Once a New Year rolls in, it is inevitably harder to get a treadmill at the gym, diet pills go on sale at the drug store and fitness gurus rule the late nights hawking their DVDs on infomercials.
Something about the calendar turning over gives many Americans reason enough to believe this is going to be the year for getting in shape.
By February (or even earlier) though many weight loss and fitness resolutions are lost because of poor planning.
Sometimes it is just the time commitment that causes people to give up and give in to the comfort that is their couch.
However, it doesn't have to be that way. Working out doesn't have to take a huge part of the day. In fact, just focusing 10 minutes a day on fitness can make a big difference in one's overall all health.
Good Housekeeping magazine offers some good quick workouts that can be done pretty much anywhere with no special equipment:
For a firmer butt: stand in front of a chair with arms straight out in front for balance. Bending at the knees, gently lower the whole body in one smooth, slow motion until one's butt grazes the chair seat, but do not sit down. Slowly stand back up to full height.
Repeat 12 to 15 times or try to see how many can be done in 2, 5, or 10 minutes. This is a great lower body workout but is especially good for one's backside.
To increase focus and challenge leg muscles: run backwards and forward in an interval. This can easily be done indoors or on a safe outdoor path or green space.
Just run 10 steps forward, and then run 10 steps backwards. This quick workout sounds simple but it can challenge rarely used muscles and it quite literally keeps one on her toes.
To leisurely burn calories: bike. Hate to sweat? Think that a good calorie-burning routine has to involve breathless panting and a real deodorant test? Not so.
According to Good Housekeeping magazine, biking at a comfortable rate burns about 380 calories per hour. Do it 20 times out of the next 30 days to lose over two pounds!
To burn calories fast: jump rope! Channel one's inner 10 year old, buy a jump rope and go at it. Fitness Magazine says a jump rope workout can sculpt shoulders, arms, chest, and legs.
They have a very specific jump rope workout that will burn 135 calories...in only 10 minutes!
The bottom line for getting in shape is that even short workouts are better than no workouts. Getting in a few minutes of exercise each day can make those New Year's resolutions actually come true this year.
Goodhousekeeping.com. Web. 2 January 2012. "Mini-workouts". http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/fitness/mini-workouts
Fitnessmagazine.com. Web. 2 January 2012. "Express jump rope workouts". http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/arms/express/jump-rope-workouts
Reviewed January 3, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith