If your busy social life leaves little time for exercise, don't worry. You can get a good fat-burning low-impact aerobic workout in short 15-minute intervals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. If 30 minutes at once is too much, consider doing two 15-minute workouts each day. You can exercise in the morning and in the evening, or go for a brisk walk in the afternoon and again in the evening. Low-impact aerobics get your heart pounding and your body burning fat without stressing your joints. You'll also enjoy the benefit of mood-elevating endorphins when you do low-impact aerobics.
Exercise machines, such as an elliptical or stair-stepping machine, are a good way to get an invigorating low-impact aerobic workout in 15 minutes. Unlike jogging on a treadmill, the movement on these machines has a low impact on your joints because your foot is always in contact with the pedals. Additionally, you get a bonus strength-training workout when you use an exercise machine because the resistance of the pedals works your leg, thigh and butt muscles.
Swimming is a virtually no-impact aerobic exercise. Your whole body benefits from swimming. When you swim, the water supports the weight of your body and provides valuable fat-busting resistance as you kick and pull your way across the pool. Create more resistance when you swim by making a cup with your hands. Non-swimmers can still benefit from a water workout by walking back and forth across the pool in water about waist deep. Your heart and lungs will also benefit from 15 minutes of water exercise every day.
Regular bicycling is a good way to get an aerobic workout. Riding an upright stationary bike in your living room while watching your favorite television program is even better. Stationary bikes, similar to other exercise machines, are low impact because your feet remain in contact with the pedals during your workout. Fifteen minutes on a stationary bike at a fast rate can get your heart pumping for a good cardio workout and stimulate fat burning. Your legs will grow stronger, too. Increase the resistance of the pedals if you don't break a sweat during a workout.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get a good low-impact aerobic 15-minute workout every day without even trying. Walking increases your heart rate and respiration, and strengthens your bones to help reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Walking is also good for those who are a little out of shape. Fifteen minutes of brisk walking also burns fat to help you lose weight. Take 15 minutes of your lunch break at work or before breakfast to walk around the block.
- Spine Health: Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Make a Splash with Water Fitness
- Technogym: How to Work Out on a Stationary Bike
- ShapeFit: Walking for Health and Fitness: Start Getting Into a Habit of Exercising
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.