The solution to the "I don't have enough time" problem is not to make shorter and shorter workouts, but to encourage a cultural shift away from constant media distractions and pointless hyper-productivity posturing. No one is too busy to spend 30 minutes exercising 3 times a week.
Ditto for the obesity crisis - the solution isn't to make less caloric foods, it's to change the culture of excessive portion sizes and sedentary lifestyles.
Also, what you say is misleading. Exercising for 30 minutes means that you also need to prepare, have a shower afterwards and it also means that you will require more sleep. If you add all those up it means that those 30 minutes are closer to an hour, if not more.
I know; I was a 30-40 km per week runner until my second child got born.
I apply this method and it is amazing how stronger and leaner I am now. And doing pushups, some cardio is also done.
I do cardio while bicycling to the office (no clothes changes needed again; maybe just the t-shirt in summer), and walk up the office and home stairs (4 floors in both cases) two steps at a time.
This is a much bigger hurdle than it might seem; at any rate the biggest one for me personally. I have absolutely no idea how to create an exercise plan for myself, which exercises should I do and in which combination. And additionally, even if I had such a plan, I have no idea how to measure my progress, or whether and how to modify the plan depending on the progress.
Poor form is sometimes caused by fatigue, but that's about knowing your limitations.
Parent's point stands. Anything - in a reasonable sense - is better than nothing. If you do handstand push-ups day one, you deserve what you get.
After a few months you'll exhaust that (perhaps just take it out of the library?), and need more intermediate-level information:
Otherwise, some others have suggested a few Reddit threads; see also /r/fitness.
Don't over complicate things. Do 5 sets of 5 reps of:
* Bench Press (barbell)
* Front Squat (barbell)
* Dead Lift (barbell)
* Pull Ups (weight hangs off a chain linked through a squat belt)
Have 1.5 to 2 minutes of recovery between each set. Do this 2 to 3 times a week with as much weight as you can lift.
How to progress: Write down exactly what you lift in a notebook and attempt to do exactly what you lifted for the previous workout with the only change being an increase of 1 to 5 lbs on one of the sets.
Cost: A monthly gym membership or about 50 cents a pound for second hand weights. About $25 for a second hand barbell. $25 for a second hand bench w/rack. So starting out pickup 300lbs of weight which is about $150 plus the cost of the barbell, bench w/rack, and squat belt should set you back about ~$200 (or the cost of a gym membership for 4 months.).
Quiting social networks and watching/listening to news has helped to find time to learn and think about training.
Running or cycling to work is not an option. I live in Cyprus where summer is regularly over 40 degrees C and autumn/spring regularly over 25. Also, there are almost no bike roads.
What it surprised me is how little you need to do to change your whole body. I'm stronger as ever working out 20-30 minutes three times a week the best weeks, even less sometimes.
I understand you not cycling in Cyprus.
Since you're on an island you might also try open water swimming.
We've fetishised physical activity as "exercise", a strange and pointless hobby that you need to wear special clothes for. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Current health guidance suggests that it's perfectly sufficient to do 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity and 60 minutes of muscular activity every week. Crucially, there's nothing magic about "exercise" as opposed to just doing physical things. Going for a brisk walk or pushing the lawnmower counts as moderate cardiovascular activity. Digging in the garden, laying bricks or carrying heavy bags of shopping counts as strength activity.
We need to get away from thinking about exercise as something we add to our schedule, but something that we build into an active lifestyle. Many people never do "exercise" per se, but get more than enough physical activity to stay healthy. Some people do have extremely sedentary lifestyles that are detrimental to their health, but they don't need a gym membership and some lycra pants to fix that.
The message shouldn't be "get more exercise", but "be more active".
Yes, it really is. A majority of Americans don't get this basic level of physical activity. Going jogging or lifting weights simply isn't necessary to maintain physical health, but you need to do something.
* 0: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/walking-e...
Expecting people to suddenly improve and re-prioritize their lives accordingly is unrealistic, rather than working with people where they are on gradual improvements, encouraging them to take that big leap forward!
While I agree with your sentiment that too many people spend money on dumb crap, making broad statements about what everyone should do is a step too far.
I'm not buying it. I had a kid (he's grown and moved out) and managed to exercise. I rode my bike to work. I coached his football and basketball teams. I squeezed in weights on my lunch hour. I ran or cycled a few hours early Saturday, before the rest of the family was ready to do things.
Same holds true for friends that have young kids today. One parent runs/cycles while the other helps with homework. Yoga at 5am. Treadmills or stationary bikes to squeeze in workouts whenever possible (after kids are in bed).
I raised 3 small kids and it's easy to feel constrained. When I realized that everything I was doing was my choice, I felt less guilty about not doing X, Y and Z. Instead I was just prioritizing and choosing to do other things with my time.
So technically, yes you can choose to exercise 30min a day but it's also perfectly reasonable to choose sleep, playing with your kids, etc.
I agree completely that time is exceptionally short with kids in the picture, but it’s not impossible to do at least something simple.
I noticed when reading the reviews that what seemed to be a common complaint was that the randomization would repeat an exercise type too often. Now, I know you've fixed this because I just spent five minutes reading the release notes for every release in the last year--but if you used the ability that Apple added to reply to these reviews, then someone wouldn't have to do that in order to figure out if the issue was addressed.
To someone who does no exercise at all the thought of doing a whole 30 minutes of exercise is just too overwhelming for them that they will just keep putting it off and never get started. But maybe if it is just 1 minute, that would be enough for them to stomach and get them started. Once they have got 1 minute under their belt, they will be much more likely to go for 5 minutes and from that 30 minutes.
I quite often find that mantra of 'one more minute' really helps me to deal with arduous tasks and fight distraction. When I want to give up on something because it is too tough or boring and I just want to surf reddit instead, I tell myself, ok, just do 1 more minute of this and then give up. Often it is all I need to get over the hump and keep going.
Agree that our sedentary lifestyles are a significant contributing factor to obesity, but you have it backwards about portion sizes.
Calorie dense (palatable) foods trigger our the reward centers in our brain more than non-palatable foods, and actually make us more hungry. This is an evolved survival strategy.
If you look at hunter gatherer diets, they will eat huge portions of extremely high calorie foods when they are available (e.g. drinking whole glasses of honey). They don't put on a lot of weight because they are more active, and don't have daily access to high calorie foods.
This means that large portions (and by extension obesity) are caused by the easy availability and low cost of high calorie foods. Telling people to eat less doesn't work because the systems that trigger hunger and fat retention work at a subconscious level and are in general more powerful than the conscious mind. The food environment that we have built up around us is a bad one for human beings.
If you want to learn more about how our hunger and fat regulation systems work then I can highly recommend "The Hungry Brain" by Stephan Guyenet .
Yet the French have dramatically lower rates of obesity than the Americans, and recent increases in the French obesity rate are mostly due to Americanization / a drift from traditional French food culture.
I obviously don't have the data, but I think it's simply because meals are traditionally "sacred" in French culture (that is, you don't eat snacks in between meals) and because portion sizes are much, much smaller than the American equivalent.
Everything about the American food culture works to subtly distort your sense of what a sensible portion looks like. A Big Gulp is a grotesque amount of soda, but it seems almost parsimonious compared to a Double Gulp. It's almost like gaslighting - you're constantly being told that vastly excessive portions are the norm.
I've heard this a lot but never experienced it. Are portions smaller in NYC (which is the only place in the US I've visted much)?
French food culture values home cooking from fresh ingredients which I assume results in food with lower concentrations of processed sugar.
#63 - France
#69 - U.S.
Let's not throw our hands in the air and blame the quirks of evolutionary biology when there are clearly better examples to follow.
The overall rank of all countries by body mass index places the US at #9 and France at #43. 
Evolutionary psychology is fine for producing plausible-sounding explanations, but I have not yet heard a single case where it actually produced something of scientific value.
Sure, aeons of scarcity obviously made us like food. But as can be seen with this example, culture often plays a much bigger role.
This is crazy. What are we doing? Nobody chooses to be fat, except maybe sumo wrestlers and a few other strange outliers.
Rates vary from 3.2% (Japan) to 30.6%. The median value is somewhere around 13%. Clearly there is more at work than evolutionary biology/psychology.
Regarding evolution, I don't think we would like to have a few billion deaths to let our DNA "adapt"
The 30 minute workout is a myth...
You're only exhausted after a 30 min workout when you have 0 physical training.
After a few weeks it'll have the opposite effects.
As developers our body is rotting away day by day, if I didn't push myself to exercise the most physical thing I'd do most of the days is pull a door to open it.
Even a set of dumbbells, a pull-up bar and a stretch mat will be miles ahead of doing nothing.
It's very insidious because you can be passive all your youth with almost no side effects, but all those years of passivity will come back at us when we hit 50, 60, 70.
If you're not exhausted after a 30 minute workout that just means you're not pushing yourself.
Even after bouldering for hours to the point of not being able to hold a glass of water in my hand I've never been "so exhausted that the rest of the night is down the drain.", and I'm far from being a genetic freak or a good athlete.
I used to be your average 70kg skinny fat teen, that was 4 years ago when I decided to do something to not end up like all the chubby 30+ years old guys I was seeing daily and who were unable to go up 4 flights of stairs without panting, at some point you have to take decisions for yourself. It's not some bs like "you can be the next Einstein/Musk/Bezos if you try hard enough", there is no luck involved, no barrier to entry. The hard truth is that there is no magic bullet, no quick ways to do it, you just have to get up and move, be it cycling, lifting weight, running, swimming.
It's pure lack of motivation/confidence, once you get started everything falls in place and gets easier. 3 or 4 hours of quality workout a week, even at home, will change your body in a few month and you'll never look back. And if you can't find 3 or 4 hours a week to take care of your most precious physical possession (your body) I guess you have bigger issues to take care of.
I'm currently doing a Texas-method-based lifting program: three-days, medium-light-heavy. The "medium day" is mostly volume with (e.g.) 5x5 squats at 90% for example; I'm zonked after. My light/recovery day I'm only doing 70-75%. The heavy/intensity day it's 1x5 100% (or trying to reach five reps).
Of course if you're going an HIIT program, then yes, you should probably fairly drained afterwards.
Rather than driving 20 minutes each way to the gym, just put on some shoes and run/walk from your front door. You've saved 40 minutes and a bunch of money. Plus, if your goal is to lose weight, you've a far more effective workout.
Walk/run/bike to work. I've completed 2 Ironman triathlons and 75% of my training was done on my commute (my shortest route to work is 8 miles but I can take different routes and make it as long as I want) with hardly any impact (other than exhaustion) on my personal or professional life.
It should also be noted that there's more to exercise than just weight loss.
"You can't out run a bad diet"
> being so exhausted that the rest of the night is down the drain
This is your body's resistance to a change in routine; you may also observe it when, e.g., quitting coffee or skipping breakfast. Keep it up for a few weeks and you'll be over the hump. A couple more months, and a 30-minute workout won't even faze you.
I still don't exercise anywhere near as much as I should.
Perhaps the tyranny of distance is the myth?
If you're going to the gym after work (and after getting home) that might be the problem. Everyone I know who works out either can take an extra long lunch break and do it then or get up an extra hour/hour and a half and do it in the morning. It's usually a lot emptier in the morning as well.
Also, there are a lot of activities you can do that don't even involve getting to a gym. You could do a 15 minute jog out and a 15 minute jog back. You can also do most bodyweight exercises at home.
These days I ride alone and the only number I care about is my total for last week.
I was swimming and going to the gym since a couple of years ago before that, but I feel more motivated now just for getting the stats.
It's silly, but not unlike trying to get green squares on GitHub.
This is an aspect it seems many people forget.
I'm not claiming you're wrong, but I'm not going to raise my hand and claim that I don't spend more time fooling around online than I ought to either.
I just wanted to post some options to workout from home. So it cuts down atleast on the time to drive out the gym and driving back. And if done in the morning also avoids the extra shower :)
Please note that other than having used these videos, I have no other affiliation to both these options. Both are free resources.
FitnessBlender has >500 workout videos. The best part is, these videos are tagged by their difficulty from level 1 to level 5. You can jump into any workout at any level. If it is overwhelming or underwhelming, you can adjust accordingly. At my weakest even a level 2 workout was killing. Then I had moved upto a level 4 or short level 5 workout. You can do all the exercises with a dumbbell or bodyweight. Lost nearly 20kg using this. Then I got careless and let slip. Now I am starting back at level 3. I used to make my own workout plan, putting together the workouts that I liked. They also have paid workout programs that makes all the planning much easier.
100Pushups.net and its associated pullups, situps running etc. These are just text resources that give you a detailed plan on how to progress from a single pushup(or none) and slowly build up until you can ultimately do 100. (The tracking app was added later and I have not used it.) It is purely bodyweight. You do need a pullup bar. I tried it for a short period and started seeing results in a very short period. But somehow working out with the video was a lot more motivating and I pushed myself more, than working out alone following some plan on paper. So I went back to FitnessBlender again. Yet, I feel, if you are good at pushing yourself, then this would be a good option.
Other please, share at-home workouts that have worked for you.
It's not lack of time; it's that people do not actively feel how badly their bodies deteriorate when they do not exercise, since it goes so slowly, and they do not do any exercise, so they also never really find out until it has become a real problem. If people would feel how bad it was not to exercise, they would be much more accommodating in their immensely busy schedules and actually take time out of their day to do so.
Relatively high fitness level is such a great feeling from oneself, it also positively affects your mind and mood. Every time I stop for whatever reason (ie travelling, sickness) I hate it, and also remember how hard it is to get back.
I used to do power lifting, but between this job, online programming classes, and trying to maintain a relationship with my wife, this dropped off.
Something that helped me immensely was just bringing a couple 25-pound dumbbells to work, leaving them by a pile of junk behind the building, and ducking out for a "smoke break" every 2 hours or so, during which I spend 5 intense minutes systematically annihilating every muscle group I can. The "best" workout is the one you can consistently do.
Pros: Takes maybe 20 minutes a day and I'm doing it on company time, but I don't feel bad about it because I don't smoke and it clears my mind to focus on more PPC drudgery.
Cons: None. Bring dumbbells to work tomorrow and hide them behind your junk pile.
I couldn't mod my treadmill to get any significant amount of incline but quickly landed on the idea of using my staircase and thus began a 4 hour regimen (10:30 pm to 2:30 am) of running up and down 25 steps 120+ times. It was highly effective (96 kg to 83 kg) but I blew out my knees and right ankle after 4 months of this, forcing me to stop. It also was a problem when my neighbour's wife kept peeking through their door to let me know they didn't appreciate all that clacking at 1 in the morning.
4 years later I'm holding onto the same level I reached back then (84 kg) and I'd love to do it again and get it down by another 10 kg in an intense two-month sprint. But I get cold feet every time I think about it.
I'm taking Vit. C now to boost collagen so my joints should fare better the next time I try it. The lawyer and his wife have also moved out which is another annoyance taken care of. Whether I can resist the urge to push hard after seeing the results is the question.
If those variables can be controlled swimming is definitely the best way to get a full-body workout without taxing the joints. Just the fact that I don't end up a sweaty mess with an extra load of laundry after each workout is a major win for me. Only problem is I don't trust the people running the pools here.
Tried cycling for a few years but it ended up not being safe early in the morning with a few politically-motivated murders on my route.
My current workout is just lifting weights + mountain climbers¹. Hasn't rocked my world but they do help me maintain status quo.
There are several simple HIIT routines on YouTube that can keep you gym fit without getting you killed. I like this one¹ but there are plenty others.
FWIIW, buy a kettlebell and take glycine/eat bone soup.
Well, but doing this “a few” times, let’s say 3x, results in... 1 min. Where’s the news?
Similarly for a lot of these tough-guy manager stories, they aren't doing anything that requires deep thinking like debugging TCP stacks.
You can have non-negotiable meetings and shift things around all you want if you have that kind of authority. But a lot of every day folks don't have the kind of work autonomy to have their schedule match their preferences
It's unfair to compare the average Joe to the POTUS. The POTUS has an army of aides to help him in his duties and he is expected to maintain good health.
A better way to approach the problem is to help people identify where there is a waste of time happening and guiding them to reduce that.
Personally I feel that smartphones have robbed us of our free time. They have seriously reduced our attention spans, have been feeding us endless information, most of which is useless and have made us borderline addicts. To maintain a healthier lifestyle and find more time per day, I would seriously consider ditching the smartphone and make do with a feature phone.
I have a wooden man  and a sand bag in my living room, which means the barrier to training is basically non-existing. And its a kind of training I enjoy, because it leads somewhere and strengthens the body in a non-artificial way. I'll do five minutes here, ten there; with the occasional late night 2 hour session.
I completely agree to this one. Ritual of going to Gym becomes a big procrastion.
The times I've done that I've felt extremely tired afterwards, and had to have a good long rest.
It's quite possible to get an hour of good exersize walking the dog though and that is definitely something you can brag about. #zenlife (please, don't hurt me)