Too often I hear people and patients say they don’t have time for exercise and fitness. I understand that perception (I’ve heard that little voice in my own head) but the reality is that it’s just the little white lie we keep telling ourselves. It provides a great excuse for why we are not healthy and fit. (Just as I wrote that line my 20 minute timer went off and since it’s Tuesday I just knocked out 15 pull-ups).
I fully understand that most people don’t have time or want to take the time to drive to the gym, workout, and then drive home. That’s possibly two hours to try and jam into an already hectic schedule. I get it but let’s make this clear, we all need to perform strength training on a regular basis. For those of you already doing it every day and reaping the rewards, this article is not for you. For those of you not doing strength training regularly, read on!
By adopting the twenty minute rule for strength training you don’t need to worry about creating or finding time to go to the gym. You don’t have to waste time driving to and from the gym. You don’t have to go anywhere or get any equipment because your body is your equipment and you are going to exercise wherever you are every 20 minutes.
This lifestyle rule is the perfect thing for the person who sits at a desk all day. It will get you up and moving throughout the day. Recent research points the detrimental effects of extended periods of sitting. There is now a trend of people transitioning to mobile workstations and standup desks. Some research points out that our brains work best in 15-20 minute increments so the break is beneficial for your brain and productivity.
Other benefits are increased blood flow and oxygen to brain, muscles, and tissues. Increasing your activity can reduce food cravings and mindless snacking, improve your mood, and create sleep pressure to improve your quality of sleep at night.
So let’s get started. The first thing you need is to pick one body weight exercise to do each day. You will need to pick seven exercises total, one for each day of the week. (Once you really get this habit going try adding a second or third exercise). If you google “50 Body Weight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere” you can find lots of exercises to pick from.
Once you have the exercises, put them in your calendar so you don’t forget them. Next get some form of a timer. I use my Timex Ironman watch but you could easily use the timer on your phone. Set the timer for twenty minutes. When it goes off, do up to 30 repetitions of whatever exercise you’ve chosen for the day. Reset your timer and get back to work.
If your day doesn’t permit you to drop and do 20 push-ups because you are in a board meeting, no worries, reset the timer and do your 20 minute rule training at the next interval. On some days you will find you were able to exercise at every interval and knocked out 300 push-ups by the end of the day. On other days you may find that you only got 50 total reps throughout the work day due to travel or meetings. Again, no worries! Just finish out as many reps as you need when you get home so that you do a minimum of 100 reps each day of a particular exercise.
Here is my schedule:
- Monday: Push-ups
- Tuesday: Pull-ups
- Wednesday: Triceps chair dips
- Thursday: Squats
- Friday: Curls
- Saturday: Kettlebell swings
- Sunday: Lunges
That’s it! That’s the easy, simple application of A Methylated Life: 20 Minute Rule™. Try adopting this rule into your life and give me some feedback after 30 days!
Dr. Eric Balcavage, DC, CNS, CFMP, BCIM
The Methylation Doctor™