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The 15-minute Workout - Theres No Place Like Home - by Carol Solomon PhD

A few years ago, Consumer Reports magazine surveyed their staff about the types of workouts they liked best. The overriding favorite was using a home treadmill.

At the time, I couldnt see the least bit of value in thisI was doing much more intensive workoutsplaying tennis, kickboxing, running, etc. Of course, every once in awhile, I would work out too hard or not warm up properly and injure myself. Then I would not be able to exercise at all for 6-8 weeks.

And then, of course, there were those months where I became physically ill, tired of working out or too busy at work to exercise at all.

After a few months of feeling somewhere between a slug and a sloth, I would have to start all over again.

So a couple of years ago, I bought a used home treadmill. I then proceeded to let it sit in my living room gathering dust for almost a year.

Hmmm . . .Very helpful.

I finally got tired of looking at it and decided to give it a try. I decided to make a commitment to getting up 15 minutes earlier each day and use it for a minimum of 15 minutes.

The results were amazingthin thighs and an energy boost that lasts the whole day.

Here is my 3-step winning formula:

1. I get up in the morning and throw on some shorts and a T-shirt.

2. I go downstairs and enjoy 1 or 2 cups of coffee, which I have set to be made automatically.

3. I hook up my stereo headphones with upbeat music and walk on the treadmill for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Thats it.

Sounds too easy, doesnt it?

Thats the whole point. I have made it easy.

By using stereo headphones, I have made it fun. And, by the way, research shows that exercise is more effective when you workout to music rather than watching TV.

So, heres the thing. I am in the camp of people who used to run (its a large camp). I had too many injuries most of the time to keep running and in Chicago, the weather is often prohibitive (excuses, excuses).

When I ran, the hardest part was getting out the door. By using a home treadmill, I have eliminated the hardest part. I have also eliminated the injuries, so I can be much more consistent.

One of my favorite questions for my coaching clients who are working on difficult changes is this:

If you were going to make it fun and easy, how would you do it?

I challenge myself with this question too. Why make things difficult when they could be easy and fun? That only adds unnecessary stress and drama to our lives.

And another thing. Dont push yourself. Try to get the most out of your 15 minutes, but if you dont feel like doing it that day, dont do it. You dont want to set up a power struggle.

Give yourself permission to skip.

I do my 15 minutes (or more if I feel like it) more days than not because it is fun, easy and self-reinforcing. I have more energy on the days I do it than on the days I skip. When my schedule gets really tight, thats when I am even more committed to my mini-workout because it helps ward off fatigue and stress.

After you do your 15 minutes, you can quit with a clear conscience, or do more.

There are other ways to make workouts fun and easy. Some people like to work out with a friend or a group. Some people make it a game or competition. Others like working with a personal trainer it may not be as much fun, but it sure does make you accountable.

Some people will discount the 15-minute strategy even though it is extremely effective. To me, it is almost effortless and that is infinitely better than nothing at all.

Heres to making your workouts fun and easy!


About The Author:

Carol Solomon, Ph.D. is a psychologist and personal coach in the suburbs of Chicago.

She specializes in helping people lose weight and eliminate food and weight issues. She is the author of Lose-Weight-Now-Stay-Slim-Forever, a nondieting approach to lasting weight loss.

Sign up for her FREE email newsletter, SLIM FOREVER at

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