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7-Minute Metabolism Boosting Morning Workout For Men

As you probably already know, as you get older, your metabolism drops. What better way to start the morning, than with a quick metabolism boosting workout to get you going?

This great morning workout is timed, so it can only take 7-minutes, as you’ll see below. It’s not one of those ‘7-minute workouts’ that actually takes you 20-minutes to complete.

All you need to do is stick to the timings we’ve scheduled for you below and you’ll knock through this before you’re even properly awake.

Getting your body moving first thing in the morning isn’t only beneficial for boosting your metabolism, but also for getting your lymphatic system working properly (which helps flush toxins from your body) and also waking up your digestive tract.

The Basis Of This Workout – The Tabata Protocol:

Although this is not a strict version of the Tabata workout, it’s an improvised one to limit the time it takes to complete. This will allow you to fit it in first thing in the morning.

The full Tabata method is made up of 4 exercises, but they are performed for 8 rounds, with 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

The workout I have for you below is 4 exercises performed for 4 rounds in a 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off format.

Tabata is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and was researched by Dr. Izumi Tabata back in 1996.

The scientific backing of its efficiency is extremely sound.

Your 7-Minute Morning Workout:

Tabata style – 10 secs on, 10 secs off. 4 rounds, 4 exercises. 30 secs rest between exercises.

  • Push-ups – 80 secs + 30 secs rest
  • Air squats – 80 secs + 30 secs rest
  • Burpees – 80 secs + 30 secs rest
  • Mountain climbers – 80 secs

The first few times you do this workout, do not go all out. Get a feel for how the workout feels and for the form of each exercise.

As you progress, you can push yourself to complete more repetitions of each exercise within the 10-second limit.

Once you have the exercises above nailed down and fancy a change, you can choose different exercises to do. You can do literally any exercise you want!

The Benefits Of This Morning Workout:

This workout will definitely get your heart pumping and a bit of a sweat on.

Tabata has been proven to increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

It’s perfect to get your blood flowing and to increase your metabolism.

In fact, this type of training will give you what is known as the ‘after burn’ effect, which increases your metabolic rate for hours after the workout.

Spend 3 minutes stretching after and you’ve had a great workout in just 10 minutes.

Use this if you’re struggling to find the time to train, or suspect you won’t get a full workout in today.

I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Your new friend & health coach,

Stuart Carter
Head Training Staff, The Fit Father Project
Brotherhood Nickname: “The Fit Brit”
Bragging Rights: 16 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide’, Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

If you’re interested in a proven and completely laid out “done-for-you” weight loss meal plan & workout routine – designed for you as a busy man…

I’d recommend you read the program overview letter for our Fit Father 30-Day Program (FF30X). Inside FF30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Father Meal Plan
  • The metabolism boosting Fit Father 30X Workout (under 90 min/week)
  • VIP email coaching where I’ll personally walk you through the program

Read the FF30X Program overview letter here to see how our plan can help you lose weight – without the complication & restriction of normal diets.

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on your morning workout.

When we heard that drinking water in the morning could boost your metabolism, we went to the experts to find out if this was true. Turns out it isn’t true, due to the low thermic effect of water. So, naturally, when we heard that exercising first thing in the morning could boost your metabolism, we did what we do best: consulted an expert. To find out if this is just another metabolism-boosting myth, POPSUGAR spoke to Avigdor Arad, PhD, RDN, CDE, director of the Mount Sinai PhysioLab.

What Is Metabolism?

As a refresher, your metabolism is a complex process that relates to how your body processes energy from proteins, fats, and sugars/carbohydrates and how it stores that energy. When you hear people talking about having a slow or fast metabolism, they simply mean their metabolic rate — the amount of calories their body burns in a day.

Does the Time of Day You Work Out Boost Your Metabolism?

“If you’re working out, it’s going to increase your metabolism, meaning you’re going to be burning more calories when you’re working out and you’re going to be burning more calories after the workout,” Dr. Arad told POPSUGAR.

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Doing styles of training that require more energy — such as sprinting, HIIT workouts, and weightlifting — will help you burn more fat and calories. But as far as your metabolism is concerned, working out in the morning has no effect on your metabolic rate.

Post-workout, your body will increase oxygen consumption, and as a result, it’s going to increase your metabolism — the amount of energy you produce. “It’s important to know that the time of the exercise is not necessarily making the difference. If you exercise in the morning, if you exercise in the afternoon, if you exercise at night, it has a very similar effect,” he explained.

But What About the Afterburn Effect?

Although exercise can boost your metabolism, one thing Dr. Arad made clear was: “People are burning much less energy after exercise than they think.” People speculate that the afterburn effect, aka EPOC (excess postexercise oxygen consumption), lasts for up to 72 hours after exercising, but according to Dr. Arad, “That doesn’t seem to be the case.” As we stated earlier, you do burn more energy with exercise, but “most of the energy that you burn is during the exercise.”

Because you don’t burn that much after working out, Dr. Arad said, you “really should focus on the exercise and do an activity that really helps burn a significant amount of calories and a significant amount of fats.” You may be wondering what the best workout for burning fat is, and the answer is . . . it depends. Yes, we know this is anticlimactic, but it’s the truth. Everyone has a unique genetic makeup that will respond differently to workouts like HIIT and steady-state cardio.

If you are strength training, begin to incorporate compound exercises into your workouts, as they work larger groups of muscle, eliciting a greater energy expenditure, and burn more fat and calories. If you’re not sure where to begin, try this four-week strength-training workout plan.

Image Source: Getty / mapodile

Your metabolism seems simple enough: It regulates the rate at which your body converts food into energy. But, of course, it’s actually not that simple. While an increased metabolism does lead to weight loss, some people naturally have a faster metabolism than others. Your base metabolic rate—the number of calories you’d burn even if you were to rest all day—differs from person to person, depending on things like your weight and bone density.

Still, there are some clever hacks to help rev your metabolism, and get fitter, faster. One fool-proof method, according to Hannah Eden, CrossFit trainer and creator of the 28-Day Fat Torch guide: Combine cardio exercises with strength building ones. That’s because not only does exercising help burn calories on the spot, but the more muscle you have, the more your body melts fat at rest. Score! (You can find more great fitness tips and exercises in her 28-Day Fat Torch guide.)

Here, Hannah has clued us in to some specific exercises that really kick your metabolism into high-gear and torch calories, inspired by her 28-Day Fat Torch series. Work these moves into your usual fitness routine, and your body will start to shred calories, fast.

Sprinter Burpees

“These metabolic blasters will sky rocket your heart rate and attack every muscle in your body,” Eden says.

How to: Place both hands on the floor, kick your feet back behind you, and slowly bring your chest down to the ground. Then jump your feet forward and land them on the outside of your hands, flat on the floor. Once your feet are in position, use your arms and legs to aggressively jump into a sprinters position in the air. Try and kick your front knee in toward your face and kick your butt with your back heel. Every time you hit your sprinters jump, alternate the leg that is in front.

Related: ‘I Did The “Death By Burpee” Challenge Every Day For 2 Weeks—Here’s What Happened’

Dumbbell Crushers

Muscles use more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have on your body, the faster your metabolism works, says Eden. Time to get lifting!

How to: First, grab a pair of dumbbells. Start with your feet between hip to shoulder-width apart. Then, holding both dumbbells at your sides, start with a dumbbell squat. Once you are in the base of your active squat, do one biceps curl. As you stand up, thrust your hips forward and press the dumbbell overhead into a shoulder press. Once your arms are extended above your head, bring your dumbbells together and hit one triceps extension. Keep those elbows tucked in. Always focus on engaging your core and controlling the movement. That is one rep. Lower your dumbbells and start again.

Fire-Feet Drill

“This cardio-blasting movement will get your heart pumping in no time. When your heart rate is elevated it pumps nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, which is what your muscles need to make a change,” says Eden.

How to: Start with your feet wider than your shoulders, with a slight bend in your knees and your hips behind you. On the balls of your feet, run in place as fast as you can, like the floor is hot. Every 10 seconds do either a tuck jump (advanced) or jump squat (beginner) as high as you can and get right back to your fire feet again.

Running Lunges

“A running lunge is a quad-burning cardio blaster to test your pain threshold,” Eden says. “If you can manage to stick it out for an extended amount of time, you will cause your muscles to stay under tension, which is a great way to get you sweating and your muscles crying.”

How to: Start in the base of your lunge, right foot in front, left knee on the floor behind you. You should have a 90-degree angle between the back of your knee and the front of your hip. Your front knee should be directly on top of your ankle and your back knee should be under your hip. Aggressively drive your back knee up into a high-knee position and hop your right foot off the floor at the same time. Return to your starting position and continue. If the jump is too much, eliminate the jump and step up instead.

Kick leg day up a notch with these 20 lunge variations:

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Jumping Knee Up-Downs

“This bodyweight blaster will speed up your metabolism and blast calories. It is convenient since you only need your body and a good attitude,” Eden says.

How to: Start in the base of your squat and step back into a reverse lunge, lowering your knee to the floor. Then lower your other knee to the floor. Step your feet back up, one at a time. Then, add an explosive jump and get right back down to the base of your squat. Down, down, up, up, pump!

Mountain Climbers

“Mountain climbers—if executed correctly—are a fantastic full-body, high-intensity exercise. The more muscles you utilize in your workouts, the faster you will boost your metabolism,” Eden says.

How to: Start in your pushup-plank position. Place your hands on the floor, stacked directly under your shoulders. Keep your hips parallel to the ground and feet back and together. Aggressively run your knees to your chest, alternating legs every rep. Make sure you keep your shoulders over your wrists and don’t let your hips raise.

Related: These 4 Little Shifts Will Help You Change Your Body In Just 28 Days

Bear-Crawl Shoulder Taps

“The key behind boosting your metabolism is to find an exercise that uses a large percentage of your muscle groups,” Eden says. “This one most definitely does.”

How to: Start in a table-top position—wrists, elbows, and shoulders stacked on top of each other, knees on the ground. With your knees directly under your hips, lift your knees off the ground by leaning on the balls of your feet. Your shins should be parallel to the ground and no more than two inches off the floor. Once you have a solid base, touch one hand to your opposite shoulder. Try your best to squeeze your core so that your hips don’t swing from side to side. Engage your muscles and control the movement.

This total-body circuit is based on the time-efficient, practical workouts you’ll find inside Women’s Health’s new book The Fitness Fix, by fitness director Jen Ator. It’s designed specifically for those days when you’re short on time. Or tired. Or just unmotivated. You can use it as a solid filler routine to help maintain consistency when your schedule is hectic—or as a back-pocket workout for when you get to the gym with no plan and need something effective and easy to remember.

Starting with the first move, complete as many reps as you can in 50 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Not pressed for minutes and up for a challenge? Turn it into a full-length workout simply by repeating three to five times, resting 60 seconds between circuits.

Weighted Glute Bridge

Mitch Mandel

Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and heels on the floor; place a dumbbell across your body, just below your hip bones, and hold it with both hands (a). Tighten your core, contract your glutes and hamstrings, and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees (b). Lower to return to start. That’s one rep.

RELATED: 7 Simple Exercises That Show Results After One Workout

Alternating Reverse Lunge to Overhead Press

Mitch Mandel

Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing in, then step your right foot back and lower until both knees are bent 90 degrees (a). Reverse the movement to return to standing while simultaneously pressing the dumbbells overhead until your arms are straight (b). That’s one rep. Repeat on the other side; continue alternating. (For more moves that will help you get fit fast, check out Women’s Health’s Fitness Fix!)

Squat Press

Mitch Mandel

Hold a dumbbell vertically with both hands close to your chest; standing with feet hip-width apart, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat (a). Holding that position, brace your core, then extend your arms straight out in front of you (b). Pause, then bend your elbows to bring the weight back to your chest. That’s one rep.

Looking for more amazing moves? Here’s how you can get super-toned with a kettle ball:

Dumbbell Row

Mitch Mandel

Hold a pair dumbbells, palms facing forward, and stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent; bend forward from your hips, arms extended (a). Bracing your core, squeeze your shoulder blades together to pull the weights up to your chest (b). Lower back to start. That’s one rep. (Let your workouts be a CELEBRATION of YOU, not a punishment for what you ate with The Women’s Health Fitness Fix!)

Plank Jack

Mitch Mandel

Get into a pushup position, feet hip-width apart and hands about shoulder-width apart (a). Keeping your core tight, jump both feet a few inches farther apart (b), pause, and then jump your feet back together to return to start. That’s one rep.

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Women’s Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!

Adrian Peter Schmidt was born in the Alsace-Lorraine region of what is now France in 1872. His genetics and circumstances did not point to a future career as a professional fitness trainer and strongman; he stood only 5’2″, and after contracting typhoid at age 15, his body was left frail and thin.

Schmidt turned his focus to less physical pursuits, like developing his talent for drawing and painting. But while studying and capturing the male physiques of ancient Greek and Italian statues in his art classes, he felt inspired to see how much he could strengthen his own body. He read all the information on physical culture available and embarked on his own workout program, which included a wide variety of methods from dumbbells to bodyweight exercises. Though his build would remain slight his whole life — his weight hovered around 126 lbs — through disciplined workouts he was able to put on ample muscle and build a surprising amount of strength.

Schmidt could bent press 203 lbs (an impressive feat even today). And he could perform a one-arm pull-up by pinch gripping the bottom link of a hanging chain, and even holding the link with only his index finger. He could do as many as ten of these one-fingered pull-ups at a time, and could still perform this feat when he was 68 years old.

After transforming his physique, Schmidt emigrated to New York City where he opened his own gym and soon had a large, enthusiastic clientele. Like many of the strongmen at the time, he produced articles and books on physical culture and his specific training recommendations. Unlike others on the strength scene, however, he was not only a fitness enthusiast, but also a trained artist, and his books are unique in their inclusion of handsomely done illustrations.

Below we feature one of his books, Illustrated Hints for Health and Strength for Busy People, which was published in 1901. The cool illustrations alone make its reproduction worthwhile, but his exercise recommendations are pretty interesting in and of themselves. A lot of them are delightfully wacky, and while we can’t guarantee their health benefits, it’s hard to argue with the fact they seemed to work quite well for Schmidt. Here he is at age 56:

Not too shabby indeed.

I gave this routine a try myself and got a real kick out of it. Some of it was more challenging than I thought it would be! It’s not so much a strength building workout, as something to get the blood pumping and make you feel invigorated in the morning. Gets you feeling loose and limber and will definitely fill you with vim and vitality as you begin the day. As a gentleman, I cannot comment in this forum as to its effect on my constipation.

Give it a whirl yourself!

Note: The text below is directly from Schmidt’s book, with a few edits and minus the preface.

Bio source: “A Triumph for Physical Culture” by Ron Tyrrell.

________________

A Few Suggestions as to Physical Culture for Busy People

We are living in times that demand more and more of our brains and muscles, of our nerves and physical energy. Only those who are strong, and know how to keep so, can stand the wear and tear. It pays to stop once in a while to look over our machinery and oil the parts that need it.

A due proportion of exercise is essential to the perfect working of the functions of the physical and mental man. Good judgment, quick thought, self-control and willpower — so necessary in these busy days — cannot be retained for any length of time by anyone who does not pay proper attention to his physical condition; deplorable results will follow, either because of erroneous notions or sheer carelessness.

Proper exercise causes the blood to circulate throughout the entire body nourishing all its parts; from the lack of exercise the body is unable to maintain its vigor, and the mind, whose health is dependent upon that of the body, is soon reduced to a condition of languor. So many have written on the importance of physical exercise, that it would be unprofitable to reiterate statements that everybody has read over and over again and the truth of which all are willing to concede. My purpose is a very practical one — to suggest a simple plan for exercise in the morning, which will take only ten or fifteen minutes, but whose practical and beneficial results have been demonstrated in my experience as an advisor and instructor in physical culture. The exercises do not require any apparatus and can be taken in a room large enough for you to turn around in with outstretched arms. Of course good ventilation is essential.

If you practice these exercises intelligently and persistently they will put you in a condition to go through your daily work with ease and pleasure.

To Stimulate Energy

Here is a simple and rather ingenious plan to stimulate energy in a mild way on mornings when you do not feel inclined to exert your strength. Take in each hand a corner of an ordinary sheet of newspaper (any kind of soft paper will do) and crumple it up until the four corners are brought into the palms of your hands, forming paper balls. Avoid assisting in the process by pressing the hands against the body. The result is surprising. Every muscle will be brought into sympathy with the muscles of the forearm in the effort to secure the last corner (to completely hide the sheets in your hands). Your nervous force and blood circulation are thus pleasantly stimulated.

Practice this from one to two minutes, beginning slowly and gradually increasing in speed.

For a Powerful Grip

Using these paper balls in the same manner as a grip-machine, by grasping them as tightly as you can and then releasing the grip without opening the fingers entirely, repeating this about seventy-five times a minute, will insure a powerful grip. Simple as this paper grip-machine seems, it is superior in many ways to any manufactured device. The writer has carried one in his coat pocket in cold weather to keep his hands warm by exercise and has repeatedly illustrated the strength of his fingers by tearing a corner off a full deck of cards, lifting with one finger a good-sized man by the belt, etc., feats that anyone can perform after persistent exercise.

For Strong Shoulders

Very effective exercise for the muscles of the neck, the upper trapezius muscles that cover most of the upper part of the back and deltoids or shoulder muscles. Stand erect in a comfortable, natural position, bringing the outstretched arms sideways, with fists clinched, knuckles upward, elbows straight on a horizontal line with the shoulders. Compare your position in a mirror with illustration. (You can use paper balls for the convenience of having something to steady your fingers.) Rotate arms, making fists travel in circles of about seven to ten inches in diameter, spending most of the energy on the half circle marked with X on the dotted line.

Arms the same as in Plate III, trunk inclined forward, knuckles downward. For convenience bring one leg forward, bending the knee as much as is comfortable. Reverse the rotation of your arms. This exercise develops that part of the shoulder muscles, the absence of which your tailor supplies by padding your coat. Begin the rotations slowly, laying stress on reaching as far sideways as possible, then gradually increase the speed. Continue the rotations for one minute in each position (III and IV) from forty to one hundred times, according to your strength. After this exercise the shoulders will require a rest.

For Strong Ankles

To stimulate the circulation in the lower extremities and develop the strength of their muscles. Standing erect and without bending at the hips, raise heels and toes alternately from thirty to sixty times according to your strength and the time at your disposal. One minute will be sufficient. Illustrations A, B, C and D show the various feet positions in which this exercise may be taken so as to bring into play the different calf muscles. It is advisable to take from eight to fifteen exercises in each position. This exercise should be taken barefooted or in stockings on a soft rug. Raise as high as you can, avoiding dropping the heels suddenly. If you have difficulty in keeping your balance, steady yourself by holding on to the back of a chair or to a door-knob.

Avoid going to extremes at first, as the calf muscles are liable to become painfully sore the next day.

To Produce Good Circulation

After previous exercise with the weight of your body alternately on the heels and toes, the accumulation of venous blood gives rise to a tired sensation in the leg muscles. To remove this temporary congestion immediately, lift the right foot off the floor, bending the knee, supporting the weight of the limb as shown in illustration IV. Move feet from ankles a few turns to the right and a few to the left; then up and down. Do the same with the left foot. If your time is limited operate both feet at the same time, sitting on a chair, bed or lounge. An elaborate explanation of the physiological effects of this exercise would take too much space and be of little service to the busy reader. I can earnestly recommend it for cold feet, stiff ankles and toe joints, headaches resulting from various causes, catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nostrils, etc. Provided you don’t wear tight shoes this exercise V and VI can be practiced at any time with good results.

For Strong Lungs and Chest

To cleanse the lungs of all impurities that may have accumulated during the night and increase the blood circulation: Take two or three deep breaths, entirely emptying lungs, and then filling them to their fullest capacity. Standing erect, reach upward keeping elbows and knees straight, fists clinched or fingers out — stretched as you please, and feet comfortably apart, say about the width of your shoulders. Bring the body from position A to position B repeatedly in a rather slow rhythm. Lift chin up when in erect position A (avoid leaning backward), inhale slowly through the nose until the lungs are completely filled, elevate the shoulders as high as you can and draw the abdominal walls inward: then release abdominal walls and bring the body into position B exhaling through the nose or mouth as you please, bending the knees, bringing the armpits close to the knees or touching them if you are able to do so, attempting to touch the floor with the hands about sixteen or eighteen inches from the feet.

Repeat about fifteen times which will require about one minute.

Abdominal Exercise

To stimulate circulation in the abdominal cavity and invigorate the muscles surrounding and enfolding the assimilative and vital organs, which by reflex action of the muscles are themselves invigorated. This exercise is practiced lying on the floor on some soft yielding but firm surface. A rug folded lengthwise or a bed-comfortable will do. An excellent exercise-mat may be made from inch or two inch pipe-felting, covered with canvas in size three by six or eight feet. Bring the body from position A to B (or IX-C as you are able) by throwing your outstretched arms with an energetic semi-circular forward motion towards your feet or knees, following with the head and shoulders. Avoid holding your breath while going from position A to B but expel the air from your lungs by exclaiming “whoo”; this assists, as it brings the abdominal muscles into play. Avoid relaxing the muscles suddenly when going back into position A as the jar resulting is unpleasant and not beneficial.

It may be found difficult to follow these instructions strictly at first because of a certain amount of stiffness in the knees, hips, spine and shoulder joints, or weakness in the abdominal muscles, which are to be looked for in people of sedentary habits. But no matter how little progress you make at first, steadily persist in your efforts to overcome these conditions and you will be amply rewarded.

If you are not able to reach to your knees without lifting the feet from the ground, lift them or reach only to the thighs, but try to do better next time.

Preliminaries to Exercises VIII or IX

Dumbbells, of from one to five pounds in weight, will assist you on account of the increased momentum they will give. The number of consecutive exercises of this kind must depend upon the condition and good judgment of the reader. Should your limit be five, then rest a few seconds and take five more and so on until you have taken twenty-five or exercised in this way for at least two or three minutes. I would impress upon my reader the great importance of this kind of exercise to health.

To Eliminate Gases

The alternate practice of exercise (Plate VIII or IX) and the following exercise (Plate X) has proven to be of great assistance for the elimination of gases produced by fermentation of food. This imperfect digestion is generally produced by: large quantities of fluids taken with meals, especially ice water; food taken while in a state of nervousness; prolonged mental overwork; hasty eating; deficient mastication; late suppers, followed by insufficient sleep; insomnia and numerous complications. The digestive functions and the nervous system act and react reciprocally.

For Back Muscles and Spine

As the reverse of exercise VIII or IX in which the abdominal muscles are chiefly involved and the spine strongly and repeatedly brought into a convex curve, take the following exercise for the back muscles and spine. Lie on your abdomen with the legs in a comfortable position, chin (or forehead) resting on the folded arms. Consecutively raise elbows, head and chest together (the chin or forehead not leaving the arms during the exercise) from two to nine inches, according to your ability, from A to B as shown in illustration, with a spring-like motion, not stopping at A. Avoid striking the floor with the elbows — put the energy in the rising motion. The lumbar region is thus vigorously brought into action.

Practice this exercise with forehead resting on arms, if not able to occupy illustrated position, until joints in neck gain suppleness.

Persons past middle age will probably have some difficulty in raising higher than an inch or two at first and will feel exhausted after five or six consecutive attempts. They should rest a few seconds after four or five exercises, but increase the height of the rise and the number of times in proportion with their gain of muscular strength and suppleness of spine. One minute will be sufficient. Few minutes spent daily in this exercise will soon result in correcting the round backs which are caused by sitting with in-sunken chest, by exaggerated bicycle riding, etc. I have given this exercise with surprising results, even to men of sixty years of age.

Constipation

Persons troubled with constipation, which is often produced by sedentary habits, will find the practice of exercises VIII or IX, X and XI, alternately, an effective remedy. Quite a number of other exercises, combined with rational diet, will be found beneficial in such cases, varying as they do as to the causes and the constitution, but it would be outside of the writer’s present purpose to treat of them exhaustively here.

Natural Massage Exercise for Exhilaration

This exercise is rather difficult to illustrate, but simple in execution. It is like a rocking chair in motion, the spine being the rocker. The body is doubled up as shown in illustration and this attitude is kept throughout the massage exercise. Start this exercise by sitting down, clasping the hands below the knees, roll into position B and, without stopping there, roll back into the sitting position without unclasping your hands or changing the convex curve of your spine — in other words, throw your body from the sitting position A into shoulder position B and back into A with an uninterrupted rolling motion, occupying about three seconds. Repeat two or three minutes, taking an occasional rest so that your breathing may become normal. Don’t hold your breath, but breathe as naturally as possible.

The Bath

That the tonic effect of a cold bath upon the nervous system may be fully obtained, it should always be preceded by sufficient exercise to put the body in a glow — but do not take your bath until you breathe naturally and the heart has resumed its normal action. It should be taken in such a manner as to wet the body all over, beginning with the head, then shoulders, chest, back and limbs, requiring in all only from two to six seconds.

Before rubbing yourself, cover every part of your body with a bathrobe or bath sheet made of Turkish toweling, which is preferable to any other material because it will absorb the water rapidly. (If you have no such robe or sheet get into bed.) Do not fail to cover your feet also, that they may feel the general reaction which follows immediately upon covering yourself with the bath robe. Rub your hair well with a towel until dry (it strengthens the roots of the hair) and then after the reaction has fully taken place rub any part of the body that feels wet and follow this by a general friction with your hands or a towel, beginning with the limbs and following with the trunk, shoulders and arms.

I wish to emphasize the benefit derived from thoroughly wrapping up the body after the cold water application. It hastens the reaction and makes it uniform, as it checks the loss of heat all over the body at the same time. This is of special importance to people who are not in vigorous health. Those who think that cold water baths do not agree with them will probably change their opinion after a trial of this method.

The writer hopes that he has redeemed his promise of a few simple suggestions and that their value will be appreciated by all who make use of them.

Adrian Peter Schmidt

167 West 57th Street, New York

Opposite Carnegie Music Hall

Things that take 15 minutes: cooling down after a hot yoga class, deciding what the eff to order for takeout, and debating the caption for your latest Instagram. Here’s another to add to that list: a workout that will actually help transform your body.

Yep, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go slog it out at the gym for 30 or 45 minutes. (Or god forbid, an hour.) Working out for just 15 minutes—yes, 15!—comes with a slew of health benefits, from upping your calorie burn and whipping your body into shape, to lowering your risk of certain diseases and even adding years on to your life.

Yeah, these quickie sweat seshes are no joke. Count these among your reasons to start carving out 15 minutes of your day:

1. Get Results Faster

You’ve heard about HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. There’s a reason no one shuts up about it: It really works. Most recently, researchers found that a 10-minute workout, with just one minute at high-intensity, had the same benefits as 45 minutes of jogging.

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One group of study participants did a two-minute warm-up on a stationary bike, followed by a 20-second sprint, then rode slowly for two minutes. They repeated that sequence two more times for a total of 10 minutes. The other group just rode steadily on the bike for 45 minutes. After 12 weeks, both groups showed a 20 percent increase in cardiovascular endurance.

2. Burn More Calories

HIIT workouts, which usually lasts just four to 15 minutes, can also give you more bang for your buck in terms of calorie burn. In a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, men who did 13 minutes of HIIT burned more calories per minute and increased their VO2 max by 12.5 percent more than men who did steady-state cardio for 40 minutes. More payoff in half the time? Yes, please.

3. Live Longer

Just 15 minutes of exercise per day could actually increase your lifespan. Scientists from the European Society of Cardiology evaluated study participants over a 12-year period, and found that those who exercised at a low level (or the equivalent of a 15-minute brisk walk) were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who didn’t exercise at all. And participants who exercised at medium and high levels reduced their risk of death by 28 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

Want to start upping that longevity? Try this total-body kettlebell workout:

4. Manage Weight

The calorie-burning benefits of even the shortest strength-training bout keep coming long after you’ve left the gym. In a study from Southern Illinois University, researchers found that when volunteers did just one set of nine exercises, or about 11 minutes of strength training, three days a week, they increased their resting metabolic rate (the calories burned when just hanging out) and fat burning enough to keep unwanted weight at bay.

5. Stay Young

HIIT can actually have a profound effect on aging at the cellular level. The older you get, the less efficient your energy-producing mitochondria become. But when researchers analyzed three groups of exercisers over 12 weeks—one that did high-intensity aerobic interval training, one that did resistance training, and one that did a combination of the two—they found that those who did HIIT actually reversed that age-related degeneration. Translation: Their mitochondria actually worked like those of much younger people.

6. Boost Your Brainpower

You know working out is good for your body, but you probably don’t think too much about how good it is for your brain, too. In fact, just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your brainpower for a short time afterward, according to a recent study published in the journal Neuropsychologia. The researchers found that study participants who rode a stationary bike at a moderate to vigorous pace for 10 minutes answered questions 50 milliseconds faster after exercising than they did before, a 14 percent increase in cognitive performance.

Need a brain boost stat? Try this 15-minute workout for stronger abs.

7. Lower Your Risk of Certain Diseases

Obviously, all exercise has health benefits. But according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, participating in 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week can decrease your risk of getting cancer or cardiovascular disease. That’s just 12.5 minutes a day.

8. Stay Happy

Everyone knows about exercise and endorphins.

But science actually says that just one hour of exercise per week (that’s less than 10 minutes a day) could prevent up to 12 percent of depression cases.

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The study, which was published in American Journal of Psychiatry, followed more than 22,000 healthy adults who did not have symptoms of anxiety or depression for about 11 years. In the end, researchers found the people who reported not exercising at the beginning of the study were 44 percent more likely to become depressed versus those who spent one to two hours working out each week.

In another study, people taking antidepressants for major depressive disorder who pedaled on a stationary bike for just 15 minutes lowered their levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

9. Have More Fun

“High intensity” sounds more intimidating than regular workouts, but people actually enjoy HIIT workouts, a lot. When researchers compared reactions to moderate-intensity continuous exercise and HIIT workouts, they found that 92 percent of the study participants reported a preference for HIIT over the moderate-intensity continuous workout—despite the fact that HIIT was harder.

The reason they liked it better? Because HIIT is more time efficient and the workout is constantly changing on you. And, you know, the more you like a workout, the more likely you are to stick with it—the rewards will just keep rolling in.

If you want to find out for yourself just how effective 15 minutes of exercise can be, give these speedy workouts a try. Just don’t try to use your lack of time as an excuse for not working out anymore—that gig is up.

​Selene Yeager “The Fit Chick” Selene Yeager is a top-selling professional health and fitness writer who lives what she writes as a NASM certified personal trainer, USA Cycling certified coach, pro licensed mountain bike racer, and All-American Ironman triathlete. Ashley Mateo Ashley Mateo is a writer, editor, and UESCA-certified running coach who has contributed to Runner’s World, Bicycling, Women’s Health, Health, Shape, Self, and more.

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing. According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.” They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

6. Leg Squats

Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.

7. Push Ups

You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

8. Bicycle Crunches

There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

9. Lunges

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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10. Bicep Curls

You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles. In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better! Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

  • How Practicing Morning Yoga Transforms Your Life (+10 Beginners’ Poses)
  • Getting Fit Over 40: The 7 Best Workout Routines for Beginners
  • Exercise Routine That Best Fits You (With 3 Difficulty Levels to Choose)
  • 4 Best Beginner Exercises To Do At Home
  • 7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

^ American Psychological Association: The exercise effect
^ New York Times: How Exercise Could Lead to a Better Brain
^ Appalachian State University: Early morning exercise is best for reducing blood pressure and improving sleep
^ The Washington Post: Michelle Obama, ‘Jumper in Chief’
^ Azcentral: What Are the Benefits of Leg Lifts?
^ Fitness Mercola: How to Do Squats: 8 Reasons to Do Squat Exercises
^ The Nest: Why Are Bicep Curls Important?
^ WebMD: Lose Weight With Morning Exercise

These Morning Workouts Will Boost Your Energy All Day

For anyone who’s not naturally a morning person, climbing out from under the covers stings about as badly as ripping off a bandage. Things usually don’t get much better until many cups of coffee later, so we’re suggesting a different strategy to shrug off sleepiness: exercise. While it might be hard to get started, you’ll soon find an a.m. sweat session is a great way to jump-start your day.

Working out in the morning is effort enough, so trying to drum up the creativity to concoct a routine is asking too much. Never fear, because we’re sharing five workouts that have done all the thinking for you. Tomorrow’s looking better already.

1. 30-minute early morning workout

Try out this morning routine for more energy. | iStock.com

For guys who seriously struggle to climb out of bed, a bodyweight workout is the best bet because it eliminates the need to go to the gym. This means you can reallocate time you would have spent commuting to your routine, giving you a more well-rounded workout. Start with this 3-minute morning warm-up from BuiltLean. It targets every major muscle group and you only need a jump rope.

For the workout, you’ll start with a dynamic warm-up to get your muscles moving and gradually raise your heart rate. After you complete the warm-up, move into a circuit that combines squat jumps, push-ups with one leg elevated, mountain climbers, side planks, and jumping jacks. You’ll perform each exercise for 30 seconds, then transition to the next with no rest. At the end of one round, take a 2 to 3 minute breather, then repeat until you complete three or four total rounds.

2. Morning weight workout

Make sure you warm up before hitting the weights. | iStock.com

Those who like to hit the weight room in the a.m. need to be a little more cautious because this is the time of day when your muscles are most susceptible to injury. Livestrong explains the lack of movement while we sleep causes our muscles to tighten and decreases production of the fluid that keeps joints lubricated. This doesn’t mean you can’t lift in the morning, but you do need to devote plenty of time to warming up before you get started. Start with a bit of cardio on the treadmill or bike, then incorporate some dynamic exercises.

Once your body is ready to hit the weights, try this routine from Muscle & Fitness. You’ll do bench presses, push-ups, pull-ups, dumbbell curls, and triceps cable extensions. You’ll notice the reps vary quite a bit for the different lifts. The idea here is to go for heavy loads for fewer repetitions and lighter weight for more repetitions. And try to make time to wrap up with some stretching.

3. Men’s morning routine

Barbell lunges are great to start out your morning workout. | iStock.com

Even though working out at home scores major points for convenience, it’s not for everyone. Some folks like the focus the gym provides. Fortunately, you can still keep the process relatively speedy with this workout from Bodybuilding.com. The routine will help strengthen muscles and build power in just 15 minutes.

As with any workout, devote a little bit of time to warming up before you get started with any weights. Once you’re ready to begin, start with barbell lunges. After completing the first set, you’ll move right into planks, incline push-ups, side bridges, Russian twists, and jump squats. If you have extra time on your hands, you can always tack on a short HIIT program at the end. Mountain climbers, burpees, and jumping rope will all work.

4. Early bird bodyweight workout

A good bodyweight exercise will get you energized in the morning. | iStock.com

Feeling foggy in the morning can cause problems for your workout if you find yourself struggling to remember a long list of moves or varying repetitions. This is why we love this simplistic approach to the morning workout from STACK. It involves just four different exercises, each performed as three sets of 10 repetitions. Easy and effective.

After a brief warm-up, get yourself set up to perform push-ups with your legs elevated. This slight change to the basic move increases the load for your upper body as well as your core. Next, you’ll do single-leg squats with squat jumps to both strengthen your lower body and help build explosive power. You’ll finish with regular and side planks to strengthen your core, particularly your obliques.

5. Running

Nothing gets the blood pumping like a morning jog. | iStock.com

As much as we love how quickly HIIT allows us to finish a workout, going for such a vigorous effort every day is going to leave you feeling wiped out. In order to achieve your fitness goals, you should also incorporate some steady-state cardio, and running is the easiest way to do it. You don’t even need to go very long to reap the benefits. According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, running for 5 to 10 minutes every day was associated with a significantly reduced risk of mortality, particularly from heart disease.

Keep in mind, running can also be used for interval training on occasions when you do want to go for a challenging workout. Check out these great routines from Runner’s World. And because all you need is a good pair of shoes, you can get started first thing tomorrow.

Follow Christine on Twitter @christineskopec

When’s The Best Time To Exercise: Morning Or Evening?

Photo Credit: Getty

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“Early bird catches the worm”, they say. But does it hold true in the realm of physical fitness? Let’s find out!

First thing first, why is regular exercise so important for you?

Regular physical activity has a myriad of proven health benefits. From burning body fat, building muscle mass and strengthening bones to enhancing memory, improving cardiovascular health and beefing up the immune system. It also reduces stress, enhances sleep, boosts confidence and helps you live longer (do I have your attention yet? Good!)

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, a healthy adult needs at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate aerobic activity per week (like brisk walking) or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (think swimming, running, hiking. etc.), or “an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity”.

Now, is there really a better time of day to exercise?

“The best time is the time that will help you be compliant and consistent with your workouts,” says Dave Smith, a professional weight-loss coach and founder of Make Your Body Work. “For most people, that means getting exercise out of the way as early in the day as possible. Putting it off until later in the day creates too many opportunities for other ‘priorities’ to replace the time that a person intended for exercise,” Smith explains.

“It also depends on a person’s circadian rhythms (whether they’re lark or night owl) which creates variations in physiological markers like heart rate, blood pressure and core temperature, each of which impact exercise performance,” says Fabio Comana, exercise physiologist and faculty instructor at San Diego State University and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

“Research suggests that people who exercise early in the day are more likely to adhere to their fitness routine because their willpower is stronger then and the pressure of the day hasn’t yet accumulated,” notes Comana. “For me personally, this rings very true – I am less likely to devote the time I need or desire if I plan to exercise later,” adds the president of Genesis Wellness Group.

Moreover, exercising in the morning has been linked to greater productivity, lower blood pressure and better sleep. “It also speeds up a person’s metabolism, which can improve calorie-burning throughout the day”, says Smith.

In addition, morning exercise also sets the stage for other healthier choices throughout the day. “For example, people who exercise in the morning are more likely to make healthy food choices. This is because subconsciously, they want to build upon the healthy way they started their day,” explains the health coach.

However, “mornings also present with greater joint stiffness and expanded or swollen discs, both of which can compromise movement,” Comana points out.

Also, some of us are wired to feel more energetic later in the day. For those people, working out in the morning would be a bad idea as they likely won’t enjoy the process. “And most people don’t do what they don’t enjoy,” says Smith. “Getting results from exercise is almost entirely about compliance, so people need to do it when they can enjoy it most,” he adds.

Studies highlight that a late afternoon or evening sweat sesh is associated with lower stress levels, greater reaction times, better endurance and improved anaerobic performance (eg: sprinting, resistance training)

However, exercising in the evening may keep core temperatures elevated for longer periods and delay the transition, during sleep, to the restorative deep sleep phase (known as deep NREM sleep), notes Comana.

Bottom line: It all comes down to being consistent and setting up a routine that aligns with your long-term fitness goals.

How can you make your workout more effective?

Now that you’ve figured what time of day works best for you, check out these four simple strategies to get the most out of your fitness routine:

  • Don’t push your body too hard. “Don’t try to kill yourself in the limited time you have committed to exercising each week,” says Comana. You should have a realistic approach and understand that exercise alone is probably not going to produce desired results as it accounts for a small portion of your daily calorie burn. You need to take into consideration other factors like NEAT, diet, sleep quality, medication, etc.
  • Shift the focus. Pay more attention to the quality of movement (form, technique, etc. to avoid injury) instead of quantity of movement (squeezing a few extra reps to burn a few more calories), suggests Comana.
  • Keep the Progressive Overload Principle in mind. The Progressive Overload Principle states that in order for a muscle to grow stronger, the body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced. “If you’re doing what you’ve always done, your body is never going to change. You have to challenge your body in order to change your body,” Smith explains.
  • Learn to enjoy. “Exercise for many is not something they necessarily want to do, but rather something they feel obligated to do. It’s a means to an end,” Comana points out. “Learn to enjoy exercise to the point where you opt to participate voluntarily rather than out of some obligation,” he says. “If you dread going to the gym, find a fitness class, a sport, or some other activity that allows you to have fun while you move your body,” suggests Smith.

In addition, work with a credible professional who can effectively screen for movement dysfunctions and coach good form, says Comana.

Ease into the habit

If you’re a beginner, start by focusing on building consistency first. Once you’ve accomplished that, then gradually fine-tune variables like the frequency, intensity and duration of your workout, suggests the fitness expert.

Meanwhile, Smith advises beginners to initially aim for the “2% movement” goal. “It means that they should aim to intentionally move their bodies for 2% of their day, which works out to being about half an hour,” he points out. “People generally know that they’re supposed to exercise for 30 minutes per day, but that sounds like a lot. When you re-frame that goal as 2% and make it all about movement, not exercise, it becomes much more doable,” explains the weight-loss coach.

Morning workout to boost metabolism

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