Studies are showing that exercise is one of your greatest allies when it comes to trying to avoid being a part of the one-third of all Americans who are obese.
Not only does it help the overall physical health of people with any degree of fitness, it also has been proven to have a surprising overall effect on mental health and confidence.1,2
As this knowledge becomes more mainstream and people become more aware of the detrimental effects of obesity, the question remains: Why aren’t people getting their exercise? For some, it’s a matter of discomfort (which is a topic for another time). However, many people, especially those who have a heavy work schedule and/or who are parents, find that the issue is time. They may mean well, but when duty calls, exercise is one of the first things to fall by the wayside. Here’s a selection of 20-minute workouts designed to help with weight loss that can fit into any schedule.
1. Basic Weight Training
This may sound like a bit of a surprise to start with. Most people looking to lose weight focus on cardio, and while that is essential, going for just one type of exercise is a mistake. Weight training helps build muscle, and even at rest, muscle burns more calories than other tissues.3 A good starter weight routine would go something like this:
- Warm up by running for 5-10 minutes.
- Perform one set (30 reps) of leg presses.
- Perform one set of lying leg curls.
- Perform one set of wide-grip lat pulldowns.
- Perform one set of machine bicep curls.
- Perform one set of machine shoulder military presses.
- Perform one set on an ab crunch machine.
2. High Intensity
One reason why 20-minute workouts are so great is because it’s easier to be more intense when you’re shooting for a shorter period of time. Here is a great example of a workout you can do outdoors, and the only tool you need is a park bench or something similar. For this workout, do each of the following activities for four minutes, with a one-minute rest between each set. High intensity workouts are just that, intense. It can be beneficial to support your joints with an advanced joint health enzyme blend, like
- Run for 100 meters.
- Do 10 pushups with hands on the bench.
- Do 10 bench squats.
- Do 10 bench jump step ups.
- Do 10 superman back extensions.
3. Upper Body Building
If you’re trying to look good for the summer, you want to focus on developing your upper body. This workout is designed to do just that.
- 20 push-ups (full or on knees)
- One minute of knee-ups (quickly lifting alternating knees until your foot is knee high)
- 30 goal-post presses
- 30 jumping jacks
- 25 upper bell exercises
- 1 minute of punches
- 30 planks with crossovers (15 per side)
4. Incorporating Yoga
On the other hand, perhaps you want a more laid back approach to your workout routine. Yoga is great for helping lose weight while keeping calm. Here is a good starter workout that helps you stay flexible. Be sure to hold each pose for 30 seconds if you can, working through all 12 poses to complete the workout.
- Upward Facing Dog
- Downward Facing Dog
- Revolved Chair Variation
- Standing Half Forward Bend
- Camel Pose
- Head To Knee Forward Bend
- Extended Triangle Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Standing Back Bend
- Upward Reverse Plank Pose
- Warrior Pose
- Seated Forward Bend
5. For the Seniors
The reason why we give special attention to seniors is that, while they can benefit from a workout just like anyone else, they are more likely to have certain restrictions that keep them from being active. It’s still worth trying, though, as physical activity is important to staying independent and managing certain aging and illness symptoms.
- Warm Up: Jogging in place, punching, doing a basic squat – all of these are good ways to get started for the first four minutes or so.
- Squat Curl Knee Lift: Begin in a squat position, with your weight on your heels as you hold dumbbells. Raise your right knee as you curl the weight to your shoulders. Go back to the squat position before doing the same with your left knee. Perform 8-10 reps before resting for a minute.
- Shoulder Overhand Press: Start with your feet hip distance apart, then raise your dumbbells above your head until your arms are straight. Slowly return to your starting position. Perform 8-10 reps before resting for a minute.
- Full-Body Roll-up: Lie on a mat with arms extended overhead, legs long, and feet flexed. Curl your chin and chest forward as you roll your torso up and over your legs. Reach as far as you can before going back to starting position. 8-10 reps before resting for a minute.
It’s important to remember that there are plenty of other options out there for your workout. These are just some of the ways to get the most from a workout in a short amount of time. Ideally, you should also be looking for other fun outdoor physical activities you enjoy. There are other things you may want to do to make sure your body gets the most out of your workouts.
Supplementing Your Workout
Effective workout regimens and a proper diet are the two cornerstones of weight loss, but you can support your efforts in these areas with clever use of supplements. One such example is apple cider vinegar. Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar has helped with weight loss efforts via lowering appetite, among other benefits.4 Enzymedica’s Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules contain the sediment known as “the mother,” which is believed to be a source of many of the benefits. In addition, it avoids the taste/dental issues that can arise from drinking liquid preparations.
1. Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006;174(6):801-9.
2. Vina J, Sanchis-gomar F, Martinez-bello V, Gomez-cabrera MC. Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise. Br J Pharmacol. 2012;167(1):1-12.
3. Wang Z, Ying Z, Bosy-westphal A, et al. Specific metabolic rates of major organs and tissues across adulthood: evaluation by mechanistic model of resting energy expenditure. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92(6):1369-77.
4. Darzi J, Frost GS, Montaser R, Yap J, Robertson MD. Influence of the tolerability of vinegar as an oral source of short-chain fatty acids on appetite control and food intake. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014;38(5):675-81.