Despite our best intentions to exercise and lose weight, sometimes there are factors that prevent us from making it to the gym during the week or going for daily 30-minute runs in the neighborhood. Fortunately, new research has discovered a 7-minute workout ideal for those short on time who wish to maintain their fitness levels and weight-loss progress.
Do 7-minute workouts really work?
With short workouts increasing in popularity among Americans, researchers set out to investigate the effects a 7-minute workout would have on body weight and composition over a six-week period. For the study, a group of 29 people between the ages of 18 and 30 performed the 7-minute workout every day for six weeks while a separate group of 29 people either did not work out, or engaged in different activities.
Following the six-week period, the group who did the 7-minute workout lost an average of 1.5 inches from both their waists and hips, and experienced significant improvements in BMI and fat mass. All participants made no changes to their diets during the course of the study.
How to do the 7-minute workout
The 7-minute workout combines a series of aerobic and strength-training exercises you can do on your own anywhere with just a chair or similar prop. You can do the 7-minute workout in your living room or bedroom, or venture outdoors to your backyard or favorite local park. This high-intensity workout is characterized by 12 exercises performed for 30 seconds each, with a 10-second break between each exercise.
Exercises included in the 7-minute workout:
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sits
- Chair step-ups
- Tricep dips
- Running in place with high knees
- Side planks
If any of these exercises are new to you, or you need help verifying that you’re using proper form, watch YouTube demonstrations performed by fitness experts, or enlist the help of a fitness trainer in your community. Using proper form is essential to weight loss and improved fitness, since some of these exercises can lead to injury or offer no weight-loss benefits when performed incorrectly.
Is the 7-minute workout ideal for you?
The lead study authors say that the 7-minute workout may help you slim down initially, but that this workout won’t necessarily replace a full, complete fitness program. However, the 7-minute workout is better than no exercise at all, and can help lower your risk for heart disease and obesity.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether you can benefit from the 7-minute workout.
- Are you often pressed for time to exercise on certain days of the week?
- Have you recently hit a weight-loss plateau?
- Have you grown bored with your current fitness routine?
- Does your fitness routine consist only of cardio exercise?
- Do you have areas of loose skin that can be tightened and toned with strength training?
- Do you lack fitness equipment like resistance bands and pull-up bars?
- Are you at a beginner’s fitness level?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may benefit greatly from doing the 7-minute workout. Try using this workout routine only on days you’re unable to engage in longer workouts due to factors such as work, a busy schedule, or inclement weather.
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