Health Encyclopedia

The No-Excuse 30-Minute Workout

If you have metabolic syndrome, exercise is one of the best ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. Exercise also helps to lower your risk for heart disease. It helps to improve your blood pressure, triglycerides, blood glucose, and weight. Get the benefits! Try this 30-minute workout that you can do anywhere.

Warm-up—5 minutes

Slowly walk, bicycle, or go up and down the stairs.

Aerobic exercise—10 minutes

Choose an activity you enjoy—anything that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe harder, like walking briskly, jogging, dancing, bicycling, or jumping rope. Do it at least hard enough that you can talk but not sing. Comfortable? Then work harder so you can't say more than a few words without stopping for a breath. This gives you more benefits in the same amount of time. Pick different activities on different days to prevent boredom.

Strengthening—10 minutes

Try to do each exercise eight to 12 times, then rest one minute and do eight to 12 more. Do only as many as you can while maintaining good form.

1. Squats. Stand with your back to a sturdy chair, feet shoulder-width apart. Reach forward in front of your shoulders. Bend forward slightly at the hips, back straight. Bend your knees, and lower your bottom toward the chair to a count of four until you're almost sitting. Keep your knees in line with your ankles and behind your toes. Pause. Rise to a count of two.

2. Wall push-ups. Stand facing a wall. Reach forward in front of your shoulders. The wall should be just out of reach. Lean forward slightly from your ankles, back straight, and place your palms against the wall. Bend your elbows, and lower yourself toward the wall to a count of four. Pause. Push up to a count of two.

3. Abdominal curls. Lie down on your back. Bend your knees, and plant your feet flat on the floor, hands behind your head. Point your elbows out to the sides. Lift your chin toward the ceiling, and your shoulders and upper back should be off the floor to a count of two. Pause. Lower yourself to a count of two.

Cool down—5 minutes

Walk slowly, and then stretch gently.