Fitness Articles

The 7-Day Guide to Jumpstart Your Fitness

This Week's Work Will Lead to Future Results

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Who do you want to look like? Britney Spears? Brad Pitt? Mia Hamm? We all want to look fabulous, but don’t always know how to take the first step towards our goals. A fitness jumpstart is a great way to set off towards a "better you."

The beauty of a fitness jumpstart is how little time it takes. Just 10-15 minutes are all you need to complete a good workout. With this in mind, SparkPeople has constructed a 7-day exercise jumpstart routine. Each day is completed by 10-15 minutes that will ease you back into fitness, while still breaking a sweat.

Each day will feature an exercise for your upper body, core, and lower body. Three days will incorporate more thorough stretching, while three others will include an aerobic exercise. For the everyday components (upper body, core, lower body), do 8-15 repetitions of each exercise. Then do the aerobic work or stretching for 3-5 minutes. On days you do aerobic, you should still stretch afterwards. The last day of the week is a fun day – pick out your favorite three exercises from earlier in the week!

Before each workout, make sure to properly warm up and stretch. Start by walking or pedaling on an exercise bike for a few minutes, then stretch for at least five minutes. Dumbbells or body weight is all that’s needed for the majority of the exercises, with a few noted exceptions. Links to demonstrations will explain the details about every exercise and provide a visual demo as well. For stretching, feel free to do some or all of the demonstrations provided, or use your own.

A week of exercise will not catapult you to magazine cover status just yet, but it will build a great foundation of fitness for the coming weeks and months. Good luck!

Day 1
Modified push-ups
Crunches
Forward lunges

Day 2
Bicep curl
Back extensions
Calf extensions
Jump rope – Even if it’s difficult to get more than a couple in a row, that’s OK. Like exercise in general, this takes practice to get use to.

Day 3
Rows with dumbbells
Reverse crunch
Leg raises

Day 4
Chest press with dumbbells
Dumbbell oblique
Hamstring flexion (requires Swiss ball)
Exercise bike – Go at a moderate pace, hard enough that your heart rate goes up a little.

Day 5
Tricep kickback
Elbow to knee
Calf extensions

Day 6
Lateral deltoid raise
Plank hold
Body weight squats
Jump rope

Day 7
Pick your own!

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About The Author

Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.

Member Comments

  • Have to start slow but it is a start. Thanks for the great article. - 1/29/2013 12:21:58 PM
  • Just what do you mean when you say stretch before or after exercise....
    Show me that part too - but this is super list and hope
    - 6/17/2012 11:27:39 PM
  • This article says stretch before exercising and I seem to remember a Coach Nicole article on exercise mistakes and that's on her list of mistakes. - 3/29/2012 10:46:48 AM
  • Thanks! So glad I found this! I've just started working out again (very slowly) and this looks perfect to add to my routine! - 3/29/2012 9:54:40 AM
  • Thank you so much! This article gave me the strength to get started on a fitness routine. As I looked at each exercise in this article, I found myself saying "I can do that"... and tonight I am on day 4 and gaining momentum. I'd still have my fat butt planted on my couch if it weren't for this article. Thank you again for helping me start my journey to find the healthy woman inside me! - 6/1/2011 9:46:35 PM
  • Tanks, it really takes more than 15 minutes but it is worth a big way to try - 12/9/2010 10:23:00 AM
  • This is a great article, just what I needed. I have no equipment, but know how to improvise. This is a jump start I can do. - 10/10/2010 9:02:27 AM
  • SHEZSAVED
    Thank you so much for this article!! I needed a push with strength training!! - 9/15/2010 4:14:11 PM
  • ARTICFOX2310
    Thanks for the input. I needed to add more strength training. - 9/15/2010 4:13:50 PM
  • SHEZSAVED
    Thank you so much for this article!! I needed a push with strength training!! - 9/15/2010 4:13:50 PM
  • MFT662
    This is terrific - thanks! I needed to start adding some resistance/streng
    th training to a very basic walking/jogging program I've started and this is perfect. Thanks! - 9/15/2010 1:32:32 PM
  • i think its more of a mind set really that will get them up off the couch and into some fitness routines. You have to set your mind to it. And you must keep reminding yourself of the goal you are working towards. - 9/15/2010 1:06:08 PM
  • I agree with the above comments since I am almost 68 and have health issues (osteoarthritis, bursitis, etc.) How about something for us "sexy senior citizens" we can put on our Fitness Tracker. I am just beginning and some of the exercises are WAY too much for me. - 9/15/2010 12:40:22 PM
  • I don't think push ups and situps are going to inspire people who have been couch bound for a time.

    And, as others have suggested, a Jump Start, for sparkpeople, for people with disabilites is a good idea.

    I have ehlers-danlos and grave disease, and therefore a type of fybromyalgia. I have issues with joints and connective tissue. I need a lot of isometric exercises. Plank position is weight bearing on the wrists and hands, this isn't so suitable for many people with joint issues. - 9/15/2010 11:43:50 AM
  • Wow! I love how it seems that i see these articles right when i need them. My exercise had been one hold for a few days due to visiting with family and i want to jump start my programme. I think this is just great and i will definately be using it. - 9/15/2010 9:39:08 AM
Popular Calories Burned Searches: Water aerobics  |  Stationary, exercise or recumbent bike: moderate ( < 12 mph)  |  Stationary, exercise or recumbent bike: vigorous (> 15 mph)

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