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How to Exercise for 5 Minutes Every Day

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Getting your exercise for the day can be tough. Finding the time, not to mention the energy, can be a heck of an uphill battle, and this goes double if you have kids or a demanding job. Luckily, there are a number of things that you can do in order to ensure that you get at least a good, solid five minutes of exercise in every single day.

Here are a few ideas to maximize the burn in a limited amount of time:

Start Early

Five minutes of exercise in the afternoon, when you're already tired, can be a tremendous chore. Five minutes of exercise in the morning, just before breakfast, can be very easy to squeeze in. In order to ensure that you're able to snap into your morning routine, make sure to get plenty of sleep. The body sleeps in three hour cycles, so if you can't get a full eight hours, go for six. By exercising in the morning, you can kickstart your body so that you'll have more energy during the day.

Don't Rush

Get through five minutes worth of exercise in five minutes. Don't try to compress a thirty, forty minute workout into five minutes. If you try to rush, then at best you're going to be doing your routine without full effort, and at worst you're going to seriously injure yourself. Intensity is key, irresponsibility is dangerous.

Stay Hydrated

The average adult should drink about a gallon of water a day. This will keep you energized so that you can snap right into your five minutes of exercise whenever you feel like it.

More Weight, Fewer Reps

Do you really want to sit there and lift a ten pound weight for thirty minutes? Try going with the heaviest weights that you can comfortably lift, and doing two sets of 8-12 reps each. This is how Bruce Lee exercised, typically strength-training for fewer than 20 minutes every day, and his physique was incredible. More intense exercise allows you to get a lot done in just a few minutes.

Do it When You Like

Working out in the morning can be a great idea, but doing your exercises here and there, when you can, can make the process very easy for busy people. You might not always be able to find five minutes to do push-ups or sit-ups, but how hard is it to find thirty seconds or a single minute to do a few pull-ups, or some basic stretches and exercises that you can do right at your desk?

Don't Forget to Stretch

Stretch, and stay stretched, throughout the day. Even a five minute workout can lead to serious injury if you don't go into it with a limber body. There are a ton of easy stretches that you can do.

Try twisting at the waist in your chair to stretch your back muscles, do cat stretches in the morning, touch your toes and try to touch your elbows together whenever you get a free moment, etc.

You typically want to do some light warm-ups before stretching if you're at the gym, but assuming that you move around during the day, that you don't just park in a chair for eight hours straight, you should be able to stretch whenever you feel like it as long as you take your time and are careful not to overextend anything.

Keep Developing Your Routine

There's no one, set five minute routine that works perfectly for everyone. The exercises that you do will depend on your fitness goals, your age, your body type and so on. If you have a leg injury, for instance, you're not going to be doing a minute of sprinting in the parking lot on the way into the office.

Take the time to study exercises that you can do in short bursts, and keep developing your routine over time, changing it as you find methods that work better.

Some Basic Exercises

To get you started, here are a few exercises that you can do in a short amount of time:

1) Self-resistance: If you don't have any weights handy, press your palms together and slowly extend your arms in front of you, pushing your hands against one another with all your strength. Then pull your hands back in. This achieves similar effect to a push-up, but can be done in seconds at your desk.

2) Squats: You can do these anywhere - while standing in line, while getting dressed, etc. Just squat down as far as you comfortably can, and stand back up, keeping your feet flat.

3) Deep breathing: Breathe from your stomach, not your chest, and then expel every bit of air you can. This will lend you more energy throughout your routine.

Keep exploring and playing with new exercises and you'll be able to get your five minute routine down in no time.

posted Apr 7, 2017 by Ritika Sharma

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Cultivate Some Consistency - Working out in the morning ensures that you don’t interrupt your workout schedule with other daily items that can seem more pressing. For example, if you exercise in the evening you run the risk of being late from work, feeling overloaded with errands that must be done, or saddled with other unexpected to-do items.

Develop Strong Self-Discipline - Waking up early in the morning to exercise enhances your personal discipline. Just like any habit, developing the discipline to get up and exercise in the morning only gets easier with time.

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Improve Your Physical and Mental Energy - Morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.

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Thomas Jefferson – who was the third president of the United States of America – is known for  the following quote: “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” The same logic can be applied to getting fit. If you want to attain the state of being fit you need to put your body through activities that it may not have ever done before or may not have done for a long time.

However, getting fit and maintaining the status of being fit doesn’t have to all be about blood, sweat and tears – and not much else. You’ve probably heard the old wives’ tale that there is categorically no pain without gain and that you should mistrust any gains that you achieve if they don’t come with a good amount of effort.

Don’t believe us? Give us five minutes and we’ll tell you how this is possible.

Set realistic fitness goals

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Hire a personal trainer

This type of professional has trained for years and years about how to help their clients along the road to physical wellness and fitness in addition to assisting them to reach their various goals for their physiques.

Thus, to attain your fitness goals in the time that you have available, enlisting the assistance of a personal trainer is the best way to go. Such an individual will be able to assess what you want to achieve, the time that you have available and will work out a plan that fits in with both elements. The great thing about a personal trainer is that they will be able to give you benchmarks along the way – in the form of assessments – so that you can see what you’re achieving. This will also help to motivate you to keep on with your exercise programme.

Critically examine your eating habits

Training and good nutrition principles go hand in hand. You can train as hard and as long as you like but unless you back it up with the right nutrition, your mind as well not even have started your training routine.

Think we’re talking a load of nonsense? Let’s illustrate what we’re saying with an example.

Say, for instance, that one of your fitness goals is to build lean muscle mass. We know that the majority of muscles is made up of protein and that the body doesn’t keep stores of protein. It uses what it needs to, at the time, and then excretes the rest.

The best way to build lean muscle mass is through training with weights. In order to promote the development of muscle, you need to consume protein – either through protein-rich foods such as hard-boiled eggs or lean chicken breasts or by taking a protein shake. If you don’t do this, or don’t consume enough protein in your diet, it will be very difficult for you to reach your goal of building the lean muscle mass that you want.

If you’re struggling to decide on what are the best nutrients you should be taking in to support your training goals, consult a registered dietitian or a nutritionist. These professionals have studied the art and science of good nutrition for years which makes them well placed to assist you where you need to.

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If you are among the plethora of American workers who spend long days working at the computer, chances are you will notice the strain of this job on your body. Sore back and neck or troubles with your hands and wrists are common computer-related ailments, but did you know that you blink 60% less when you look at a computer screen?

Computer Visions Strain

This, combined with several other factors, can lead to computer-related eyestrain and discomfort. This problem is so prevalent that it's even been given its own name: Computer Visions Strain (CVS). CVS affects 64% to 90% of office workers. While it doesn't cause permanent damage, it can definitely affect the comfort of a long-term computer user.

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Alleviate Computer-Related Eye Discomfort

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Try focusing on an object far away (down the hallway, outside, etc.), then quickly shift your focus back to something on your desk. Do this 3-4 times every 10 minutes or so.

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2) Ensure Proper Lighting in Your Workspace.

Fluorescent lights are the worst type of lighting for computer eyestrain. If at all possible, turn off all nearby fluorescent fixtures and light your desk using 100-watt bulbs.

Here's a simple test to see if the lighting in your work area is appropriate: Look at your computer monitor and cup your hands over your eyes like a baseball cap. If this immediately causes relief, then you know that the lighting in your work area should be changed.

Experiment in adjusting the brightness/dimness, angle and number of lights to discover what works the best for you. Also remember that the materials on your desk (rather than the materials on your computer screen) need to be adequately lit so make sure you have a desk or standing lamp to help accomplish this.

3) Blink!

Blinking lubricates and cleanses the eye and, unfortunately, under stress or in high concentration scenarios most individuals do not blink regularly. Healthy eyes blink 10-12 times a minute.

An added benefit of blinking is that it relaxes the facial muscles and forehead and this counters the brow-furrowing tendency that can cause lasting head/neck tension and lead to headaches. If your eyes still feel red and itchy after blinking, try using natural lubricating re-wetting drops (available at any pharmacy). They can really help your eyes stay moist over the course of a long day.

4) Make Your Workspace Ergonomically Correct for You.

Your computer screen should be about an arm's length (18-24 inches) away and situated directly in front of your face rather than off to one side. The monitor should be positioned centrally about 4-8 inches below your eyes in order to combat neck strain while you read and type.

If at all possible, situate your desk so that you can look beyond the computer screen (rather than in a corner or looking at a wall). This allows you to take the previously discussed mini-breaks with relative ease.

5) Minimize Screen Glare.

In order to detect potential glare problems, turn on the lights in the room before turning your computer on when you enter your workspace. If any images or reflections are visible on the blank computer screen, then you know that you have a glare problem.

In this case, you can try moving the screen to a better location, tilting it to a better angle, moving the objects that you saw reflected on the screen, adjusting the artificial light or covering windows to block sunlight, or you might consider an anti-glare film for your monitor.

6) Dust Your Monitor Frequently.

A thick layer of dust can cause diffraction of the screen images, which makes them more difficult to look at and can lead to eyestrain.

7) Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly.

You should be visiting an optometrist once a year to have your vision checked.

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