A 30-Minute Exercise Plan You Will Stick To

13 Steps to a Better You

Many of us strive and promise to work out more regularly or at all for that matter. In this busy world, it can be tough to find the time to exercise and to stick with it. You want to look and feel better, so no more excuses! If you can find just 30-minutes a few times a week in your schedule, you can do this easy-to-follow exercise plan and you can do it right at home. Just follow this 13-step routine and you're on your way to a fit body and better health.

1. Stretch

Always begin with a full body stretch so you don't aggravate or pull any muscles or shock the system. Reach high to the sky, twist from side to side, and bend and straighten your limbs. Do this for a minute or two and stretch as far as you can until you feel a slight burn. It's important to loosen up to get ready for the rest of the workout.

2. 30 Toe Touches

Flexibility and coordination are important for keeping the body fit and nimble. Stand straight and bend at the hips, keeping the knees as unbent as possible. Reach down as far as you can if you cannot reach your toes. Do 30 of these in a row, maintaining good posture and form. The better you get, the further down you'll be able to reach.

3. 30 Lunges

Place your hands on your hips and point your toes forward. Alternate legs and step backwards with one while dipping down with the front leg to a 90-degree angle. Bring the leg back into position and do the same with the other leg. Repeat until you've done 30. You will feel your muscles working and growing. Make sure to really concentrate on squeezing the muscles as you bend and repeat for maximum results.

4. 30 Jumping Jacks

You may think jumping Jacks are for kids, but they are actually a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Do 30 in a row without stopping. Make sure your arms go all the way up and down and your legs separate as far apart as you can get them with each jump. Your heartrate will increase, so be sure to breathe well and keep your pace.

5. 10 Pushups

Now it's time to get down on the ground and work the upper body and core. Try 10 pushups to start and do more as you get better. If you cannot do a standard pushup, do a modified one where your knees are on the ground. Be sure to position your hands on either side of the chest and elbows are bent back. Do not let your chest hit the floor as you go up and down. You will see results in your strength and muscles in no time.

6. 30 Sit-ups

While you're down there, roll over for some sit-ups. Cross your arms across your chest and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. If full sit-ups are too difficult, go for crunches. If you can get someone to hold your feet steady, that's a plus, but you will work your body even harder keeping them in place yourself. A six-pack is coming your way soon!

7. 30 Over-the-head Side Stretches

Work your obliques with deep over-the-head side stretches. Stand up straight with your feet apart and lift one arm up and lean all the way to the side. Really squeeze the muscles and feel the pull. Switch sides and repeat until you've hit 30 stretches.

8. 30 Jumping Jacks

Time to pump it up again. Do 30 more Jacks and remember to keep good form. Feel your heartrate increase.

9. 10 Pushups

Get down for 10 more pushups. You can do another set, just stay steady and maintain good form.

10. 30 Sit-ups

Work those abs again with another set of sit-ups. Squeeze those muscles and imagine your waist whittling.

11. 30 Across-the-Chest Knee to Elbow Lifts

Work in a new move with 30 knee to elbow lifts. Lift one knee to the elbow on the opposite side of the body and alternate sides until you've reached 30. Keep your back straight and bring the knee to the elbow, not the elbow to the knee.

12. 30 Jumping Jacks

OK, last set of Jacks. Up and down, up and down. Make this set a great one and breathe deeply.

13. 30 Toe Touches

Bring the heartrate back down with 30 final toe touches. Remember to maintain good posture and keep the knees straight. Stretch into each touch and reach as far down as you can go.

You're done! Was that so bad? Your heartrate is up, muscles are pumping, and you made it through in just 13 steps in 30 minutes. Grab a glass of water and pat yourself on your (firm) back!

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