Don't have an hour or even 20 minutes to exercise each day? You might not need it. This routine of 12 exercises is a complete workout based on the latest fitness research — and it only takes seven minutes.
As with other short but highly efficient exercises, this routine is based on interval training, where you're combining intense activity with brief recovery periods. We've seen interval training touted before as the most efficient type of exercise. You could do it with cycling, but this workout is an alternative guide, and you can do it basically anywhere with almost no equipment.
The routine was posted in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal and highlighted by the New York Times. In this program:
The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each [with a 10-second rest between exercises], while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, [director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute] Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done.
Here's the full illustration of the seven-minute workout:
As you can see, all you need is your own body weight and a chair to get "maximum results with minimal investment". However, this was designed for people with pretty sedentary lives, so if you're starting out somewhat in shape, you should probably do this a few times in a row. Hit the link to read more.
The Scientific 7-Minute Workout [New York Times]