Wouldn’t it be great if life came with guarantees? That when we eat healthily, do 15-minute workout exercises every day and live a stressless life we would be healthy and feel great all the time?
Well, it doesn’t work that way all the time. Even when we do all of the above and follow the physical exercise guidelines, we can get ill. As I found out at the start of this new decade.
I can complain about it, which doesn’t do me any good. Or I can get angry, which helps me even less. And I can give up on my healthy lifestyle altogether. Or I can just accept it and count my blessings and decide that physical exercise is good for me, no matter what.
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Table of contents
- 1 Physical exercise guidelines
- 2 Exercise regularly
- 3 A healthy lifestyle pays off
- 4 Customize your personal workout exercise
- 5 3 Fantastic 15 Minute Workout Exercises
Physical exercise guidelines
To exercise our body, it’s best to stick to the guidelines. Alternate between moderate and intense exercise, and between stretching, strength training, balancing, aerobic and endurance training. Exercise at least 5 times a week for half an hour to an hour.
The year 2020 didn’t start exactly perfect for me. First, on January 1, I fell during our walk through the mountains. A couple of days later I was attacked by a severe kind of flu. I managed to do a Facebook Live, fully convinced my old trick was helping me, but afterwards collapsed into bed for 2 weeks.
This trick, which has helped me for years, is a mantra. It works like this: I start thinking quietly or out loud as soon as I am meeting someone who is ill: “I am healthy, I am healthy, I am healthy …”
But I guess, living a healthy lifestyle counts for something as well, don’t you think?
Rather cynically, someone remarked, “Well, so much for your healthy lifestyle”. And of course, I was disappointed, feeling miserable and cloudy. Yet, I am still optimistic. Because when I compare my life nowadays with when I was younger, back then I was ill almost all of the time.
A healthy lifestyle pays off
Let’s start with the disclaimer. Living a healthy lifestyle does not come with guarantees. A cold or the flu can be caught anytime. Or another virus as we all know too well from the present pandemic. Even big problems like cancer or dementia can happen.
That’s why we have to make sure that our healthy lifestyle is not a burden. Tom and I make sure we mainly do the things we like while in the meantime being convinced we’re on the right track.
To name a few:
- Tom works in the garden and regularly rides his race bike to boost his breath;
- I meditate and do condition, stretch, or strength training before breakfast;
- We walk almost daily in the surrounding mountains, enjoying nature;
- Our meals are 90-95% vegetarian and organic, and since Tom is an excellent cook it’s always tasty.
So if our lives won’t be as long and thriving as we anticipate, at least we had fun doing the things we love. Even our exercises are not a chore. And those are important because they contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Exercising reduces the risk of…
- Cardiovascular disease and stroke;
- Elevated blood pressure;
- Osteoporosis, arthritis, and joint pain;
- Mobility and motility issues;
- Back issues;
- Chronic pain;
- Various cancers;
By exercising we boost lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, lose weight, tone our body, and decrease the risk of injury, even when we start at age 60 or older.
Regular exercise also…
- Improves confidence;
- Life quality;
- Flexibility and motility;
- Speed, endurance, and mobility;
- Memory recall.
Customize your personal workout exercise
If you are out of the loop and haven’t been exercising regularly for quite some time, it’s important you first get the okay from your general practitioner. The last thing you want to do is start to exercise with a pre-existing condition and wind up on the sidelines with an injury when all you needed was a modified program.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your physical ability or health condition is because there’s always some sort of exercise that will benefit you. That’s something all doctors agree on because when we don’t use it, we WILL lose it. Particularly when we’re ageing.
To get started with our 3 15-minute workout exercises, you need to cater them to your personal tolerances and preferences. Choose an exercise you like. Later you can increase the duration and intensity of your exercise.
If you don’t want to go to the gym, do your exercises at home. You can also join a group that hikes or bikes. Or you test the water with an outdoor boot camp with intense interval training for all ages and abilities that is guaranteed to whip you into shape fast. You get the idea.
Set yourself up for success by making sure you are creating new habits with the support of your preferences, dislikes, and life-long experiences.
3 Fantastic 15 Minute Workout Exercises
Strength exercise and cardio blast
This is a sequence of 4 exercises that gives you a full-body workout. Keep in mind you can alternate different exercises and modify any of them if required.
The exercises are push-ups, crunches, squats, jumping jacks, marching on the spot, or jump rope; depending on your ability. Choose 4 to do for 1 minute and vary them regularly.
This sequence is done with 3x 5-minute intervals with a 1-2 minutes rest in between each interval; again, depending on your level of fitness.
Take the short break in between, just challenge yourself to get your heart rate up and breathing heavily. Be sure you sweat a lot.
Power walk and lightweights
For this 15-minute mini exercise routine, you just need your running shoes and 2 lightweights, 2 or 5-pound dumbbells work great. Don’t be embarrassed if you can only hold 1-pound dumbbells. Challenge yourself, but never force yourself.
This is an interval power walk. Change your pace and intensity every 2 minutes to pump up your heart rate and challenge your body to start burning fat.
While you are doing this, you can swing the weights up and down like in an exaggerated natural walking motion, to get the full effect. This will also strengthen your arms and shoulders, and increase your cardiovascular capacity.
Tip: if you don’t have dumbbells, 2 small water bottles, filled with water, are great to start with.
Cross-trainer and weight machines
You can also do 15-minute workout exercises at the gym. Alternate bouts of the cross trainer or stepper and the weight machines.
Start with a 5-minute warm-up exercise at a moderate pace on the cross-trainer.
Next, do a 6-minute interval, alternating 3 different weight machines. Start with the pulldown machine, then the leg press, and last the chest press. Set your weights light but at a challenging level and execute forced reps of each. Each rep takes 1 minute.
Try to do as many pulldowns, leg extensions and chess presses as you can. The more you alternate your exercises, the more you maximize the burning of calories, according to Men’s Health.
Go back to the cross-trainer, and finish up with a nice challenging 4 minutes.
Use this to help you get on track for a healthy lifestyle!
What exercises do you do? Tell us in the comment box below.