If you are already on a weight loss plan using something like the 500 calorie diet and you’ve started eating lower calorie meals, light exercise will complement this really well and help to make sure that you see results even faster.
A very popular type of short exercise session is the 7 minute workout. This has become popular due to a number available apps on both iOS and Android.
These apps essentially map out a few exercises for you to do over a seven minute period, and they also act as a timer for you throughout the routine, telling you when to change exercise.
There are variations of the app that allow you to choose different exercises.
As you progress over time you can continue to use the same application, but push yourself harder, doing more reps in the same amount of time. Or, depending on the exercises, it may be possible to add in resistance in the form of weights.
Many of these apps are free, with in app purchases available, or advertising, or in some cases you can upgrade to a premium version, usually at fairly low cost.
These apps have become the modern equivalent of the 80s home workout video. They are very popular and easy to use.
Building your own
But, you can also build your own workout for free.
This is a really great way of getting started with a workout that suits you, that you can build and add to over time. This is also a really good way to start if you have injuries and you are unable to do particular exercises.
It doesn’t even need to be seven minutes, you can make it as long or as short as you like.
Also if you have a particular goal in mind, you can tailor the program to reflect this. For instance you might have a preference to build up stronger muscles in your arms, so you can include exercises in your daily workout that will help you to achieve this goal.
You can pick some exercises that you like.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of high calorie burning exercises, or have a look at a sample routine.
But it really is very simple.
You could include a combination of pressups, sit ups, star jumps, plank, upright rows, side raises, squats, shoulder press…
The list is virtually endless.
If you don’t know how long to commit to, the best advice is to just start. Set aside ten minutes, pick an exercise that you think you can do for a minute and then just get started.
When the minute is up, pick another exercise and do it for another minute.
You don’t want to go crazy, pick a few exercises and after each minute is up decide whether you want to continue or not.
Keep a record of your routine and repeat it the next day.
Over time you can tweak or change the routine as you progress.
As you find yourself getting stronger and fitter you can add more difficult exercises, adding more weight, or exercise for longer.
As part of my own personal improvement plan, I add a minimum of 30 seconds to my routine each week. This is preferably a new exercise so that I’m working a different part of the body, but I’ll sometimes try a new exercise out one week by doing it for 30 seconds each day, then step it up to a full minute the next week.
Building your own workout also gives you the flexibility to structure it around one particular sport, exercise or discipline.
For example you may want to focus on a seven minute treadmill workout, where you change the incline or speed over the course of the period. If you have a compact treadmill at home, this could be something that you aim to complete every morning before a healthy breakfast.
Alternatively you could do a 7 minute balance workout using a balance board or wobble board. These types of exercises can engage your core and give you an all over body workout.
Another popular example of this is a kettlebell workout. Kettlebells are great for a wide variety of exercises, so you could focus a whole workout session around the kettlebell.
If you are already reasonably fit and are looking for a high intensity workout, you could consider the Tabata regimen. This was initially developed for Olympic speed skaters, but the method has now been adapted and applied to other circumstances.
The tabata regimen uses 20 second intervals of ultra-high intensity training, with 10 seconds of rest and repeated eight times (totalling four minutes).
If you’re looking to start adding some exercise into your lifestyle, but don’t want spend on a gym membership or home exercise equipment, this is an excellent entry point.
Build a simple routine around exercises that you are comfortable doing, and add to it over time as you become fitter, healthier and more confident.