Find my perfect exercise routine: 30 minutes and done.
August 8, 2017 4:42 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for a routine I can do in the evenings when I feel particularly energetic or when I’ve decided not to walk in (raining) or the gym is full (tiny gym, huge office).

I’ve been steadily losing weight since October last year, maybe a pound or two a month. I’ve changed my diet and am eating a lot healthier overall (though I still struggle to walk past the desk everyone dumps sweets, cakes etc. on in work).

I’ve changed my morning routine so that instead of getting off the train on the same street as I my office I get off at a stop 1.4 miles away and walk briskly in from there. I also go to the office gym on my lunch break and spend 30 minutes on an exercise bike 3 or 4 days a week.

I am not interested in running; I have bad knees. Additionally I still have a noticeable mark on my leg from when I tore the top of my calf muscle back in March and I’m scared of that happening again.

I don’t mind if it’s just a list of exercise recommendations but something I can follow along with online would be ideal, especially if it included a warm-up and cool-down. Something fun that helps me work up a sweat but doesn’t leave me on the floor wishing for death afterwards.

I have looked online but there’s just too much out there so I’m coming to the only community I really trust for some more personal recommendations. I don’t have a target weight; I’m just looking to maintain my slow and steady loss.

If it helps: Female, 40, non-smoker, in the UK, no kids, 15st 2lbs.
posted by She Kisses Wyverns to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
Husband and I have cancelled gym memberships, and now use the Nike Training Club app to direct our workouts. It's free!

It can make a four-week plan for you, or just use it on an ad-hoc basis when you feel like you have a window of opportunity to workout. It has a large variety of workouts available, and you can filter by:

Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced
Duration: 15, 30, 45 mins
Equipment: none, basic, full
Intensity: low, moderate, high
Focus: strength, endurance, mobility

Warm-up and cool-down always included.
posted by tinydancer at 4:55 AM on August 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am super evangelical about Fitness Blender, which does free YouTube workout videos. I'm about to do this one right now. You can use their videos for free, but if you want some guidance, you can also buy one of their FB 30 programs, which puts together a program of 30-minute workouts for you to do.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:05 AM on August 8, 2017 [10 favorites]

One of the big sells of PIIT28 is that you're done in 28 minutes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:18 AM on August 8, 2017

I would suggest you check out Warrior X-fit. It is free and all you need is a resistance band.They offer modifications for every exercise.
posted by tman99 at 6:00 AM on August 8, 2017

Also in 40s, in the UK, not running as don't want to knacker knees and doing a slow and steady weight loss of which the gym is one part (though I'm male and at the other end of 40s).

I've gradually moved towards the rowing machine being the predominant piece of equipment in any evening routine. It's not massively strenuous (unless you want it to be) which is good as massive strenuous raises various levels that don't help sleep a few hours later. Instead, I do long, regular paced stints on it. The digital display clicks off the metres, then the kilometres, and also clicks up the calories burnt.

But the main reason I use it most of all in the evening is that a stretch on the rower clears my mind, clicks it into an evening rhythm, and means I calm down in my head a good bit no matter how bad a day it's been. I don't have a fixed routine as when I've tried with this before it's the fast track to boredom for me. So I do the rowing machine for as long as I want, then do a few other bits of equipment at random, then back to the rower for another session till I'm satisfied, long warm shower, and bed.
posted by Wordshore at 6:07 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

My friend just let me know about Darebee (no ads, no product placements) which has a lot of small fitness workouts that are very easy to look at on your phone and have little proressions if that's your thing. They range from beginner to advanced so poke around a little and see if you can find one that works for you.
posted by jessamyn at 6:34 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have actually found some decent fitness plans on Buzzfeed, and I'm working on one right now. They usually feature 3 days of 30-minute circuits of exercises at home, usually with simple tools (dumbells, or nothing), and then a day of cardio. Ostensibly you're supposed to stick to the plan of 4 days per week, but I've....cheated, and just done the rounds of exercises as I can. They were fairly simple, but left me feeling that I'd definitely worked. (The last one actually left me with sore muscles so I'm resting for a few days.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 AM on August 8, 2017

Have you checked the GMB programs? I'd start with the Elements one.
There is an online community (within the website and on Facebook), the GMB team replies to absolutely every email you send them and they're overall pretty awesome.
You will gain strength, flexibility and increased motor controls. I started one month ago after years of weightlifting and triathlons and I am pretty stocked by what GMB brings to me.
Also, you don't need a gym nor additional equipment, just your body and an internet connexion.
posted by Ifite at 7:25 AM on August 8, 2017

Any interest in lifting weights? I started using the routines from The New Rules of Lifting for Women a few years ago and really love it. I lift 3 times a week, about 30-45 minutes. I use adjustable dumbbells (they are super compact; the SweetHome has more recommendations) and do the whole thing at home.
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:27 AM on August 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

I like the app Sworkit.
posted by monologish at 8:02 AM on August 8, 2017

Seconding Fitness Blender. I've started doing some workouts at home and I love that it's all on Youtube and I can stream it to my tv through Chromecast/blu-ray. There is a large variety of workout styles, lengths, required equipment, and intensities. I am restricted to somewhat low-impact due to an ankle injury, don't have equipment, and prefer 30 minutes or less, and I've found oodles of workouts that work for me.

This one in particular left me sore for 3 days. In a good way.
posted by tryniti at 9:34 AM on August 8, 2017

I have tried pretty damn near everything and hula hooping is the one that stuck. It's the best workout I have ever had. There are infinite possibilities and moves and five years later, I'm still excited about it, still learning, and still getting a great workout.
posted by futureisunwritten at 10:14 AM on August 8, 2017

Kayla Itsines' Sweat was made for this. If you don't want to pay for the app you can find the pdf guides online pretty easily. I use it in conjuntion with yoga and damn if it doesn't make a difference.
posted by Marinara at 10:22 AM on August 8, 2017

Burpees are probably the best exercise you can get in the smallest increment of time. It doesn't take any equipment, hardly any space, and it works your entire body. You probably won't even need the entire 30 minutes.
posted by domo at 12:51 PM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like the Jillian Michaels app. I even paid for the subscription so I could use the 30/60/90-day guided programs, although there are some free offerings in the app. I tried the Nike TC app but it wasn't as polished as Jillian's and it didn't let me skip individual exercises, which I sometimes need to do. Jillian is not everyone's cup of tea, though. I recommend trying out any of her training videos on Youtube to decide if you like her.
posted by gakiko at 11:10 PM on August 8, 2017

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