weight to the front of the shoulder. While lifting the weight, rotate to the palm of your hand faces up during the curl; slowly lower weight. Do 10 to 15 on each side, alternating.
Shoulder raises. Stand with arms straight down in front of you, palms facing together, holding dumbbells. Keeping elbows slightly bent, raise your arms straight out to your sides, so you look like a large letter “T;” slowly lower weight. Do 10 to 15 repetitions. (Note that you may use substantially less weight for this than for curls or chest press.)
Advanced: Eventually try building up to this 3-minute routine.
Pull-ups. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width on a pull-up bar, palms facing forward. Pull your chin up to the height of the bar, and lower slowly. 10-15 repetitions.
Dips. Place hands on parallel bars, with arms straight up, supporting your full body weight. Lower until elbows are at a right angle, then press back up. 10-15 repetitions.
Chin-ups. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width on a pull-up bar, palms facing back. Pull your chin up to the height of the bar, and lower slowly. 10-15 repetitions.
Flexibility: 1 minute.
Side bends. Stand tall, feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips. Then reach up to the sky with the left hand, bend to the right from the waist, bringing the left hand and arm overhead and reaching to the right. Slowly return to start with hands on hips, then bring right hand up and lean and reach to the left. Continue alternating, reaching and leaning to the opposite side with each hand, with the arm fully extended, for 30 seconds.
Sit and reach. Sit upright on the floor with legs straight in front of you. Extend your arms straight, reaching toward your toes, and gently lean forward. You do not have to reach your toes—just stretch to the point that you feel a gentle tension, but no discomfort. Hold for 30 seconds, and then relax. You’re done!
Getting into shape is easier than it seems. All it takes is a little dedication and minor lifestyle changes. In no time at all, you should start seeing results...especially if you dive right in and embrace a new, healthier you!