A busy schedule calls for a program that can be flexible and efficient. Therefore frequent shorter bouts of exercise using multiple muscle groups simultaneously may be the key to ensure you maintain good physical health through this very stressful time.
The good news is that the benefits of regular exercise, even for shorter periods of time, are numerous (CDC, 2013). By simply aiming for at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity, you’ll help lower a number of disease risk factors. Keep in mind that daily exercise doesn’t have to be done all at one time. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently published a Surgeon General report stating that it can be performed in as little as 10-minute increments to be effective (DHHS, 2010).
Aiming for exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time is one of the best ways to get an effective and efficient workout. Examples of a few of these multiple muscle engaging exercises may include:
• Dumbbell Front Squats
• Lunges with Deltoid Lift
• Barbell Dead Lifts
• Inverted Fliers
• Mountain Climbers
It’s important to note that working several muscle groups at the same time can be a bit challenging when it comes to proper form. This is why it’s a great idea to check out the ACE Exercise Library. Look for the section covering Full-Body/Integrated Exercises. There you’ll find each exercise listed with pictures to help guide you through the movement. Exercises are grouped by target area, available equipment, and most importantly individual level. By selecting exercises specific to your level, you’ll help minimize the possibility of injury which can easily derail any fitness routine. You may also want to visit the ACE YouTube Channel to view a workout routine in action on your portable electronic device.
Maintaining good fitness, even for the busiest student isn’t difficult. By simply breaking up your workouts and utilizing integrated exercises, you’ll be able to balance your academic as well as your athletic successes.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC),The Benefits of Physical Activity, Retrieved 11/21/2013, http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010, Retrieved 11/21/2013,