15-minute workout

In an in-flight magazine I read a few months ago I read about a 15-minute corporate fitness program. It doesn’t require you to change out of your regular clothes, yet it still helps people get into better shape and to lose weight.

Here are the four parts of the workout:

1. 10 minutes of aerobic activity.

2. 1 minute of abdominal exercises.

3. 3 minutes of strength building exercises.

4. 1 minute of stretching.

A few years ago Levi and I got a gym membership and went regularly for the first few months. Then, I stopped going (but of course continued paying). There are several reasons for why I stopped, but this 15-minute workout squelches nearly all of them.

I’m going to try it.


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  1. Despite the major interrumptions caused by travel, I think I’ve been fairly diligent at hitting the gym. It’s definitely been a good thing.

    Comment by Cameron on June 21, 2004 @ 4:18 pm
  2. That’s impressive. I hope you are able to continue doing it, because when I finally get around to exercising or doing strenuous work, my muscles are often sore the next day.

    Comment by dan on June 21, 2004 @ 6:00 pm
  3. Hello Dan, thought I would return the visit.

    Good luck on the 15 minute workout.

    My workout consists of running up and down my stairs all day and picking up my boys.

    Comment by Babs on June 21, 2004 @ 7:02 pm
  4. I’ve been doing 30 minutes of yoga every morning, and that’s great at keeping me flexible, but it doesn’t do a thing for the cardiovascular system (or for weight loss, for that matter). And I do ride a stationary bike half of the time I watch TV, but that isn’t regular. This seems like a good thing to alternate with the yoga in the mornings. I think I’ll try this for a while before I pay for gym membership, which is what I’d planned on doing.

    Comment by Jan on June 22, 2004 @ 6:15 am
  5. Dan, I don’t think you should try and lose weight while your wife is gaining weight due to pregnancy. Hasn’t she already passed you in weight? I think you should grow w/ her.

    Comment by katie on June 22, 2004 @ 9:01 am
  6. Very funny.

    I’m not concerned about the weight, I’m more concerned about staying in shape and lowering my blood pressure.

    Comment by dan on June 22, 2004 @ 9:13 am
  7. Although the 15 minute workout is certainly better than nothing, most of what I’ve read about cardiovascular exercise says that you’ve got to do it for at least 30 minutes to get much improvement. If you can get into the habit of doing the 15 minute workout regularly, though, at least you’ll be in a good position to turn it into a real workout sometime. ;)

    Comment by Levi on June 22, 2004 @ 10:54 am
  8. I’ve heard similar claims but that doesn’t make them correct. It also depends on what you mean by improvement. One lady used this program to lose 40 pounds, which qualifies as significant improvement in my book.

    Comment by dan on June 22, 2004 @ 1:27 pm
  9. Losing fat is not the same as strengthening your heart. Plus, 10 minutes of very brisk walking (4.5mph) will (for a 150 lb person) burn about 60 calories. That’s only about 44 more than sleeping, or 28 more than sitting at a desk typing for that same 10 minutes. Those 60 calories are only 3/4 of the calories in one of those little 5.5oz cans of apple juice.

    What it does to your heart rate probably depends on what your condition is at when you start, but I don’t imagine it’s much. Elevating your heart rate significantly for an extended period of time is really the only way to train your heart.

    Anyway, I’m sure that the 15 minute plan is better than nothing, but I wouldn’t expect anything dramatic from it. Good luck!

    Comment by Levi on June 22, 2004 @ 2:14 pm
  10. I just found an article at the Washington Post about the workout, and it’s funny you mentioned not getting dramatic results. He says:

    On a daily basis I get to see dramatic results and be a part of people changing their lives. Instead of working with 45 conditioned athletes for a season, I get to help thousands of people of all different physical types.

    15 minutes every day is far better than 30 minutes a day for a week, then going back to your old habits, which is what usually happens. It doesn’t help if you don’t keep at it, which leads to another relevant quote:

    Ironically, for some recruits Bradley has to lobby against overcommitment, which inevitably leads to burnout. “The most important aspect of an exercise session is completing it,” he says. “A lot of very motivated people get put on programs to exercise for 45 minutes a day, but soon they find they can’t break away for that long, that often. If they can work out for shorter periods more consistently, people get a great sense of accomplishment, and the next thing you know, they are watching their diets more carefully and picking up even more physical activity.”

    Bradley has witnessed some stunning and gratifying results. “I have a file full of letters from DOT employees – they are my little victories. We’ve helped people uncover medical situations like cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure during their initial evaluations. We’ve helped people get off diabetes medications and stay well simply through exercise.”

    I agree it would be great if everyone excercised 30 minutes a day, every day but that’s just not reality, and like he said, once people start seeing results, they’re more encouraged to eat better and will be more likely to participate in other forms of exercise.

    Comment by dan on June 22, 2004 @ 3:02 pm

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