A fitness plan for people with no time

In Alberta the standard answer these days for “How are you?” seems to be something about being ‘super busy’ or another variation. As we work harder, fit in more and get busier, it becomes harder to take care of yourself.

Many people think that being fit takes hours each day and that isn’t necessarily true. There are so many things we can do that work to get you fit that can be inserted into your day without much impact. Of course, before you start this, or any other fitness program, consult with a doctor or health care professional.

Your new weekly plan:

Monday — TV cardio. Earn your TV time. I like to watch a few TV shows a week. Get a treadmill or a stationary bike and watch while you walk or ride. Zero impact to your busy schedule, huge impact on your fitness and fat burning. Thirty minutes minimum, 60 is better, and if you can get outside for a walk or bike – better still.

Tuesday — 10 minutes lower body mini strength. 1. Body weight squats. 2.

Standing toe touches (called a ‘deadlift’, and it doesn’t matter if you can touch your toes or not, just fold at the hips and go as low as you can while your back remains flat). 3. Jumping jacks. 4. Door frame jump touches (standing on the balls of your feet in a doorway, jump up and touch the door frame or wall above it with your fingertips, as many times as you can). 5. Butt kickers (standing and ‘jog’ on the spot, having your heels come up to your butt rapidly).

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds to a minute. At 30 seconds each, you can do four rounds. At a minute per exercise, you can do two rounds.

Wednesday — TV cardio. Thirty minutes minimum, 60 is better.

Thursday — 10 minute upper body mini strength. 1: Push-ups (use the edge of the bed, the arms of a chair or the floor. Can be from your knees or your toes). 2. Dips (sit in a chair that has arms: push yourself up and sit back down using your arms only). 3. Pick and press (with both hands on a big book, or large drink bottle, pick the weight up to chin height, then press to the ceiling and back down). 4. Milk jug rows (fold at the waist and raise two milk jugs or drink containers up and down in a rowing motion). 5. Burpees (from standing, squat down and place your hands on the ground, kick your feet out behind you until you are in a straight arm push up position, then tuck your feet back in and stand back up in a little jump – with arms high – that’s one). Again, perform each exercise for 30 seconds to a minute, starting at one to five. At 30 seconds each, you can do four rounds. At a minute per exercise, you can do two rounds.

Friday — Recovery day. Rest, get a massage, enjoy.

Saturday — 10 minute core strength. 1. Crunches. 2. Supermans (lying on your tummy, raise your opposite hand/foot in the air, hold five seconds, then switch, hold, then raise both arms and legs and hold. Repeat). 3. Plank (in a push-up like position, but on your elbows and toes – just hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure your bum is a little higher than your ankles and shoulders). 4. Dry swim (again, on your tummy alternate arm and leg raises quickly, like a fast superman). 5. Bicycles (on your back – knees bent, and feet up off the floor, hands on your ears.

Twist your upper body so that your right elbow touches your left knee, then switch. Left elbow, right knee. Repeat quickly for the entire time).

Once again, perform each exercise for 30 seconds to a minute. At 30 seconds each, you can do four rounds. At a minute per exercise, you can do two rounds.

Sunday — TV cardio. Walk or bike ride while watching TV or even better. Anything outside – go for an hour? Longer?

That’s it! This plan required an investment of just 30 minutes a week, plus a powerful shift in time you were already spending. That’s all it takes to get results and get started.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

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