So let’s be honest right now. There is no secret that exercise is beneficial to your overall health and wellness. Matter of fact, studies have always proven that the right amount of exercise (especially resistance training) is medicine for your body. The problem is that we have known this forever and most people don’t even attempt to incorporate it in their everyday lives. Work consumes them and they think there is no time. But the question is not about the amount of time in the day, because we all have the same 24 hours, right? The question is: Who said that workouts have to be an hour or more and that they have to be done in a traditional gym setting? No one…EVER. There is no clear cut rules when everyone’s lifestyle and fitness journey is different. Especially now, that life as we know it has changed with our work-from-home-sit-on-your-butt-stare-at-a-screen-all-day lifestyle. If you are nodding your in agreeance, then this is for you fam.
Frequency is a major key. Remember that. The more often you work a muscle, then the bigger signal you send to the body for it to grow and strengthen. For some that sounds amazing and for others, not so much. Hear me out. When we strengthen our muscles, we tell our body that we need more fuel to support said muscles so that they are able to perform the tasks you are telling it to do…lift “heavy” stuff. Now, this deters some people, because of the myth that they will get “bulky” and look like Mr. or Mrs. Olympia. Not true. You would know way in advance if you were headed the direction of looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you would be able to find a good maintenance level to preserve the fit look that you always wanted to achieve. Not to mention, female gymgoers naturally tend to have way less testosterone, so they would not build as quickly as the average man. MYTH BUSTED. So now how does this relate?
Short resistance training workouts done with bodyweight, bands, suspension trainers, dumbbells, etc., can be done throughout the work day. If you commit to doing a small circuit a few times over the span of your normal work-from-home 9 to 5, then you can expect to see results. Now the results may not come as quickly as you would like, but keep in mind that consistency will work in your favor. You will develop the habit without feeling like you have to devote precious time out of your day. Most of us have 5 or 10 minutes that we can spare and often times even more. When you decide to partake in these short bouts of bettering yourself, focus on the primary movements that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Here’s a list of examples of some basic movements that will help you the most:
1. Squats – Bodyweight Squat or Resistance Band Squat
2. Hinge – Resistance Band Deadlift or Backpack Good Mornings
3. Rows – Resistance Band Seated Rows or Doorframe Rows
4. Overhead Press – Resistance Band Overhead Press
5. Lunges – Bodyweight Reverse Lunge or Backpack Walking Lunge
6. Chest Press/Push Up – Resistance Band Chest Press or Bodyweight Push Up
7. Rotation/Anti-Rotation – Planks or Russian Twists
The best thing about these movements is that you don’t have to do all of them at the same time. Focus on form and muscle activation, and you will see the functional benefits as they transfer to everyday life. From playing with your kids to avoiding the aches and pains of sitting to just enjoying life, the effects of training frequently will supersede not doing anything at all.
START HERE: Pick 1-3 movements and do 1-2 sets at 10-15 repetitions within a 5-10 minute period. Each time you decide to do your short workout during the day, be sure to pick something different or find additional variations. The results will not happen overnight, but you will definitely be working towards the long-lasting effects of exercise.
BONUS: Get good sleep, drink plenty of water, manage your stress levels (i.e. yoga and meditation), and just move overall. All of these things have an effect on our body long-term.