The Insanely Simple 5-Minute A.M. Exercise You'll Actually Be Able to Stick To
We'll be honest: We don't really buy into the "new year, new me" adage, especially when it comes to working out. The chances of us going from working out once a month in 2017 to hitting the gym five days a week in 2018 are slim to none. In the spirit of realism, however, we're willing to commit to something as simple as a five-minute morning workout.
As Apartment Therapy reports, doing something active, even if it's just a walk around the block, is better than nothing. It cites research published in the journal Circulation, which found that people who did 22 minutes of moderate-intensity leisure exercise a day, which could be as simple as walking, had a 14% lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who didn't exercise at all.
"Five minutes every day of focused work can make a difference," said Duncan Larkin, author of The 30-Minute Runner, to the publication. "The best part of this is the 'every day' part—the consistency. Through consistency, you can form healthy habits, and the body's natural curiosity to push limits and find the next horizon line will make you go from five minutes one week to seven minutes the next."
Larkin suggests spending your five minutes doing planks. "Planking is an excellent total-body exercise that works your core, arms, shoulders, and back," he explains. "This can be five one-minute planks, 10 30-second planks, or any variation to make it to the total five minutes." What's more, you can do a combination of forearm planks, side planks, full planks, and plank-ups to keep it interesting. The publication recommends setting your alarm for 10 minutes earlier in the morning, slipping on your workout clothes, and starting your day with this quick, energy-boosting routine.