13 Sivan 5779 / Sunday, June 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shelach Lecho
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Fitness in Five    

Fitness in Five

Are five-minute workouts really effective? Is it possible to burn fat and get in shape with only five minutes of exercise – on your own fitness level – a day? Here's good news…


Disclaimer – be sure to consult with your personal physician before beginning any exercise routine.


The evil inclination (EI) murders people’s good initiatives by telling them that it's all or nothing. Like the rest of the EI's propaganda, that's not all true.


Being healthy doesn't mean that you're a candidate for the 100-meter Olympic sprint finals or that you can do a triple back somersault with a full twist coming off the parallel bars. It simply means that you're not sick, feel no pains and are not a candidate for a serious disease.


Would you like that? Do you want to forget about aches and pains and lose weight as well? Don't tell me that you can't afford a gym membership or a personal fitness trainer. Don't say either that you don't have an hour a day to spare.


How would you like to feel good, get healthy and even lose weight in five minutes a day – can you refuse a deal like that? No way – it's the health bargain of the year.


Look at the benefits of a mere 5 minutes of exercise a day:


1. EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption) – in gym slang, this is known as "afterburn". If your 5 daily minutes of exercise are vigorous enough to bring a few beads of perspiration to your forehead, you'll be burning calories long after your mini-session is over.   Practically speaking, your fat-burning continues for the rest of the day.


2. Regular exercise, even as brief as five minutes a day, improves your brain health. By triggering a natural hormone called endorphin, you ward off anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's and dementia.


3. Brief exercise adds up! Even if your diet remains the same, you'll burn an additional 1,000 calories a month, and even double or triple depending on the intensity of your five minutes. As a result, you'll find yourself looking better and feeling better, which will encourage you to correct your diet. Then, the weight loss becomes much quicker.


4. Five minutes a day is a confidence builder and something within everyone's reach.


5. Involuntary exercise can qualify for a good 5-minute aerobic workout, such as a brisk walk to the store or climbing stairs rather than taking the elevator.


With that in mind, here are some basic 5-minute daily chores that qualify as bona-fide five-minute workouts:


1. Climb steps or stairs;


2. Briskly rake leaves or dig furrows in your garden;


3. Walk to work or walk anywhere instead of using the car.


4. Do a "farmer's carry": walk home from the store with a bag in each hand or if you can, a 6-pack of mineral water in each hand.


5. Ride a bike (not an electric one!), especially up a hill.


6. Walk up hills, on the beach or in a sandbox or dune.


7. Put your toddler on the floor and imitate his/her movements for 5 minutes – this qualifies as a High-Intensity workout!


You get the idea – the options are virtually limitless, even in an office.


My favorite exercises, which include maximum clout for minimal time, include pushups, squats, planks and lunge variations, each according to your relative fitness level.


Remember, it's much easier to limit calorie intake than to burn it off. By refraining from eating that 450-calorie donut, you're saving the need to do 45-60 minutes of vigorous exercise that would be required to burn it off. In effect, good fitness is 80% diet and 20% exercise.


By combining your five minutes of exercise a day with good diet habits, such as refraining from consuming empty carbohydrates, sweets, junk-food, white floor, white sugar and soft drinks, you'll see a dramatic improvement in the way you feel and the way you look. Go for it!



* * *

We invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal Lazer Beams.

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