Stay in Shape in 7 Minutes a Day? Let’s Try It!

I am fortunate that I love to exercise and tend to get more than my share. I usually meet the CDC guidelines for physical activity for a week in just a few days (easier for me because I have no kids and a short commute – sorry moms and commuters!) Apparently, I am one of only 20% of Americans who regularly does so. According to the CDC press release from May 2, 2103, only 1 in 5 Americans meet the minimum proposed guidelines for Physical Activity:

“The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as walking, or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging, or a combination of both.  The guidelines also recommend that adults do muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups, sit-ups, or activities using resistance bands or weights.  These activities should involve all major muscle groups and be done on two or more days per week. “

The report finds that nationwide nearly 50 percent of adults are getting the recommended amounts of aerobic activity and about 30 percent are engaging in the recommended muscle-strengthening activity. So, it is not as quite as bad as it seems, but not so great either.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone could give busy folks a short cut? According to the NY Times today (and “science” according to Dave Pell at Daily Draft), an article in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal does just that.

12 exercises no equipment. Seems doable! Right? Source: NY Times May 12, 2013

12 exercises no equipment. Seems doable! Right? Source: NY Times May 12, 2013

The authors from the Human Performance Institute propose in the study  High Intensity Circuit Training: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment that 12 exercises using only body weight, a chair and a wall, can fulfill the latest mandates for high-intensity effort. They recommend doing these exercises each 15-20 times (or for 30 to 45 seconds) with 30 seconds or less of rest in between for the best results. They say that this “essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.” On second look, they propose doing this seven minute circuit two to three times if time allows. Still pretty decent – right? (Also, check out HPI’s video library for some great, quick tips on improving health and performance in and out of the workplace.)

I do think these types of exercises and tabata style intervals can really amp up the results of exercise. I am going to try it. How about you? 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there! Don’t forget to check out my $100 Home Depot Card Giveaway and share it with your friends, too! Only 2 more days!



  1. susannah says:

    I know I sound like an advertisement, but I love Amy Dixon’s Breathless Body (but not the title). It’s a tabata style workout and it is hard, hard, hard. If you can’t get to a gym and take a class, you can totally do this one in your house and feel like you had a serious workout.

  2. Amy S says:

    I printed out this photo and have it hanging in my office to do everyday that I am here. Good call!

  3. Lizz H says:

    Just tried this in my hotel room! Whew! It is a challenge and I only did one set.

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