The Exact Amount Of Exercise You Need To Stay Fit And Healthy
Exercise avoidant? Then here’s a story that will cheer you up.
Here’s the stone, cold truth – the amount of exercise you need to stay fit and healthy is going to blow your mind. We swear it.
Hazard a guess. Go on. Dare you. How much exercise is needed to stay in good nick? An hour a day? Half an hour? Um … no. As it turns out, the exact amount of workout time you need to reduce your chances of heart disease, diabetes and several forms of cancers is just three minutes a day. No joke.
That’s about the same amount of time it takes for me to walk from the front door to the kitchen and back, which means I officially have no excuses – and you neither.
A little background for you … Yes, the World Health Organisation recommends we exercise for roughly 150 minutes at moderate-intensity every week. Alternatively, you can opt for 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, says the WHO.
Those minutes can be spent doing anything you fancy. And if you’re wondering what moderate intensity looks like it’s a workout that allows you to chat but not belt out a tune. Vigorous intensity exercise will see you breathing hard – able to say a few words here and there, but no more.
But, and this is a big but, if you do it right, you can carve your workout back to just three minutes day and still gain ALL of the benefits. And this is how. You basically invest that amount of time working very, very hard. The bad news – it’s going to hurt. The good news – once it’s done – it’s done. And you’ll be left with 23 hours and 57 minutes in the day.
Try the following today (and tomorrow, the day after that and so on).
For the first 60 seconds do this:
Squat for 15 seconds. Go as low as possible and take care not to lock your knees when you stand. I find it helps to place my hands in the prayer position when I’m standing and clap my hands behind my back when I’m in a full squat. This ensures I’m doing the move at full capacity. No cheating allowed!
Next up: 15 seconds of pushups. Start doing these on your knees if you’re new to the move and build-up to full military style. Keep trying, you will get there, says trainer and model Lauren Vickers.
Following 15 seconds: bicep curls. Use a weight that you can lift with good form but only just. You want to make it count, adds trainer and model Laura Henshaw.
Next 15 seconds smash out some high knees. That’s basically jogging on the spot but bringing your knees up as high as possible. Yes it burns but it will be worth it.
Second minute: Yes already!
First, try 30 seconds of full squats. Follow these with a full 30 seconds of push-ups. Focus on your form says trainer and lifestyle expert Jenny Dinh. Think of the results. (Need inspiration – check out Jenny below.)
Third and final minute:
Time for 30 seconds of lunges alternating both left and right legs. NB: Keep your back straight and don’t let your knee shoot out over your toe.
Next, 30 seconds of high knees. This time though, pull your abdominals in tight and hold.
Finally – lay on the floor and high five the cat. You did it!