18 Ways to Improve Your Health in 30 Minutes or Less
Here is an interesting fact for you: Assuming that you sleep 8 hours a night (anyone?), 30 minutes is only 3% of your waking hours! One of the many common excuses as it pertains to food and exercise is that “I don’t have enough time.” Here is a short list of what is possible in just 30 minutes:
- Run Some Sprints! When was the last time you laced up the shoes and ran as fast as you could? The benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are numerous, not to mention it’s exhilarating to run fast again!
- Heavy Squats (5×5): Build some strength! I promise this gives you more benefit than the elliptical machine. I don’t care how many calories it says you burned.
- Heavy Deadlifts (5×5): A list can’t include the squat and not the deadlift!
- Any Crossfit WOD: Most are completed or can be scaled to be under 30 minutes in length. You can check them out at Crossfit.com
- A Bodyweight Circuit: Pushups, Pullups, Dips, Bodyweight Rows, Bodyweight Squats, Situps, etc. Do 3- 5 rounds of 15-20 reps each resting 1 minute between rounds . . .for time. Alternatively, do Tabata intervals for each exercise (5 minute warmup + 24 minutes).
- A Kettlebell Circuit: Incorporate swings, snatches, turkish getups, presses, long-cycles, hands on KB pushups, etc. Similar to above, there are multiple schemes/rep ranges/loads that can be done here.
- Go for a Light Run and Listen to Your Favorite Podcast. I enjoy an occasional light run to clear my mind and have active recovery from a workout. Plus, what better time to learn something as well?
- Take your dog for a walk. Fido deserves some exercise too! On a side note: A tired pup is a good pup!
- Go for a walk with your spouse/significant other. Take advantage of the little things in life to de-stress, build your relationship and just get up and moving. With most jobs and commutes we sit too much anyway!
- Work in a garden. Growing your own food is a great way to ensure you know where it comes from. Plus, it teaches valuable skills, saves you money, and gets you outside. We could all use some extra Vitamin-D.
- Wash the car. This is purely to get you outside, but if you’re going to be out there, might as well have a clean car!
- Prepare and package lunch for the next day. One of the biggest challenges readers have mentioned with maintaining healthy eating habits is not having food prepared for lunches. You should be cooking dinner anyway, why not take a few extra minutes, make some extra, and pack this for lunch?
- Cook your meals for the next couple of days. Many readers have also used this approach, blocking out a certain time on a day to prepare meals for the next couple of days. If what you are doing now isn’t working, it can be a great option.
- Plan your menu and shopping list for the week. Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be expensive. With proper meal planning and shopping within the established budget, there is no reason to not eat better. I never want anyone to not be able to maintain health due to financial reasons and returning to a highly processed food diet. That stuff isn’t food and will cost you SO much more longterm.
- Take a warm bath. Relax a little bit, you’ve earned it.
- Spend some time with a foam roller. If you don’t have one yet, what are you waiting for?
- Get a massage. I enjoy structuring programs around rewards that offer a tangible benefit. Set a goal and use a reward such as this for achievement. Again, you’ve earned it (It’s ok to take 60 minutes here).
- Read/Write/Listen. Your mind is also very important. Make sure it is getting enough exercise as well. There are many great resources out there. Read blogs, magazines, journals, the news, the crosswords, whatever stimulates you. Involve your creative side and write something. It could be as simple as your workout/meal plan or an e-Book in your area of expertise. Utilize your commute to learn as well! There are some great podcasts out there, take advantage and listen to these great resources!
What will YOU do with that extra 3% of your waking hours? Leave your answer in the comments below.