This article will talk about the benefits of increasing your cardiovascular fitness and what you need to do to dramatically improve within a few weeks.
Cardiovascular fitness is important for many reasons including the ability to maintain a healthy weight, support your joints, improve resistance to chronic diseases and decrease mortality rates!
It’s also been shown that going from being unfit to being fit can cut years off your life expectancy.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a ‘gym junkie’ or spend hours on your feet in the gym to see the benefits!
There are a few simple things you can do with minimal equipment (15 minutes 4 days a week) that will improve your fitness and reduce the risks of chronic disease.
How Fast Will I Be Fit?
Exercising regularly in the short term will get you fit faster than prolonged periods of cardio training.
30 minutes of resistance training three times a week has been shown to be equivalent to swimming for 3 hours each week!
However, resistance exercise is not for everyone as it can sometimes cause pain and bruising. For these reasons, the best type of exercise for everyone is different. The key is to find something that you enjoy and something that works for your body.
What type of activities are good?
The simple answer!
Any activity that gets your heart rate up!
Endurance training, resistance training, high-intensity interval training (Tabata), you name it! Just keep moving around! The great thing about being fit is that it may help you live longer and better regardless of your age or circumstances.
How to get fit in 15 days?
So you want to know how to get fit in 15 days? The simple answer is ‘just do it! But we’re going to give you a few tips that will help you achieve your goals.
- Have a goal and think about what your easier achievable steps are towards that goal. Perhaps exercise 3 times a week, on alternating days with cardio, or just moving around would be better for you than going hard every time (this is just an example). Your goals can be as specific or broad as possible, this doesn’t matter. Just get one that you’re happy with and work from there.
- If you choose to exercise, then make sure it’s something that you enjoy! We don’t know about you, but we don’t really enjoy running on a treadmill for an hour, so we don’t do it. However if we’re in the gym lifting weights or doing some heavy deadlifts, we love it!
- If you have time constraints (perhaps a tight schedule), make sure to get up and move around at least every hour. Don’t just sit there all day – get up, pop down the hallway and have a stretch, or walk around your office at lunchtime or during your break. You can even stand up at your desk to work, or use your lunch hour to go for a walk!
- Join the gym – Gym memberships are relatively inexpensive and will make it easier for you to stick with your new routine. It’ll be easy to find the equipment you need (you’ll be less likely to skip a session if you’re going somewhere) and it won’t take up much of your time. If you are looking for a gym buddy then I suggest you download this app.
- Find an exercise partner – Whether it’s a friend, family member, or colleague, having a workout buddy will help you stick with your plan and lift when others don’t. Plus, you’ll get some social interaction and support.
- Get to know your body – Are you an avid runner? Or do you prefer to exercise at home or in a gym that has trainers on hand? Find out what works best for you! And remember, if you’re not sure what to do, check out the tips above first. You don’t have to do everything at the same time!
The nutrition chart
Fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. And remember, you don’t have to follow this diet exactly, just use it as a guide for your own healthy eating plan.
The keys to nutrition success are eating regularly and making sure that you stick with low-fat protein sources, whole grains, and lots of fruits and vegetables to make sure you always have enough energy to get moving. If you can’t make time for five or six meals a day, try snacking on vegetables and fruit between meals instead of nibbling on chips or other junk food.
Drink two or three cups of low-fat milk or yogurt and eat a piece of fruit. Add toasted walnuts and/or a small amount of granola. (Really, it’s almost like eating breakfast for lunch!).
If you can, make your lunch something that you can eat at your desk or in between meetings. Completely filling meals may make you feel full which will lead to overeating later in the day and at night – which is one reason you really want to eat seven small meals a day.
Try stir-frying your veggies with a little garlic, ginger, and soy sauce which really makes them taste great. Serve with a little brown rice and lean meat or chicken for a filling meal. This is often good enough for lunch the next day. Again, have some snack-like produce such as carrot or celery sticks or cantaloupe slices to keep you satisfied between meals.
Fruit is a great snack as it has natural sugars in it that don’t cause too much of an insulin spike like chocolate bars do (you get fat while chocolate only gets you happy). Fruit isn’t addictive either, so it’s easier to stay on track. Two pieces of fruit at least twice a day will give you enough energy to keep going. Again, try guacamole or salsa for a dip to help with the fat content. For example:
- 1/4 avocado
- 2/3 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup tomato salsa
Recommended snack: 1/4 avocado or 2-3 tablespoons of guacamole (or salsa) with whole wheat crackers. on an empty stomach or as a snack before dinner. If you do this every day, chances are you’ll be burning more calories than you eat and your weight will stay the same or improve slightly. Or try some of these snacks as part of your daily intake…
The Workout Plan
Don’t have time to exercise? Try these short 20-minute workouts to get fit in 15 days.
- Exercise Bike on High Resistance for 20 Minutes: (Would you be able to ride a bike for an hour? Probably not, but 20 minutes is manageable). There are countless benefits of biking. It’s an aerobic exercise that works your heart and lungs and can help with weight loss. Biking can also help you keep your mobility and flexibility as you age by increasing circulation to your joints, tendons, and muscles. For best results, do this workout every day for 1-2 weeks.
- Walking on a Stairmaster for 20 Minutes: This is another great exercise to help you lose weight and keep it off. It can also build up your stamina as well as help you to get more regular movement throughout the day. Combine this walk with a few other exercises and you’ve got yourself a great workout plan for the day! Use a multi-purpose stair master instead of an exercise bike if you have one in your home (or go to a gym). For best results, do this workout every day for 1-2 weeks.
- KettleBell Swinging for 20 Minutes: An intense, anaerobic type workout that will help you build muscle. This can be done at the gym, outside, or at home in the privacy of your own home.
- Stair Stepping for 30 Minutes: This is another high-intensity exercise that’s great for burning fat and improving both strength and cardiovascular fitness as well as building up your leg muscles. Do this workout every day for 1-2 weeks and you’ll be amazed how it helps to shape up your body!
- Jump Rope for 10 Minutes: This is a great way to get rid of extra calories when you’re on the go. It’s an aerobic exercise that involves your whole body, and all you need is a jump rope!
- Swimming for 20 Minutes: Swimming can be done at home or in a pool. It’s an aerobic exercise that works your heart and lungs and can help with weight loss. Swimming can also help you keep your mobility and flexibility as you age by increasing circulation to your joints, tendons, and muscles.
- Desk Squat for 15 Minutes: This is a great leg workout to do every day while you’re at work! It also helps build up your upper body strength in the process..
What to expect?
You may feel more energetic after working out, even if your weight isn’t changing. It’s not uncommon to lose a few pounds during this week (consider this the “profit” you made when you only bought healthy foods to eat!). Here’s what you could expect with exercise as part of an overall healthy diet:
Week 1: Up to 1.5 kg lost
Week 2: Up to 2.2 kg lost
Week 3: Up to 3 kg lost
Week 4: Up to 3.6 kg lost
Week 5: Up to 4.5 kg lost
By week 4, on average, people have shed nearly 0.5 kg per week.
The article talks about the support of eating small portions and exercising regularly. A lot of new diets that tell you to deprive yourself and then eat larger portions at the end seem like they only work in the short term.
If you want to be healthy, exercising can help. It’s best to exercise on a regular basis when possible so that you can build up your stamina and increase your workout time as you get healthier.