The New York Times seven-minute workout

Victorian-era man exercising with an Indian club (1866)

The first step of Inner Leadership is to deepen our connection with ourselves. This helps us stay calm and focused and brings us clarity about our priorities.

One way to achieve this is by regular exercise. This not only keeps us healthy but also helps us to process the stresses we naturally feel in a churning world. But when we all live such busy lives, how can we find the time?

John Ratey, psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, says that useful exercise needn’t take long:

“Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your mood, memory and learning. Even ten minutes of activity changes your brain.”

If you don’t have ten minutes, The New York Times has published a series of exercises that take just seven minutes to complete. These are shown in the Scientific Seven Minute Workout, below. The only ‘equipment’ you’ll need are a wall and a chair.

For those who prefer to work with weights, the Advanced Seven Minute Workout provides an alternative. A free app provides step-by-step instructions and timings for both.

If neither of these suit you, the paper offers other alternatives that last one minute, four minutes, or ten — and even repeating cycles of just 10, 20, and 30 seconds.

Exercise will get your blood pumping and help you process the stresses of the day. Exercise keeps us healthy and happy. And if you think you’re “too busy” for exercise, The New York Times has the workout for you.

Would you benefit from taking more exercise? Could you find time in your day for just seven minutes of exercise? Why not start now?

Diagrams for the Scientific SEVEN-Minute Workout :

Diagrams of exercises

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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