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No Time for Exercise? This 7-Minute Workout Can Help You Get Ready for Summer

posted: 03/31/16
by: Katie Morton
Giving everything she's got to look great this summer
iStock

It's no secret that regular exercise is good for both your overall health and your waistline, but the real mystery is how to fit it into your already jam-packed schedule. It's true -- a lack of time is the number one excuse for not hitting the gym. But, based on recent research first published in the New York Times, it turns out that you don't need hours to get into shape. All you need is 7 minutes a day!

You may be skeptical--7 minutes a day doesn't sound like very long. How could just minutes a day result in better health and fitness?

The key is high-intensity interval training, which includes short periods of intense exercise followed by periods of less strenuous recovery. The best part is that you don't need an expensive gym membership or a basement full of complex workout equipment to get started--all you need is a chair, a wall and your own body weight for resistance.

Convinced yet? Ok, let's get started.

Exercise 1: Jumping Jacks

Remember middle school gym class? Try 30 seconds of jumping jacks. Rest for 10 seconds.

Exercise 2: Wall Sits

Lean against the wall and slide your body down until you're in a chair-sitting position. Your goal is for your legs to bend in front of you at a 90-degree angle while your back is braced against the wall. Hold your body in that position for 30 seconds.

Exercise 3: Push-Ups

This is just the traditional push-up. Get into plank position and then, using your arms, raise and lower your body while keeping your back straight and chest parallel to the floor. Do as many push-ups as you can for 30 seconds.

Exercise 4: Ab Crunches

Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Reach toward your knees as you raise your torso. Lower your torso back to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Exercise 5: Step Up

Stand feet forward, facing a chair. Step up onto the chair, first with your left foot then with your right. Then, step down to the ground, first with your right foot and then with your left. Do this as many times as you can in 30 seconds.

Exercise 6: Squat

Stand straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees as though you're about to sit down. Lower and raise. Do as many squats as you can in 30 seconds.

Exercise 7: Triceps Dip on Chair

Sit on the front of a chair and place your hands on the edge. Your palms should be down with fingers pointing forward. Edge your body off the chair, leaving your hands on the seat. Bend your elbows to lower your body weight toward the floor and then push your body weight back up. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Exercise 8: Plank

Lie face down on a mat. Keep your elbows by your sides. Your hands will be palm down. Use your arms to press your body upward while keeping your back straight. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Exercise 9: High Knees

Simply run in place for 30 seconds, bringing your knees as high as you can. Try to hold your hands out in front of you, aiming to hit them with your knees.

Exercise 10: Lunges

Start with your feet together. Step forward with your right foot and lower yourself until your knees are bent at 90 degree angles. Step back and repeat with your left leg. Do as many of these as you can in 30 seconds.

Exercise 11: Push Up and Rotation

Begin in push-up position. Start to raise your body as you would with a traditional push up, but as you push your body up, shift your weight to the left as you raise your right arm toward the sky. Return to starting position and then repeat on the other side. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds.

Exercise 12: Side Plank

Lay on a mat on your right side. You'll start with legs straight, one on top of the other. Keep your body fully aligned and then push up on your bent right elbow. Proper form has your bent right elbow directly under your shoulder. Hold this position for 15 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

That's it! You've just completed one full circuit of the 7-minute workout! Now, do this circuit in the same order two to three more times and you're done for the day. If you need more details on what your form, check out these infographic:

Remember, little steps can add up to big changes! No matter what your current level of fitness is, you can be feeling and looking better by spending just minutes a day focusing on your health!