The stakes are high.
We each get one life and one body to live it in. It is vitally important to take good care of it.
One of the growing trends in fitness is the emergence of minimalist workouts: strategic, high-intensity workouts that intentionally utilize a variety of muscles in a short time span. Fortunately, there is various research that validates their claims of effectiveness. Recently published studies seem to indicate that 12-minutes/week of high-intensity exercise may have the same physiological benefits as sustained endurance exercise.
Now, it is important to note the researchers understand “their 12-minute program is only a suggestion for how people can make a kick-start for better fitness.” And research has yet to determine the long-term benefits of the shrinking doses of exercise.
But a minimalist exercise routine is far better than no exercise routine.
And if you are looking for a short exercise routine to kick-start your personal fitness, they are a great place to start. Here then, are a number of minimalist workout programs. I encourage you to discover one that provides the motivation and opportunity to kick-start your fitness.
7 Minimalist Workouts to Kick-Start Your Fitness
1. The 4-Minute Workout | New York Times. This short, but strenuous workout can effectively be practiced anywhere. After warming up, the aim of the workout is to raise your heart rate to 90 percent of its maximal rate for one four-minute interval followed by a brief cool-down. This can be accomplished through running sprints, climbing steps, bicycling, swimming, or even walking briskly. The 4-minute workout should be completed three times a week.
2. The Scientific 7-Minute Workout | New York Times. This 7-minute workout employs 12 body weight exercises but results in the latest mandates for high-intensity effort. Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds with a 10 second rest in-between each. You can find the 12 specific exercises listed above or download the app.
3. Couch to 5k | Cool Running. The goal of the Couch to 5K Training Program is to help beginning runners achieve a goal of running their first 5K within two months. The 9-week program combines walking and jogging for 20-30 minutes three times a week. Again, you can find the program details listed above or download the app.
4. Exercise Bliss | Fitness Reloaded. Exercise Bliss makes exercise a lasting habit in just 5 minutes a day, 5 times a week. It is free to join and the routines are delivered directly to your inbox. As an added bonus, this minimalist workout offers more than simple exercise programs, it also focuses on helping people build the fitness habit for life.
5. Beginner Body Weight Workout | Nerd Fitness. The Beginner’s Body Weight Workout is a basic workout that can be completed in your house, apartment, or at a park. The routine is a bit longer than some of the others on this list, but if you are looking for more of a challenge, you will enjoy it. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits offers a similar formula.
6. Geek-to-Freak | Tim Ferriss. For a more advanced workout, the Geek-to-Freak Minimalist Workout popularized in The 4-Hour Body is the first minimalist exercise routine I followed. And I found it to be very effective. I could complete an entire workout in 40-minutes, two times a week at my local gym. You can find the specific exercises here, but should read this introduction to the philosophy first.
7. 10-Minute Yoga | Steve Ross. There are numerous opportunities online to be introduced to the world of yoga in 10 minute intervals. While stretching the body and exercising muscles, yoga can also improve breathing, balance, and the handling of stress. Again, you can find numerous instructors online, but I find the video linked here to be easy-to-follow and challenging. I highly recommend it.
As you know, our physical health is important. It forms the foundation for our well-being. And we ought to take great care of the body we have been given. I do hope one or two of the minimalist workouts listed above will resonate with you and help kick-start your fitness.
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.