days, getting to the gym seems like more effort than actually working
out itself. But most of us can find the time to fit a 15-minute
mini-workout into our days.
"Staying active is actually the answer to a lot of peopleís
problems, and introducing daily activity can get your blood flowing,
lube your muscles and help you look at life from an active
perspective," says Anne Tremel, personal training director at
Highlander Elite Fitness.
While there is no ideal 15-minute workout, Lori Schultz, program
director at West Wood Health and Fitness Center in Pewaukee, suggests
starting with stretching and moving on to some balance work
"People donít always consider these to be important
components of a workout because their benefits arenít as apparent as
doing cardio or lifting," she says. "You donít realize how
important they are until you lose them."
She suggests stretches that target the major muscle groups, such as
"This is an important stretch: Sit in a chair, cross your leg
like a guy and lean forward," she says. "Do this on each
A good calf stretch only requires a step. With your heels hanging
off the back of the step, slowly raise them until you feel your calves
"Whatever you are stretching, you never want to stretch to the
point of pain," says Schultz. "If you feel pain, back it
off. And the longer you can comfortably hold the stretch, the more
benefit it will have."
As for balance work, Schultz says to challenge yourself
"If youíre just starting out, it might just be as simple as
walking on an imaginary line or backing up against the wall, closing
your eyes and balancing on one foot," she says.
Tremel says that a 15-minute workout should include some strength
work, such as Pilates, to target your core.
"Other good exercises that you can do at home include simple
strength work, such as lunges and squats," she says. "For
the upper body, add some wall or counter pushups, or even traditional
Another option is to allocate some time for aerobic activity. Most
homes have a built-in, free aerobic trainer: A set of stairs. Tie on
some shoes and run a few flights to get your heart working.