but the tiniest sliver of your favorite pie left, would you
eat it or gripe that you wanted the whole pie? Would you stay
indoors on the one sunny day of your weeklong beach vacation,
lamenting that the other six were rained out?
course not. Snippets matter, be they of pie or of days or,
when it comes to working out, of minutes. In other words, the
"not enough time" excuse doesn’t cut it. Try a
minute every hour of push-ups off the countertop, or squats
while your coffee reheats, and just see how that energizes
want to show people exercise is not as disruptive as we’re
made to believe, where you drive to the gym, spend an hour
there, shower, drive home," says Brett Klika, a
California personal trainer and author of "7 Minutes to
Fit" (Chronicle, $14.95). "Just drop your stuff and
in a couple of minutes, you’ve changed your physiological
that encouragement in mind, we offer these ways to make the
most of one-, five-, seven- and 10-minute chunks of time.
expert: Brother ChiSing (a.k.a. Norman Eng), spiritual
director of the Dallas Meditation Center.
physical exercise, meditating for 20 minutes is better than
one, but even those 60 seconds can be helpful, he says.
it work: Take a minute when you wake up to be still and
visualize the best outcome for your day, he says. Or take
three slow, deep breaths, then spend the rest of the minute
focusing on and enjoying your own way of breathing. Or walk
for a minute, he says.
body feels weak sometimes," says ChiSing, who is
undergoing treatment for cancer, "but to do a one-minute
walk up and down the stairs makes such a difference for me.
minute will open the door to your heart wanting more," he
says. "I believe in the power of one-minute meditation
and one-minute exercise."
expert: Tara Kristof, Dallas yoga instructor.
are a couple of ways to go," says Kristof. "Sun
salutations, floor stretches. Sometimes that’s all I have
time for during the day. The whole body is moving, the heart
rate is up."
it work: To do a sun salutation, check out
for more detail than we can give here. For the floor stretch
(or supta padangusthasana, if you want to get technical),
start by lying on the floor or on your bed with your legs
your left leg on the floor, hug your right knee into your
chest. Then wrap a strap, rope or rolled-up towel around the
ball of your right foot. Hold on to each end of the strap with
one or both hands while you extend your leg, raising it into
the air. Stretch the leg for several breaths, moving toward as
straight a leg as possible.
strap into your right hand while you open your leg out to the
right. Keep the left leg firmly on the floor or bed while you
take several deep breaths through your nose. Raise your right
leg and move the strap to your left hand. Guide it across your
body, holding the stretch for several breaths.
with your right leg across your body to the left, extend your
right arm to the right while you turn your chest and your gaze
to the right. Voilà: a spinal twist.
on the left side, making sure to breathe deeply in and out the
nose. That creates in the body a response of calming the
nervous system, she says.
can wake you up more, balance you out because you’re getting
more oxygen," Kristof says. "It’s definitely
better than not doing anything at all. It’s getting energy
moving through your body."
expert: Brett Klika, author of "7 Minutes to Fit."
420 seconds are near and dear to the heart of Klika. He
co-wrote and published the research behind Johnson &
Johnson’s time-crunch workout — which, thanks to The New
York Times, most people now know as the 7-Minute Scientific
nothing magic about the number seven, he says; it came about
simply from a dozen exercises done for 30 seconds each, with
10 seconds rest between each. But he says, "When you look
at creating physiological change, of improving your mood, you
can change your biochemistry with movement."
it work: His book features 50 workouts consisting of 10
exercises each. Pick one and do each segment as vigorously as
you can for 30 seconds. Rest 10 seconds between each. If you
can do two or three back-to-back, great. Or do one in the
morning and one at night. Or just do one; it will make a
biochemistry would change for the better," he says.
"You’d experience an enhanced mood and decrease your
likeliness of depression. You’d improve flexibility. Seven
minutes is so accessible, you can do it every day."
has divided the workouts into full-body, upper-body,
lower-body and abdominal, but each set works the entire body,
he says. Here’s a sampling from the Upper-Body Workouts
section. It may look like a lot, but the time really will go
sprints (a.k.a. high-knee running in place)
dips and reach
expert: Ellen Cardona, a Dallas-area personal trainer.
you can put in 10 minutes and make your 10-minute workout
intense and using all your body, this is a great
workout," she says. "Your body’s a great machine
and is meant to be used."
it work: If you don’t have a 10-minute chunk of time, do
half of this now and half later, she says. "The more
intensity the better."
of a description of each part of the workout, go to
healthblog.dallasnews.com; to watch each in action, go to
warmup, pretend to jump rope to the count of 60. Then run in
place, lifting knees high, for another minute.
legs, do 10 full-body squats, lowering to the count of three,
holding for two, pushing up and immediately lowering again.
Move on to forward lunges, five per leg, and curtsy lunges;
again, five on each side.
speed and power, do 10 burpees and 10 mountain climbers. For
core, do a plank for one minute or divide it into 20- or
30-second segments. For abs, do 10 leg lifts, followed by 10
repeats of "walking up the leg."
down, stand up, lift your arms high above your head. Bend your
torso until your hands brush the ground. Slowly rise, one
vertebrae at a time.