Fitness

Gemma McCaw's 20 minute express workout that anyone can do

Exercise is not only essential for your health, but the best way to de-stress and enhance your mood. So try not to put it off! Your body will thank you for it.

By Gemma McCaw

I often hear people say their main reason for not exercising is due to a lack of time. But the reality is, you don't need a huge amount of time when it comes to working out.

Strength training is essential for women, particularly as we age. It improves our bone density while building strength and burning fat. The key to getting fitter is the decision to start. Exercise is not only essential for your health, but the best way to de-stress and enhance your mood. So try not to put it off! Your body will thank you for it.

Here is a 20-minute workout that can be squeezed in at any point in your day. You won't need any special equipment and you don't even have to walk out your front door!

The key to a quick exercise session is upping the intensity – a little bit of hard work goes a long way.

Workout warm-up

Start with this five-minute warm-up. Take a 15-second rest between each exercise.

✦ High knees – 45 seconds
✦ Squats – 45 seconds
✦ Mountain climbers – 45 seconds
✦ Walking lunges – 45 seconds
✦ Star jumps – 45 seconds

Follow this with basic stretching of your calves, quads, glutes, shoulders and arms to warm down.

Main workout

Complete each exercise for 30 seconds at your highest intensity followed by 30 seconds of rest.

1 Squats (Hint: To make this exercise harder, try squat jumps)
2 Tricep dips

3 Push-ups (Hint: If you can't do a full press-up, try them on your knees)
4 Lunges (Hint: To make this exercise more challenging, try jumping lunges)

5 Plank (Hint: To make this exercise more challenging, try lifting one leg off the floor – make sure you remain stable through your hips).
Take a minute's rest, then go through the workout again four times (with a minute rest between each set).

Keen for cardio?

Apply the same principal of high intensity for a short period of time at the park. Run hard for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds, repeating this pattern for 20 minutes.

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