With today's busy schedules, finding time to schedule even a 15 minute workout can be a challenge. However, skipping your daily exercise can have a major impact on your health. No matter if you want to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular system, or increase your muscular strength, you can make some major changes with only fifteen minutes of time.
If You Want to Lose Weight
If your long term fitness goals involve weight loss, a 15-minute workout may be just what the doctor ordered. Say your long term goal is to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year. This means that you must lose around one pound per week. In order to successfully lose one pound per week, you must cut 3500 calories per week, or around 500 calories per day. While this can be done with diet alone, research has found that the best way to lose weight, and keep it off, is through a combination of diet and exercise. Exercising for 15 minutes at a moderate intensity typically burns between 150 and 200 calories. Skip the soda and dessert with dinner, and you'll cut the extra 300-350 calories to meet your 500 calorie per day requirement. This means that even if you only have 15 minutes per day to exercise, you can successfully achieve your goals.
If You Want to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
But what if you are perfectly happy with your current weight, and instead want to make some changes to your cardiovascular system? Your cardiovascular system is composed of your heart, as well as the veins, arteries, and accessory organs that deliver blood to and from the heart. A strong cardiovascular system can be successful in the treatment and prevention of shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and even heart attacks or death. While research has found that a total of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day provides the best results when strengthening the cardiovascular system, 15 minutes is better than nothing. Good examples of cardiovascular exercise include walking, jogging, biking, swimming, and similar types of activity.
If You Want to Gain Strength and Muscle Tone
Finally, what if you want to increase muscle strength and tone? Increasing the amount of muscle mass in your body not only gives you a firmer appearance, but also helps provide your body with greater coordination, thereby preventing falls, breaks, and fractures as you age. If you only have fifteen minutes to strength train per day, try to target only one part of your body at a time. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you may want to target the upper body, while on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, you can focus on your legs and glutes. This not only provides more time to work all of the muscle groups, but also gives your muscles adequate time to recover from workouts.