“I don’t have time to exercise”, this is an excuse given by many. Well, now you can’t say you don’t have time anymore because the exercises literally only take you 7 minutes. At present, you are a student and there are many benefits that you can reap from exercising regularly, benefits that can come in handy when you are cramming for those exams. There are many benefits to exercise which are not only advantageous to you now but also in your future career path and life. Exercising regularly can help you to better cope with stress, reduce anxiety, improve your long-term and short-term memory and increase your focus, just to name a few!
However, IF students are already going to the gym regularly. When the exam periods arrive, they tend to skip going because they are stressing out about not having enough time to study. So, let’s say you skip the gym, there is still the option of a 7-minute workout in your very own room. It won’t take much time and you can easily squeeze them in during short study breaks. The only equipment you’ll need is your body and a chair! The 7-minute workout is a sequence of short (approx. 30 seconds) exercises that require your maximal effort. Between each exercise, there is a break of no more than 10 seconds. It is arranged in such way, that it would exercise opposing parts of the body. An upper body exercise will be followed by a lower body exercise for instance.
Now that it’s clear what the 7-minute exercise entails. Let’s take a look at the workouts and some of their physical benefits!
1. Jumping jacks
By doing jumping jacks you increase your heart rate and use your large muscle groups. This workout helps burn fat rapidly and promotes weight loss. You can also modify the jumping jacks to target the calf, thighs, and abdominal muscles. After jumping with your feet wide, instead of going back to the standing position, make a deep squat. Keep up the tempo and make the transition between the movements as smooth as possible.
The wall-sit exercises and strengthens the endurance of those muscles on the front side of your hips. If you are into skiing, wall-sits are perfect an exercise to do before the skiing season. It depends on your strength, but you can start by trying to hold the position for 20 seconds. Later on, as your body becomes more used to it, you can try increasing the time by 10 seconds (when you have more than 7 minutes). Feel the burn!
3. Push ups
Some can do only 2 push ups max and others 50. For most of you, it might bring back memories of gym class. Like it or not, the teachers were doing your body and mind a favor. Push ups are a whole body workout and it provides strength to your back muscles, improves your posture and it’s FREE!
4. Abdominal crunch
A six pack, a toned belly AND good grades! What else could you wish for? This is the classic tummy flattening workout. Although it also takes a healthy diet to get those. For the moment it certainly will help you get closer to that. Crunches will help you strengthen your core and correct your (hunched) posture, which you might get from sitting wrongly at the desk.
5. Step up onto chair
You might have heard it before; “Never skip leg day”. Be proud of that post leg day penguin waggle! Because step-ups will augment your symmetry and balance, save your back and give you leg power.
They are not only good for toning and getting that J-Lo tushy, they will also build muscle in your whole body. It is obvious that it will help tone the muscles in your legs. But did you know that while doing squats can be good for both the upper and lower body? When you do squats your body will release testosterone. This will help you with augmenting muscle mass when you train other parts of your body. Not to mention that it will improve your mobility, balance, flexibility and in the end help you burn more fat (more muscles = more burnt calories).
7. Chair dips
Whether you use a chair or a machine at the gym, the effects will be the same. It will increase the strength in your arms and get rid of that flabby upper arms.
8. Side plank
It might look easy, but even 30 seconds can seem forever when you do this one. This exercise goes right to the core because you will have to use those muscles on your belly to stay upright. It’s important to try to keep those hips from dipping to the ground. But at the same time, it will strengthen your arm and shoulder muscles. You might not have thought much about it, but this exercise also helps you improve your concentration skills, which are nice when you will try to concentrate on studying later.
9. High knees/running in place
Just like the jumping jacks, high knees will increase your heart rate. There are different variations of the high knee; the basic high knee, steam engine, high knee march, and skipping. It’s up to you to choose the one you like.
The lunge, easy to learn but effective. Lunges will train different sides of your body independently. And this is good because your balance and coordination will get better and it will give your spine its much-needed rest. By many, it has been baptized the ultimate functional workout.
To help you out with timing your exercise: Here is a nice online timer.