By Claudia Tay
It is always a struggle to balance between a hectic lifestyle and keeping fit. However, everyone knows targeting to exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes a day will boost your energy level, reduce fatigue, keeps you alert and increases your endurance level.
In one research done by the University of Georgia, Dr Puetz said his findings suggest exercise acts directly on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue. If you can spare 20 minutes a day, 3 – 4 times a week to exercise or play a sport for a start, it will be great! You can do your workouts whenever you are comfortable and free. You can do it in the morning when you wake up, during lunch break, in the evening when you get home or just before turning to bed. We should all try to keep a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, any exercise plan that fits in your daily routine can work. You can split the 10 minutes circuit 2 times a day.
Two important notes when starting and keeping a new routine:
– Schedule the exercise routine in advance: e.g. 20 mins first thing when I wake up/ when I get home.
– Maintain a simple routine and try sticking to it for at least three consecutive weeks.
The 20 Minutes Effective Workout
– Start with a dynamic warm-up stretch from head to toe.
10 ½ neck circles
Ten arm swings across chest left, ten on the right
Ten full arm circles forward, ten backwards, left and right side
Ten 4-way wrist stretches- left and right side
Ten hip circles
Ten butt wiggles
Ten knee circles- left and right side
Ten knee bends, left and right side
Ten ankle rolls- left and right side
2 mins Heel walk – heel/toe walk – skip
2 mins Butt kick walk – pull – skip
2 mins high knee walk – pull – skip
2 mins lunge step forward – wide – crossover
Do each exercise for 2 minutes then move onto the next one. Try to complete as many reps as you can within the 1 minute time frame.
Stand with your feet at shoulder width apart, and toes pointed forward, Bend at your knees to lower into a squat keeping the weight in your heels. Hold for a second and then come back to standing. Continue for 2 minutes.
2) Tricep Dips on Chair:
Stand in front of a chair facing away. Sit down on the edge of the chair and shoulder width apart, behind your hips. Lift your lower butt off the seat and walk your feet forward. Make sure your hands are firmly secure on the chair so that you don’t slip off. Your chest should be elevated, head up and your knees should not bend past your toes. Slowly lower your body downwards. Do remember that your elbows should not bend to an angle smaller than 90 degrees. Extend your arms, raising your body upward and supporting your weight with your arms and continue for 2 minutes.
Place hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders. Draw shoulder blades back and down, keeping elbows tucked close to your body. Remember to keep your core engaged, exhale as you push back to starting position and continue for 2 minutes.
4) Jumping Jacks:
Arms can come up to the height of the shoulder or over the head. Continue for 2 minutes.
Stand with your feet at shoulder width apart, weight in your heels and arms at the side of your body. Push your hips back, bend your knees and lower your body into a squat. Place your hands on the floor just in front of your feet. Jump your feet back to land on your feet in a plank position softly. Do note not to let your butt point up in the air or back to sag down. The idea here is to work your core. So your head to heels should form a straight line. Jump your feet back so that they land just below your hands. Reach your arms over your head and jump up. Land and immediately lower down into a squat for your next round. You can continue for 2 minutes.
These five exercises mentioned above amounts to 10 minutes. Repeat the cycle twice to get the best results. If you can give another 5 minutes, we recommend the following:
1) Lunges (1 Minute)
2) Crunches (1 Minute)
3) Mountain climbers (1 Minute)
4) High Knees (2 Minutes)
Have fun, be creative and have variations in your routine. You can change some of the exercises if you like, but try to give them at least 20 minutes each day and four times a week. It is even better if you can get an exercise buddy to join you and motivate each other!
We want to clarify that these exercises are just suggestions. We suggest you seek advice with your physician and trainer before trying them if you have any injuries or severe medical conditions.