If You Have Time for Only One Exercise, Do This

Woman running
Expert Jason Karp recommends running, if you have time for only one exercise. (iStock photo)
We all know we should exercise every day. And we also know that's easier said than done. Finding the time is difficult for many of us.

But when it comes to exercise, something is better than nothing. Newsmax Health asked five of the nation's top fitness experts for the one exercise they do when they are pressed for time.

The Expert: Ian Smith, M.D., co-host of The Doctors TV show and author of Super SHRED: The Big Results Diet and The 4 Day Detox.

If you have time to do just one exercise: Do mountain climbers.  

"In this exercise, you position yourself as if you're doing a pushup and then alternate bringing your knees to your chest," explains Dr. Smith. "This is a full-body workout that can give you so many benefits in a short period of time without any machines. Not only will it get your heart rate up, but it will also work and tone large and small muscle groups."

Tips: Do this for one minute at a fast pace. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat four times.

The Expert: Al Kavadlo, personal trainer and author of Stretching Your Boundaries: Flexible Training for Extreme Calisthenic Strength and Pushing the Limits! Total Body Strength With No Equipment.

If you have time to do just one exercise: Do pull-ups.

"Pull-ups give you a lot of bang for your buck," explains Kavadlo. "They work the entire upper body, including the abs, plus they require very little equipment. Anyone can put a pull-up bar in a door-frame. They're also a great indicator of pound-for-pound functional strength, which, in my opinion, is more useful than simply being able to lift a heavy weight."

Tips: Do three sets of as many as you can.

The Expert: Jordan Metzl, M.D., a sports medicine doctor at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery and author of The Exercise Cure: A Doctor's All-Natural, No-Pill Prescription For Better Health & Longer Life.

If you have time to do just one exercise: Do burpees.

"Burpees are great because they are cardio, they're strength, and they target every muscle at once," says Dr. Metzl. "Start standing, then drop into a bent-legged crouched position and place your hands onto the floor, jump your legs back until you're in a plank position with arms extended. Then jump your legs back to between your hands and then stand up again."

Tips: Do three sets of 10 burpees; work up to four sets. (For more information about how to do burpees, click here).

The Expert: Jason Karp, nationally recognized running coach and author of five books, including 101 Winning Racing Strategies for Runners and Running for Women.

If you have time to do just one exercise: Run.

"Running, especially fast running, is a very quick way to get fit, and it burns more calories than practically anything else, so it's also a great way to lose weight," says Karp.

Tips: Warm up with a five-minute jog. Then run three minutes fast, followed by three minutes of easy jogging. Repeat this fast-easy pattern four or five times. End with a five-minute cool-down jog.

The Expert: Jenn Zerling, fitness expert and author of Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools.

If you have time to do just one exercise: Do squats.

"Squats strengthen your legs. Without good leg strength, you can't walk, run or sit down safely and, as we get older and leg strength decreases, it can increase your risk of falling," explains Zerling. "Also, your legs pump blood back to the heart which keeps it healthy. Catering to your legs will improve circulation and decrease your risk of blood clots."

Tips: Do 12-15 squats, lowering down for four counts, pausing at the bottom for one count and pushing up to standing for two counts.

For the original article, visit newsmaxhealth.com.

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