It’s the time of year when our resolution to get into shape is put on the back burner yet again due to our busy lives. However, whether you have 15 minutes, a half hour or a full 60 minutes to commit to your health, learn how to increase your fitness while maximizing your time.
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In the time it takes you to heat up dinner or throw in a load of laundry, you can achieve a cardio blast or high-intensity workout targeting the entire body and keeping your heart healthy.
In just 15 minutes a day, a lot can be achieved with simply a short warm-up exercise, followed by a high-intensity option like push-ups, burpees, or squats, says Adam Dittrich, coach and owner of Crusher Crossfit in Waconia. He emphasizes proper form and movement to maximize your efforts. “You need to focus on functional movement, and specifically movement that has you going up and down. This is important for joint strength, stabilization and proper range of motion,” Dittrich says.
Kurt Hartmann, owner of Pro Fitness Training in Eden Prairie, advises against using machines during the shorter workouts and also emphasizes using the body first. With options like pushups, squats and mountain climbers, you’ll tax more areas of your body and hit all major muscle groups.
For something completely different, visit Koko Fit Club in Chanhassen—one of the first digital gyms in Minnesota. Through trainer-guided sessions and some cool technology, a 15-minute routine focuses on cardio with high-intensity interval training. Clients can also use a patented digital tool for longer workouts, which integrates video to demonstrate each exercise and which weights to use. “Whether you’re 14 years old or 70, the workout is customized to you,” says Koko Fit Club owner Curt Strait. “It’s all about effectiveness and efficiency to achieve results.”
With a half hour to focus on your fitness, there are numerous options for interval training in the area. At 9Round, which has locations in Waconia and Eden Prairie, members typically engage in a 30-minute workout that has nine three-minute rounds targeting the full body. “There are no class schedules, so you just come in at the time that works best for you and jump right into round,” says Tamara Stuart, 9Round member. “It’s fast-paced and goes quick.”
A fitness club specific to women is Curves, which has locations in Chaska and Chanhassen. The gyms specialize in a 30-minute circuit-training workout. The routine consists of a short warm-up, cardio, strength training, cool down and stretching using machines with hydraulic resistance. During the 30-minute set, you’ll spend just 30 seconds at 12 different machines, with time on a mat in between sets. “You get in the machine and use it to your ability,” says Chaska Curves owner Gwen Swanson. “Your results are then measured using a digital tag that stores your data around range of motion and your fitness goals.”
If you’re looking for something a little more social, check out a group fitness class at the Victoria Recreation Center. Kaari Hilgert, a fitness instructor and personal trainer, teaches 30-minute classes for all fitness levels, including a Cardio Mix class, focused on short bursts of intense exercises and a Fit to the Core class, designed to strengthen core muscles. The Cardio Mix class is offered on Saturday mornings, and the core strengthening class is offered Tuesday evenings.
In 60 minutes, after a quick warmup, you are ready to go and it’s time to focus on joint mobility with light movement patterns and strength training. Whether it’s a class at a crossfit gym, personal training to guide you through your personal routine or going to the gym to use a machine on your own, there are a lot of great 45-60 minute workouts, as well as plenty of variety to mix things up.
“If you have 60 minutes, without a doubt, you need to focus on strength training,” says Jay Hancock, owner of Snap Fitness in Victoria, Waconia, Chaska and several other locations throughout the Twin Cities. Through individualized training sessions, Snap Fitness offers personalized routines to achieve the results specific to your goals. The gym is open 24 hours and has cardio and strength training equipment at each location. “Your joints can only support your bones for so long,” Hancock says. “It’s extremely important to work on your muscles to support your frame.”
For a variety of small and large group classes, visit Vault Fitness in Eden Prairie. Vault’s trainers offer one-on-one training and small or large group classes to members and non-members. Offerings include boxing, kettlebell classes, bootcamps, barre classes and many more. With 24/7 access, members can also use the strength training equipment at their convenience.
At Higher Power Training in Eden Prairie, 60-minute training blocks are their specialty. Focusing on a total body strength routine, you’ll work all your muscle groups with eight to 10 different exercises. Founder, owner and trainer Jason Ivesdal recommends rotating through three groups of three different exercises.
The first group of exercises works your lower body, the second group targets your upper body, and the final, smaller group focuses on your core or stabilization. In each group, exercises should challenge both the push and the pull efforts, such as using the bench press and lateral pull down for the upper body, and lunges and leg curls for your lower body. “Your workout will provide endurance, muscle size and strength work,” Ivesdal says.
Whether you have 15 minutes or a full hour, sticking to your fitness routine is probably the hardest part, but having options throughout the week can turn your spare time into a lifelong journey of good health.