Don’t even think about invoking the classic excuse for not working out (I don’t have time!). Instead, lace up your sneakers, grab a water bottle, and give yourself 15 minutes (depending on the exercise, this may include a warm up and cool down). You may be surprised to find out what you can do in just one quarter of an hour. Better yet, try to squeeze in two of these 15-minute quickies per day. Remember, if you haven’t exercised in quite a while, check in with your doctor before starting this, or any, new exercise regimen.
Be a Stair Master
Walk indoors or out at a leisurely pace for about 5 minutes, just to warm up. Next, walk up and down a flight of stairs as speedily as you can for about 5 minutes. As you get fitter, you can walk even more briskly and extend the time to 10 minutes. Finish your mini workout with another 5 minutes of slower walking to cool down.
Walk the Walk
Decide on a walking course—it could be around a few blocks in your neighborhood, or around the high school track. Timing yourself, walk at an easy pace for several minutes. Then, pick up the pace and walk as fast as you can for several minutes. You should have difficulty speaking at your fastest pace. Now, slow it down for a few minutes to catch your breath. Pick up the pace again, followed by another cool-down. Repeat this walking and recovering for 15 minutes. Include a cool down at the end.
Work in a Kitchen Workout
Since you’re ideally cooking more meals at home now that you’re on the South Beach Diet, doing a 15-minute kitchen workout should be easy. For example, while you’re waiting for the (whole wheat) pasta water to boil, hold on to a kitchen chair and do 10 leg raises to each side and then 10 to the rear. Repeat as many times as you can. Then, place your hands on the edge of a counter, and get in some half pushups. Do as many as you can. Now repeat this sequence of leg raises and pushups until 15 minutes have elapsed.
Do Double-Duty Cleaning
Multitask by combining a cleanup with a workout and you end up with an uncluttered house and a feeling of accomplishment for fitting in some exercise. Set your cell phone timer for 15 minutes, and then dash from room to room, from downstairs to upstairs, doing as much cleaning as you can under pressure from the timer. It’s amazing how much you can get done in terms of decluttering and dusting when you move at top speed. And you’ll work in some cardio too.
Don’t Forget Your Core
You’ll need a mat and comfortable clothes; music is optional. Take off your shoes so you can flex and point your toes more easily, and remove your socks so you won’t slip. Choose a few core-strengthening exercises (Dr. Agatston provides many in his South Beach Diet Superchared book) and do as many as you can in 15 minutes, breathing through each exercise. Always start with the minimum number of reps and add more as you get fitter.