Quick Fitness

NYTimes Workouts app logo black figure lunges against green background,“One, two and one and two, step it up!” My single-digit aged self looked toward the camcorder’s blinking red light, swinging my arms when I rose up and exhaling as I left my mom’s black and teal Jane Fonda aerobic stepper. I smiled wide, my frizzy hair restrained with a scrunchie. My sister stopped recording and we burst into giggles. As kids, we spent hours, whole weekends, in the family room producing fake TV shows. Workouts, news recaps, skits. Our favorite was Divorce Court, but that’s another story for another day. Wintertime spent indoors led to high art.

When you reach adulthood, winter chills lead you to hunker down especially in the afterglow of the holidays. It’s hard to gather motivation and yet the most popular resolution is to lose weight. How many people lose the resolution instead?

I think about my activity level. Our dogs provide the easiest form of exercise–when they’re bored it’s walk time or our furniture will pay. But what if you’re tired from work or from the effort of potty training your toddler or you’re feeling the urge to watch tons of Netflix?

How about a 7-minute workout. Yeah. It snared me. I heard about it from The New York Times newsletter, Wellness. It promised a full body workout in less time than it takes you to unload the dishwasher. It uses body circuits–no weight lifting or crazy colored gym equipment–to burn calories.

I’m no stranger to body circuits. Organized sports teams taught me the drills. I don’t mind circuit training, it makes me more conscious of my posture and focus.** I decided to try the exercises. The site offers the sequence as an app with simple diagrams and a timer that tracks progress. My favorite part, perhaps predictably with my visual impairment, is the choice of narrators. Who thinks I chose Alastair? Exactly.

Me. A wall. A chair. That’s all. I sent curious pets outside. I tested chair sturdiness. No rolling desk chairs or wobbly legs, guys. I tied my hair back, this time with an elastic and launched the program. The countdowns and variety of motion kept me engaged. I even broke a sweat. The digital high five at the end was a nice touch, too. I carried the chair back to the table, let the dogs back inside, and drank a glass of water. All done.

If I really wanted to push myself, I would repeat the 7-minute cycle a few times. I’m not entirely convinced seven minutes daily will keep you in top shape, but that’s ok. What’s more important is that a 7-minute workout would make a great camcorder skit.

How do you exercise? Do you like body circuits? Would you workout with an app? Will you confess you used a Jane Fonda stepper at some point in your life? Or even better, a Suzanne Somers Thighmaster? Tell me about it.

**For those not familiar with proper form while doing things like squats and sit-ups, you should learn more by consulting with a trainer or instructor etc so you don’t injure yourself. Also, I’m not a doctor. I don’t know your medical status. Talk to your doctor to determine if your exercise plans are alright.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Casee says:

    I use the 7-minute workout too. I don’t think it will make me into an Olympian but it is better than nothing. I get most of my activity through taking the stairs and long walks. I used to do some weight training but the weights disappeared in a move and I never replaced them. 🙂 I hate exercise but I know it is necessary.

    1. A fellow 7-minuter! Sounds like you have a good routine of activity, Casee.

  2. Hey Susan, after doing the 7-minute workout several times does your body begin to feel it? Just curious, I’m gonna check out the site. Thanks for the info.

    1. When I do two cycles, I feel it in my muscles the next day. Nothing dramatic but something.

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