Do you find yourself sacrificing time for exercises and workouts due to a hectic schedule?
Your schedule is packed to the hilt. You are trying to earn enough for retirement. You are stressed and tired, even in the morning.
Your worries are keeping you awake at night. The body aches and pain are driving you crazy and contributing to the stress and sleepless nights.
You cannot afford to take time off for a 5 km run or spend hours working out in a gym.
What if there are science-backed health and fitness hacks for you? What if I tell you that you only need to put aside 20 minutes daily to stay healthy and fit?
Let’s find out more:
Why You Only Need 20 Minutes per Day to Turn Your Life Around
If you can put aside 20 minutes every day, where you don’t use your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can turn your life around.
It’s that easy, but strictly no work, no social media, and no phone for the full duration of that 20 minutes.
The key reason why we are stressed and experienced health issues is that we don’t take time away from stress-inducing activities. We are ironically trapped by technology into spending more time on our work instead of using the extra time we saved in healthy living.
Look at the blue zones where the world’s healthiest and longest-living people are found: Ikaria (Greece), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Okinawa (Japan). They live fairly stress-free lives blended with nature and in tightly-knitted communities.
Why 20 minutes?
Curious researchers have been studying how to optimally emulate the blue zones’ way of life. 20 minutes appear to the ideal period you need to engage in the right activities.
Here are 7 tried and tested ways for your 20-minute daily workouts:
7 Science-Backed Health Hacks That Will Turn Your Life Around
Scientific studies have confirmed that the following activities are beneficial to your health and well-being:
1. Take a Nature Pill.
Studies have shown that spending just 20 minutes a day in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature reduces stress levels significantly.
This scientifically proven method has been called taking “nature pills”. All you need to do is to find a place nearby where you can feel united with nature.
I enjoy taking walks. So I usually choose a nearby park or a place with plenty of greenery. A fairly secluded beach or a lake with breath-taking scenery will do as well.
You should make a list of nature’s retreat near you where you would enjoy relaxing in.
So, whenever you are overwhelmed by stress, take a nature pill.
2. Take a Hike.
Science has proven that brisk walks for just 20 minutes a day have unbelievable health benefits.
You can combine this with taking a nature pill, like what I usually do.
Good tips to follow would be to stand tall, swing your arms, gaze forward, and vary your walking tempo. Back pains will be eliminated and you will sleep better at night.
So the next time someone asks you to take a hike, thank the person!
3. Try The Sound of Music.
A quote from Harvard Medical School which aptly summarises the key benefits of music:
“Today’s doctors tell us that music can enhance the function of neural networks, slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure, reduce levels of stress hormones and inflammatory cytokines, and provide some relief to patients undergoing surgery, as well as heart attack and stroke victims.”
The findings were all observed and derived from 20-minute trials.
It can’t get easier than this!
Grab a good comfortable pair of earpieces, download a repertoire of your favorite relaxing music, find a quiet place where you can lean back and relax, and have a blast with the Sound of Music!
4. Practice The Ancient Way of Yoga.
This ancient art of body posture and breathing techniques is practiced worldwide today. And for good reasons.
In case you are new to yoga, here’s a simple video on Yoga for complete beginners you can try at home.
Invest in a yoga mat and some comfortable clothes for yoga practice.
Ohmmmm…. Oops, that is for the next section…
5. Practice The Sound of Silence.
Meditation is another ancient art that you can practice in just 20 minutes a day.
There are several science-based benefits of meditation, apart from helping you to reduce stress, sleep better, and relieve bodily pain.
If you are new to meditation, you can try out this popular video on 20 minutes of guided meditation. You need to find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
When you have completed your first 20 minutes of yoga, take a look at this guide on the 7 best-known ways to meditate.
Find your favorite ways for the 20 minutes of blissful silence.
6. Flow With The Water.
Swimming is a good form of exercise if you have easy access to a pool.
There are many mental and physical health benefits associated with just 20 minutes of swimming daily.
Unlike other more rigorous exercises, swimming does not exert much strain on your joints.
You will feel invigorated after a dip in the pool. You will also feel happier and more energetic for the rest of the day.
This is a good option in your weekly repertoire if you are more actively inclined.
7. Pump Iron For The Good ‘Ol Pump.
If ever you feel like sweating it out, try pumping iron over a 20-minute session.
American Heart Association recommends a single set of eight to 15 repetitions, using eight to 12 different exercises, for two to three days a week.
With a good workout, your stress level will be reduced, you will sleep better at night and your bodily aches will be gone.
Pumping iron is good for your heart and might even help you live longer.
Go pump the good ‘ol pump!
Gimme Something More Challenging!
Each of the science-backed methods only needs 20 minutes of your time for a sitting. These 7 science-backed options are chosen for you as they are pragmatic and easily achievable.
If you like challenges, you can up your game and consider the following as alternatives for your daily 20-minutes activity:
- Rock Climbing in an indoor gym
- Rope Skipping
You need to decide each day on one of the 20-minute activities you are going to engage in, and get it done.
Next, I will show you the most effective way of ensuring you stick to the daily routine of having a 20-minute activity.
Don’t Make a Daily Plan or Schedule
No, I am not going to ask you to make a plan or schedule for your daily 20 minutes routine.
How many year-end resolutions have you made? And how many of them have you kept?
Studies have shown that less than 10% of year-end resolutions are accomplished.
For this to work, you must WANT to do it. For you to want it, you must believe in it and most importantly, ENJOY doing it.
So, let’s turn this into a game for you.
Your goal is to make sure that you do one of the given options each day for at least 20 minutes. You don’t have to plan out an entire week’s schedule of activities.
If you feel like swimming for 20 minutes on Monday, go ahead. If you want to change your mind and do Yoga instead, that’s fine as well. The key is to complete a recommended 20-minute activity within the day.
Naturally, if you have already decided which activity and what time to do it for a particular day, good for you. The important point is that you must WANT to do it because you are going to ENJOY doing it.
For the first 1 to 2 weeks, just choose an activity at random each day and enjoy the process.
For subsequent weeks you may want to vary the routine or up the challenge if you desire to break the monotony. For example, you can decide NOT TO REPEAT any activity within the 1-week time-frame. All you need to do is to draw up a list of the 7 options at the beginning of the week. Then as you try a routine each day, cross it out as an option for the rest of the week.
You can vary the game each week. Variations are limited only by your imagination:
- You can pre-select certain activities to choose from only for that week.
- You can decide to do the 20-minute activities for that week only in the day before 6 pm.
- You can designate a particular day as a Challenge Day and take on one of the more challenging options suggested, etc.
The key to your success is to make it FUN.
So have fun!
No Shit! It Works!
Stress, sleepless nights, and nagging bodily aches can leave you feeling helpless, anxious, and distressed.
But pressures in life should not determine what you want to be. The key is a change in mindset.
Resolve to be what you want to become — then set out to achieve it.
Just 20 minutes a day is all that is needed for the transformation. You will soon see the positive makeover in your body, mind, and soul.
You will be feeling mentally more alert, pain-free and even sleeping better at night. You will begin to look forward to each day with joy.
You can be healthy and fit. You can lead a happy fulfilling life free from bodily aches and pains that plague so many adults. You can have a blast doing the activities you love.
Start with a 20-minute activity you love today.