Keith McNiven, founder of London based personal training company Right Path Fitness tells us how you can keep fit in just 15 minutes.
When you have a hectic lifestyle and a fast paced job, fitting in time to exercise can seem like an impossible dream. But just 15 minutes of exercises a day can be hugely beneficial to your health. The recommended amount of exercise per day is 30 minutes but studies have shown that 15 minutes of daily moderate exercise upped life expectancy by three years vs. inactivity. So if you can’t fit in 30 minutes, aim for 15 minutes of exercise. And you don’t even have to leave your office to do it!
1. The chair lift
This is an exercise you can do right in your office chair– just make sure it’s safe before you start! Hold onto the sides of the chair, elbows bent outwards, and put your legs out straight in front of you. When you are ready, straighten your arms and let your arms take your weight to lift your bottom out of the seat. Your body should now be in a nice downward sloping line with your feet lifted slightly off the floor. Keep your core engaged as you hold the movement for 60 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds and repeat.
2. The chair trio
For this exercise you need a chair without wheels that is strong enough to take your weight. You’re going to use the chair to do three exercises within 15 minutes. Start with tricep dips, holding on to the edge of the chair with arms straight and legs out straight in front of you, use your triceps to gently lower yourself down (don’t let your tummy sink) and back up. Do 15 reps. Next climb on and off the chair, alternating the starting leg each time. Do this 15 times. Then grab onto the edge of the chair for some mountain climbers. Start with tummy facing downwards and legs out straight behind you. Bring one leg in towards the chair and back, then the other leg as though you are climbing. Count 15 climbers. Then rest for 60 seconds and do the 3 exercises again, 60 more seconds rest and complete the trio of exercises for a final time.
3. Bosu ball squats
A Bosu ball is a handy piece of kit to keep under your desk, it looks a lot like a fit ball cut in half and can be used for improving your balance and stability. Squats are a brilliant exercise for strengthening and toning your lower body, and to add challenge, you’re going to do the squats whilst standing on the Bosu ball. Find your balance standing on the ball, and put your arms out in front of you. Slowly lower yourself down into a squat, keep your chin up and don’t hunch your back. Then slowly back up to standing. Challenge yourself to see how many squats you can do in 15 minutes. If you don’t have a Bosu ball, then just do the squats on the floor.
4. Floor trio
Even in a busy office, there is usually a bit of floor space to get your 15 minutes of exercise in. Your trio of floor exercises to do in a circuit are standard press ups, lying side hip raises and planks. Start with 15 standard press ups, then roll onto your side resting on one elbow with legs straight and stacked one on top of the other. Use your core to lift your hip off the floor and down again, never quite resting on the ground. Do this 15 times and switch to the other side. Then flip over to your tummy and hold the plank for 60 seconds. That’s one circuit. Rest for 60 seconds and do the whole trio again twice.
5. Resistance band stretches
This is another good one to do right at your desk whilst sitting down on a chair. Grab a resistance band and place in at mid-thigh level with thighs closed. Slowly open thighs and close again, continue for 60 seconds. Then move onto biceps. Put the band either under the leg of one chair so you can work one arm at a time, or if the band is long enough then put it under the chair so you can hold the band in each hand. Start with an extended arm (or arms) and curl in and out. Do 60 seconds of these. Finally, tie one band around an ankle and press the other end of the band under your foot. Extend the leg with the band outwards until it is fully stretched, and back to starting position.
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