12 Minutes to Fitness!

August 16, 2011

12 Minutes to Fitness!


Back in April, during the Royal Wedding, our ears pricked up when a commentator mentioned that Prince William, Prince Charles and Prince Philip all do the same set of exercises every single day.

“Wow!” we thought.  Something three generations do daily has to be pretty good!  And these fellas do seem quite fit.

So we snooped around and discovered that the exercises are called the 5BX plan, a set of five basic exercises devised in 1961 to keep the Royal Canadian Air Force fit without any special equipment. 

There’s a plan for men and a slightly different plan for women (called XBX). But the idea is that your muscles can get a great workout in a very short amount of time – 11 minutes to be exact for the men’s program, 12 minutes for women.  The inventor, Bill Orban, thought intensity of exercise was more beneficial than the duration – something that many health pros today agree with. 

Well, we found the exercises online and began at once. Twelve minutes! We could put up with just about anything for 12 minutes, even sit-ups!  And that’s all XBX  is: a few warm ups and five basic exercises like sit ups and leg lifts. There’s a chart of increasing difficulty. You start at the bottom, and as you get stronger, you include more reps, but no matter how fit you get you still only get 12 MINUTES to finish.

We did the exercises very regularly until a vacation and an unrelated knee injury got in the way.  But we plan to start again asap, because the handful of minutes really did make a difference in our arms, legs and stomach!   

If you’re interested in the XBX or 5BX plan, you can find out more about them on the Web or find a copy of the booklet in used bookstores. We hope you like them as much as we do.  After all, watching portion sizes and drinking more water  (with True Citrus!) instead of soda is great for weight loss, but our muscles like a little work out now and then, too!