The New York Times seven-minute workout

The first step towards becoming antifragile is to deepen our connection with ourselves. This brings us calm, focus, and clarity.

One of the four ways we recommend to achieve this is regular exercise. This not only keeps us healthy and happy but it also helps us process the stresses we can feel in a churning world.

But when we 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.”

And if you don’t have ten minutes, The New York Times has published a series of exercises that take just seven minutes to complete. In the Scientific Seven Minute Workout, described below, only equipment you’ll need is a wall and a chair. (And if you prefer to work with weights, a link to the “Advanced” workout is also given.)

Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, starts each day by performing this seven minute workout three times.

Would you benefit from taking more exercise? Could you fit seven minutes of exercise into your day? After all, even ten minutes of exercise changes your brain.

Diagrams for the Scientific SEVEN-Minute Workout :

Diagrams of exercises

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

If neither of these suits you, the paper also offers alternatives lasting one minute, four minutes, or ten — plus repeating cycles of just 10, 20, and 30 seconds.

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

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You can buy the book here and the workbook here.

(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)

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