If you believe in living a lifestyle of preparedness, it’s important to acknowledge that this goes far beyond material goods. Of course it’s wise to have stockpiles of food, water, medical gear, and other important resources ready for an emergency, but you also need to be mentally and physically prepared for that same scenario. If you don’t have the strength and endurance to deal with adverse conditions, you’ll end up in trouble almost immediately.

As much as many of us hate to admit it, it’s necessary to work out regularly in order to maintain your physical strength, endurance, and health in general. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean driving to the gym and pumping iron for hours on end. You can play sports, hike, swim, or any number of other activities outside the home to improve in this area. But even if you can’t leave your home and you don’t own a single weight, you can get in shape through body weight workouts.

One body weight workout system that has been studied extensively and recommended by scientific research is known as high-intensity circuit training (HICT). This consists of a varied series of 30-second exercises performed in quick succession, with high intensity and minimal rest between exercises. A study in the American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Journal found the following:

“HICT seems to be an efficient means of exercise to help decrease body fat, improve insulin sensitivity, and improve V˙O2max [aerobic endurance] and muscular fitness. As the hectic pace of today’s corporate world continues to infringe on the amount of time individuals have for exercise, these types of programs can offer a good option to help busy individuals improve their health and recover from stress via exercise.”

The following infographic from Greatist illustrates one variation of the HICT system that takes roughly 7 minutes to complete. Click here to download a full-size version of this graphic.

Infographic 7 minute workout exercise cardio fitness strength 2Infographic 7 minute workout exercise cardio fitness strength 3

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