You see, there are several Craigs.
There's a scary thought.

There's Craig the Business Dude.
Craig the Exercise Guy.
Craig the Coach, Teacher, Motivator, Mentor bloke.
Craig the Philanthropist, who wants to do some good.
Craig the Performer, who loves an audience.
And then there's Craig the Creative, who loves to write... he's been getting a lot of attention lately.
(And I won't discuss Only-Child Craig or Cheesecake Craig).

And while all the Craig's play well together (mostly), Creative Craig and Exercise Craig have issues.
They don't see eye to eye.
They don't really like each other at all.
Exercise Craig wants to punch Creative Craig in the head... he's not happy that they both inhabit the same body.
Exercise Craig thinks Creative Craig is a fat, lazy pig.

If you are like me, then at times you also struggle to manage the physical, the emotional, the cerebral, the creative, the entrepreneurial and the practical you(s).

Sometimes it's a tough gig but the one thing we can't replace is our health... and if physical 'us' ain't working, the rest of us won't be working for long either.

As I've said before, when it comes to exercise, there is no 'one-program-fits-all' fitness miracle.
Different bodies respond differently to different stimuli; what will work one person into a complete lather will barely raise another person's heart rate.

But... having said that, we do need a starting point, we do need something to follow and 'something' is better than nothing (as long as that 'something' doesn't kill us!).
We need structure, we need organisation, we need a plan and most importantly, we need to finish what we start (maintain it anyway).

As I said yesterday, this program won't turn you into an Olympian and it shouldn't be a replacement for an existing program... more of an adjunct. Consider it preventative fitness therapy. Although, if it's done properly and consistently, it will improve your overall level of fitness and function and help you shed some fat at the same time (especially if you are starting from a relatively low base).

General Info:
1. Each workout should take seven minutes.
I know yesterday I said four to eight... I changed my mind. Only-children can do that - my workout, my rules.

2. Each workout will consist of some cardio work (5 mins), some strength work (1 min) and a stretch (1 min).

Guidelines and Suggestions:
1. Complete the workout every hour you're at your computer... so, if you are at your computer for five hours a day, you will complete thirty five minutes of exercise each day! Cool.

2. Have some kind of system (alarm etc.) in place to remind you to do your workout.

3. If you are in a business environment you may need to get a little creative and/or talk to your boss. It's actually in his/her interest for you to do this anyway. If you have any trouble... call me, I'll take care of it!

4. Obviously I can't prescribe specific intensities, workloads, reps (etc.) for thousands of different people... so you will need to work at a pace which suits your current fitness level (that's why I've made the program time-based). For some people, doing ten step-ups per minute will be comparable to someone else doing fifty in the same time frame... you will need to gauge that for yourself.
But I will say, start slowly and progress from there.

5. Have virtually no rest between activities (cardio, strength, stretch)... unless of course, you feel crap.

I will also say that if you have a pre-existing medical condition or injury, if you have any doubts or worries about your health, or if you're an old fart (I love old farts - don't get precious), you best go see your Doc first.

The Program.
So we already know the structure:

*5 mins cardio (heart/lung stuff)
*1 min strength (muscle stuff)
*1 min stretch (look after your back and your posture stuff).

Keep in mind that this program is somewhat of a compromise as we have limited time and resources and we are (mostly) not wearing exercise gear.

To be honest, it doesn't really matter which cardio exercise you choose for the five minutes as long as your limbs are moving (non-stop preferably), your heart rate is up, you're getting a bit (weeny bit) hot and sweaty, you're a little out of breath and the intensity is appropriate.
If you're confused about the heart rate (HR) thing.. here's a formula to calculate your HR max.

208 - (your age x 0.7).

So if you are forty years young, your calculation would look like this:

208 - (40 x 0.7) =
208 - 28 =
So, your HR max = 180 (simple)

Now, we don't want you working at max, we probably want you working at around 70 - 80% of your HR max if you are of a reasonable fitness level. Closer to 60% if you are a fully-qualified lounge lizard.

Some cardio options:

*Stair walking
*Any cardio machine if you have access (bike, stepper, rower, strider, etc.)

I personally like stairs, step-ups and skipping because they are simple, practical, convenient (usually) and very effective... do five minutes of step-ups and you'll know about it.

The strength part of the program is easy; do two strength movements for thirty seconds each back to back... simple. Of course you may need to modify those movements to suit your strength level - half push-ups instead of full ones... or push-ups against the wall perhaps.

Some strength exercise options:

*Push-ups - full, from knees, half reps, against a chair, wall... whatever is appropriate for you.

*Sit ups - flat on your back, legs bent, feet flat on the ground, hands on your thighs, slide your finger tips to your knees, keep your head in line with your body (don't strain your neck).

* Tricep dips - Sit on the edge of your chair (or desk) and lower your butt down towards the ground using only the muscles on the back of your arms (triceps)... if you have wheels on your chair, you may end up on the ground! Your backside should move between two and six inches (not too deep, not too fast).

* Squats - a great lower body strength exercise, ass-shaper and a big calorie burner ('cause you're using big muscles). Pretend like you're about to sit on a chair, stick your butt out, thighs down to about parallel with the floor and come back up. Don't bounce, control the movement. Two seconds down, two seconds up. Arms out to the front for balance.

* A Bridge - Supporting your body-weight, parallel to the ground, resting (not so restful actually) on your elbows and toes. Keep your body straight and flat... no raised butt and no sagging hips.

There are a million stretches we could do and many of them would be valuable but we have seven minutes to complete our whole program, not seven hours, so I have chosen one compulsory stretch... but feel free to throw in some of your own.

* Sit up reaaaaally straight in your chair, place your hands behind your head (like in school), interlock your fingers, arch your back a little, take your elbows back as far as they will go (without ripping something!) and hold that position for sixty seconds.
Simple and good for sore, slumpy, humpy backs.
If you don't wanna look like Quasimodo any time soon... make this one a habit.
It will be a little uncomfortable to start; that's okay.

So, throw a mix of those ingredients together and your program might look like one of these:

Sample Program 1.
1. Step-ups - 5 mins
2. Push-ups - 30 secs
3. Sit-ups - 30 secs
4. Stretch - 60 secs

Sample Program 2.
1. Skipping - 5 mins
2. Squats - 30 secs
3. Tricep dips - 30 secs
4. Stretch - 60 secs

Sample Program 3.
1. Stair walking/jogging - 5 mins
2. Bridge - 30 secs
3. Push-ups - 30 secs
4. Stretch - 60 secs

Sample Program 4.
1. Stationary bike - 5 mins
2. Sit-ups - 30 secs
3. Squats - 30 secs
4. Stretch - 60 secs

A friend of mine has a 20cm (8 inch) step-up box in her office.
Every hour that she's at work she does five minutes of stepping (no strength or stretching).
She's been doing this for five weeks and has lost 6 kgs (13 lbs) without changing anything else!!
Yep, it works.

It's almost too simple and practical isn't it?

Well guess what?
Most people reading this post who need to follow something like this (or similar), won't.
They'll have a very good reason though.
They always do.

C'mon Groovers, show me watcha got.

Author's Bio: 

Craig Harper (B.Ex.Sci.) is the #1 ranked Motivational Speaker by Google. He is a qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, television host and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.

Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper