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Can a 5 minute work out really make a difference?



Some days it feels like there isn’t even time to finish a brew, let alone get out for a run or go to class. There’s always something that needs doing, or someone that requires your attention (“Mummy, why is my ice cream in your shoe? Mummy why did you turn on the washing machine? My Lego people were playing in there…”)

If days and weeks then pass, we can begin to feel guilty that we’ve done so little and its almost harder to start, or harder to get back to any kind of routine which involves moving our body and caring for ourselves.

But what if we gave ourselves a break and a clean sheet. And beginning tomorrow, all we needed to find was 5 mins? And that 5 minutes could be between your work calls, or at little one’s nap time/while CBeebies does some babysitting?

Or just tack your 5 minutes onto an existing part of your day, such as before you take a shower, or while dinner’s cooking (we’ve all got to eat!) and see if it’s easier to squeeze it in that way.

What to do?

So you’ve found the time, here’s the plan - 5 minutes, 5 moves.

Forget hunting out your leggings if that’s going to add more time. All you need is a little bit of space around you, be it in the kitchen, the living room, wherever you happen to be, and perhaps a timer up on your phone. Or just count!

1. Squats (45 seconds)

Rest (15 seconds)

2. Forward lunges (45 seconds)

Rest (15 seconds)

3. Jumping Jacks (45 seconds)

Rest (15 seconds)

4. Plank / modified plank on your knees (45 seconds)

Rest (15 seconds)

5. Push ups / modified push ups on your knees – just as many as you can until fatigue

Done! And then you can get on with the rest of your day.

Try it again the next day, and the one after, still making no commitment beyond the 5 minutes. Drop in some new moves when you’re ready to mix it up, but the key is to keep it simple at first and easy to follow.

After a couple of weeks, you can build it up to perhaps 10 minutes, 15 and so on. This is far easier than going from zero movement to suddenly carving out 30 minutes a day, every other day.

And the goal isn’t only about the build-up. From just 5 minutes you are going to see benefits – to your mood, your energy, your metabolism, and also your strength. You will also build confidence in and connection with your body and see what is possible.

Specific training goals will obviously require more than this level of time commitment. And if you’re seriously looking at taking up something new or a complete overhaul to your fitness then great! While you get scheming on that, remember this 5-minute habit is only going to help you towards it.

But if you’re really concerned it’s been a while, or you just don’t know where to start. Start here. Just 5 minutes.

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