We all have those days that end too soon, we sigh as 10 pm arrives because so much that needed to get done, didn’t. While fitness is a huge priority in my life, work often comes first and that has meant skipping a few nights at the gym simply because my professional schedule can be so demanding. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time or energy to get my entire workout in. So, a while back, I devised this quick 15 minute workout, short enough that I can always squeeze it in. 15 minutes is better than nothing, 15 minutes will still release the endorphins I rely on to combat stress, 15 minutes feels a lot longer when it comes to this intense burst of a workout. And the best part? No gym required. You can do it at your neighbourhood park, by the beach or like me, at home (I quickly drag my coffee table to the corner of my living room, yes, call me Jane Fonda). So, alongside my new favourite activewear brand, Neu Apparel, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share this short but sweet workout with you. We all have 15 minutes to spare in a day. We can all do this. It requires nothing but a floor and a jump rope, which you can pick up for a few coins via amazon. And with the festive season upon us, when we become the most hedonistic and the most lazy, I hope you remember this workout for the days you feel too sluggish or hungover for a full blown hour at the gym.
jump rope: 3 sets of 3 consecutive minutes
Running is my thing, it has been for over an decade. I roll my eyes when people tell me I should try spinning or yoga. No thanks, I stay loyal to my sport. But jumping rope is suprisingly such fun and the closest I can come to running at home. It’s hard work but effective, time efficient and incredible for every single muscle in your legs. I suggest loud music while you jump. If you can’t do 3 sets of 3 consecutive minutes, go for as long as you can, but do push yourself. It’s a high intensity exercise so you should be jumping relatively high but steadily so.
push ups: 3 sets, flexible reps depending on strength for 3 minutes
Now, I truly resent those ‘female push-ups’, from a feminist standpoint they are a sin but they also provide an insult to the crazy amount of strength we as females can and do possess. Now, they are hard, perhaps you can’t do a single one yet, that’s okay, spend the 3 minutes trying as hard as you can. Eventually you will be doing a couple and then ten, fifteen and so on. I typically do 3 sets of 25-30, depending on how strong I feel, which varies quite drastically. The simple exercises are usually the most effective. Push ups are incredible and you must do them. They tone your arms, chest and even reach some of your abdominals.
crunches: 3 sets, flexible reps depending on strength for 3 minutes
You are already familiar with my abdominal board, which I swear by, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy for that level of torture. Crunches are a little easier but powerful all the same. Now I prefer to do these fast but steadily, with my legs lifted at a right angle. I won’t relax my ab muscles or lower my head to the ground during a set. I like to call it a fireblast because if you do it right your stomach will burn afterwards. I hate to tell you this but 3 minutes will feel like an absolute eternity.
a newfound love: neu apparel
I have terribly picky when it comes to activewear, most of it doesn’t even seem designed for exercise. Usually, I opt for the less stylish, practical option. But that changed when I stumbled across Neu Apparel, a brand that is flattering but also, highly functional. The backless feature of the tank is my favourite, it keeps me cool during my runs but also looks like something I’d wear on a Friday night. I never thought those two affirmations could appear together in a description of gymwear. I hilariously tried to capture a selfie of this tank in the mirror at my gym for snapchat, and despite contorting my body into all sorts of strange angles, I didn’t manage a single snap that looked even half good, so I’m happy to finally share it with you here. I’ve also since learnt the advantage of good looking gymwear; I lift weights, which means I spend a good amount of time standing in a mirror staring at myself. I have been enjoying my reflection a whole lot more since wearing Neu. I think we all as women need whatever boost we can find when it comes to how a mirror makes us feel.