This 15-Minute Workout Will Help You Sleep Like A Rock Tonight
With our busy schedules, we don’t always have time to get a workout in. It's understandable! Life can get in the way, and sometimes you can only carve out 15 minutes–but that shouldn't stop you from getting your sweat on. So what can you do to make the most of your 15 minutes and also guarantee yourself a good night's sleep? Isometric cardio, of course.
Isometric cardio, or iso-cardio as I call it, is a 15-minute workout I created that will not only boost your feel-good endorphins but also leave you feeling relaxed and stress-free when it comes time to sleep. Sound too good to be true? Let me break it down.
Iso-cardio combines isometric bodyweight exercises (like holding a squat) with movements that will get your heart rate elevated (like high knees). Aka you'll break a sweat, and you'll also build your strength. Not to mention, isometric exercises allow you to tap into your mind-body connection because your only choice is to focus on the present moment. It's like meditative exercise!
Here's my go-to routine:
Round 1: 30 seconds each exercise:
- High knees
- Bodyweight squat hold
- Bodyweight squats
- Upright plank
- Lunge hold (15 seconds each leg)
- Bodyweight lunges
- Forearm plank
- Bicycles crunches
- Mountain climbers
Round 2: Repeat all of the above, this time doing each exercise for 60 seconds.
*If you have more time and gusto, you can add a 45-second round in between the 30- and 60-second rounds.
While you're doing these moves, focus on fluidly transitioning from holding the movement to continuously doing the full movement (e.g., going from a bodyweight squat hold to continuous bodyweight squats). This will engage both your body and your mind–which will release good endorphins and ultimately help you sleep at night.
Don't get me wrong: This is a real workout, but if it means I'll sleep well tonight, you can bet I'm making it part of my day!
Jason Williams, NASM-CPT is a personal trainer, meditation teacher and well-being coach. He was a former collegiate track athlete at Lynchburg College, where he received a B.S. in sports medicine. He teaches boot-camp style and spin classes, but his main interests are pilates and barre. He is the director of Pilates Barre Training in Baltimore, MD and the author of "The Adventures of Frankie Fitness," a children's book that inspires kids to be both physically and mentally healthy.