Categories: Fitness & Exercise

Stay fit & healthy – 20 five minute mind & body fitness exercises

5 min daily exercise routines to keep the whole body fit & healthy

We’ve compiled 20 simple, easy to learn 5 minute fitness exercises for the mind and body that you can pick and choose from. Try and do one of these a day to stay supple, fit and healthy.

These are designed to help you where ever you are, with no need to go to a gym. So if you are at home, the office, a park etc there are no excuses! It’s time to make sure you are living a Healthy Lifestyle.

Why not agree to do it with a partner or friend you live with to help motivate you both to stick to one a day, it’s only 5 minutes!

If you want to do more than one a day, try to pick one from each section for an all round body approach.


Contents of this guide…

This guide includes exercises for:   (click to jump to section)

  1. Fitness
  2. Wellness
  3. Stretching
  4. Self Massage
  5. Breathing


Please Note:
Always try to start with a gentle warm up before jumping straight into stretches and fitness exercises


Section 1.

1. Fitness Exercises

The exercises within this Fitness section are not aimed at Aerobic exercise so there is no fast paced cardiovascular exercises as we wanted to focus more on Anaerobic exercise in this article, to help you strengthen your body and overall core fitness.

If you can try and get into a routine each week, it will really help add consistency to you fitness regime which is the key to reaching your goals.


1.1  Lunges

  1. From an upright position step right foot forward
  2. Slowly lower to a lunge position until both legs are at right angles to the floor and upper body, Hold
  3. Push up into the upright position and keep your weight on heels
  4. Change legs and repeat

This great video with Layla Luciano shows how to do 3 different types of Lunge:

Standard, Forward and Backward, with more calorie burn achieved with the latter two.

It’s very clear and easy to follow…


1.2  Arm Lifts

  1. With a tin of beans, soup or fruit in each hand, stand straight, stomach flat feet hip width apart
  2. Slowly raise the arms to shoulder height but do not lift the shoulders
  3. Hold then slowly lower & build up to 20 reps


1.3  Wall Sit

  1. Stand against a wall and slowly move your feet away from the wall until your knees are above your ankles
  2. As you are doing this you will naturally lower and move into a squat position pushing your weight against the wall
  3. Ensure your weight is pushing through your heels and that the top of you legs are 90 degrees to the wall
  4. Hold for 30 seconds or a touch more if you can manage it and then slowly rise
  5. Rest for 30 secs, then repeat 2 or 3 more times (once again take it slow, it you feel it hurts too much, stop!)

This exercise is aimed at the thigh region.

Once again the wonderful Layla Luciano shows us how to do this beautifully….


1.4  Plank

Fantastic for getting your Abs in tip top shape!

  1. Do not over do this exercise, it’s a hard one to start with until you strengthen the stomach muscles
  2. So with that in mind aim to hold this for 15 secs to begin with
  3. To start lie on the floor, resting on your arms to elbow and slowly lift your body up with your feet on their tips
  4. Hold for 15 seconds and then lower (if you have had enough before 15 seconds stop, you will extend time as you strengthen)

This video below by ‘Modern Mom’ shows how tough but worth it the Plank can be….


1.5  Squats

  1. Stand straight and place your legs shoulder width apart
  2. Push hips back and lower yourself into the Squat position
  3. Then slowly rise pushing with your heels
  4. Repeat, going at your own speed for 5 minutes.
  5. Try not to rush them, you’ll find as you practice this exercise more you’ll speed up naturally

This is fantastic for the backs of the legs, the hamstring area.

Check out another very clear and easy to follow video from Layla Luciano



Free Infographic

Grab an Infographic of 12 of these exercises to print & read through with a cuppa…

To view the full infographic in high resolution please click on the image below….


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Section 2.

2. Wellness Exercises

Along side your physical fitness it’s also extremely important to keep your mind fit & healthy and your happiness levels up too.

So for this section we have included some short 5 min exercises that concentrate on being more mindful and gaining some peaceful time to allow your brain to rest and help you sleep better.

If this is a subject that interests you, you may also like to read our article ‘Rest your mind for 10 Mindful minutes‘.


2.1  Mindfulness

  1. Look ahead & close your eyes
  2. Visualize the scene around you
  3. Open your eyes & take in more of the scene
  4. Recall & visualize more of your surroundings


2.2  Mindful Meditation

If you are someone who prefers to be guided by an audio-visual step by step process this video by Dr. Robert E. Dinenberg could be a great place to start with a mindful meditation…

He takes you through a journey from feet, to breathe, then abdomen and back to feet.


2.3 Meditation

  1. Sit comfortably & straight like a thread is attached from the top of your head to ceiling
  2. Close eyes relaxing each body part starting with feet & working up to neck and shoulders
  3. Breathe deeply & notice the breath filling and leaving the body
  4. Repeat a word or phrase to establish a focus
  5. End practice by becoming aware of surroundings and your body
  6. Gently open your eyes and move slowly

For more tips, check out our ‘6 must watch Meditation videos‘ article.


2.4  Mindfulness

  1. In your mind pick a fruit, any fruit
  2. See the colour, feel the weight, its smell, feel the texture of the skin
  3. Imagine biting into the fruit, visualise the taste and texture
  4. Just let your mind drift and relax



Section 3.

3. Stretching Exercises


The majority of people tend to spend far too much time sitting down, especially if working in an office or driving long journeys as part of their work day, so it’s very important to stretch to keep fit and flexible.

Here’s some quick, easy stretching exercises to fit into your daily exercise routine and perfect for office exercise at work



3.1  Seated Office Stretch   (Neck and Shoulder)

  1. Loosen your neck muscles by letting your head drop to your right shoulder from an upright position
  2. Then roll chin to chest, then to the left shoulder, reverse this
  3. After Roll both the shoulders in a forward circle 5 times and then reverse

‘Dawn Productions’ show us how to do this perfectly…


3.2  Chest stretch

  1. Stand up straight
  2. With dropped shoulders & arms behind back catch hold of your fingers
  3. Straighten arms & lift your arms up keeping shoulders down
  4. Breathe in and out as the stretch is released


3.3  Legs Stretch

  1. Sitting on the ground bring the soles of your feet together
  2. Holding your feet, slowly lower your knees towards the floor
  3. Push your legs down gently with the elbows if you need to
  4. Hold for a 10 seconds then raise

Here’s a video by ‘Runtastic Fitness’ covering some excellent Leg stretches…


3.4  Seated Office Stretch   (Ankles and Feet)

  1. Bring up left leg, straighten & moving at ankle
  2. Point the toes up then down 10 times repeat with right leg
  3. Now move the foot in a clockwise direction then anticlockwise 10 times each way, repeat on other leg


3.5  Back Stretch using your Legs

  1. Laying on your back on the floor, pull your knees towards you bending them and keeping feet on the floor, hip width apart (Semi-Supine position)
  2. Slowly lower both legs to the left hand side as far as you can to the floor
  3. Slowly come back to the centre and then lower to the right
  4. Do this five times each side

The first half of this video shows this exact technique…



Section 4.

4. Self Massage Exercises

Self massage can be great for nurturing yourself, showing yourself some kindness and love, opening up your energy channels and rejuvenating your body and mind.

It can also help to tame health issues like bad headaches.

Keeping fit is more than just working out, so make sure you don’t skip on doing one of these daily….


4.1  Feet

  1. With an ordinary tennis ball and shoeless roll the ball with firm pressure back and forth from heel to toe
  2. To work any knots out roll the ball in small circles
  3. There are also massage balls available for feet

This video shows this technique plus offers further ways to massage the feet using Tennis balls such as Cross feet, Arch Roll and exterior foot roll…


4.2  Neck and Shoulder

  1. With a tennis ball between your shoulder and a wall, bring your arm up above your head and turn your head from side to side
  2. Try the ball in varying positions along your shoulders and neck

The video below by Bliss2massage shows this technique…


4.3  Hand

  1. Spend 30 secs to warm up the hands and wrists by softly rubbing them (You may find using Massage oil helps)
  2. Then using the thumb, slowly push in circular movements around the wrist (carpal bones) being firm but not too hard
  3. Then switch hands and repeat
  4. Return to the first hand and slowly move the thumb up the hand along the metacarpals (connecting your wrist bones to your finger bones). Do this for both hands.
  5. Then gently rub around the thumb bone and muscle for both hands
  6. Finally slowly massage each finger by rubbing along the edges of the fingers

This video by Homespa beauty shows this technique perfectly.


4.4  Face

  1. Place thumbs on cheekbones near your ears
  2. Apply fingertip pressure to the temples
  3. With firm pressure & small circular movements move along hairline towards the middle of forehead massaging scalp
    as well as forehead

We love this video by ‘Into the Gloss’  which demonstrates the technique of self face massage wonderfully…



Section 5.

5. Breathing Exercises

Although breathing exercises are often associated with Yoga or Mediation, practising these easy and quick breathing techniques in everyday life can help reduce stress and calm, helping you stay healthy and fit.


5.1  Abdominal

  1. One hand on chest other on the belly
  2. Breathe in through the nose inflating the diaphragm. The abdomen should lift gently
  3. Control the exhalation


5.2 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

  1. Exhale fully via your mouth, trying to make a whooshing sound as you do
  2. Keep your mouth closed and slowly inhale through your nose, counting to four as you do
  3. Hold your breathe and count to 7
  4. Repeat part 1, exhaling through mouth whilst making a whooshing sound counting in your mind to 8
  5. Repeat the above steps 4 more times over

This video by Dr Andrew Weil shows you exactly how….


If you would like to learn more breathing exercises that take a little longer to do but are still very simple to learn and highly effective check out our article ‘8 breathing exercises to help reduce stress’.

And don’t forget to warm down with some stretches after any physical exercise!


Let Us Know

Did you find these exercises useful? Did you enjoy doing them?  We’d love to hear any feedback in the comments below..


Calm Happy Healthy

We exist to do all we can to help make life a richer, more inspiring and enjoyable experience, for you our reader. By aiming to help you realise that you have the power and ability to change what needs to be changed to improve your health, state of mind, diet, energy levels, reduce stress and do your bit to help look after the environment. Live a Calmer, Happier and Healthier life.

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