With an already jam-packed schedule, setting aside an extra 20 minutes to work out can seem impossible. After all, most of your day is spent focusing on time-sensitive things like work, kids’ schedules, house chores, prepping meals for your family, and so on.

However, when placing everyone’s needs above your own, with no time for self-care, mental as well as physical health can begin to decline. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and exhaustion creep in and before you know it, becomes the “norm.”

The good news is, taking back less than a half hour from your hectic schedule, to sweat it out, will not only give your mental health a boost but your energy levels as well. Here, Jennifer Jacobs, CPT, and Beach Body Super Trainer unpacks why we tend to place others’ needs above our own and how to make ourselves a priority.

Why We Tend to Prioritize Other’s Physical & Mental Wellness Before Our Own

More often than not, there’s a feeling of guilt that surfaces when we prioritize ourselves. Whether it’s taking time for self-care such as working out, or a quiet morning walk to mentally prepare us for the day, we tend to minimize our needs when compared to others. But why? “We feel selfish,” says Jacobs. “We feel like we are doing something ‘bad’ because we are putting ourselves first.” As a result, we often end up putting our physical and/or mental wellness behind others.

In addition to that, “Some of us are busier now more than ever, as our working hours are becoming longer and the lines between work and home have become blurred,” says Jacobs. “Layer on top of that those that also juggle taking care of family and loved ones in addition to work.”

Although it might not come easy, “Putting our physical and mental wellbeing first is the best thing we can do for ourselves and those around us because when we feel better, we are in a better state of mind to make those around us feel better as well,” she adds. And in the long run, this makes for a healthier mental and physical state to live in.

`Why Self-Care is a Super Power (Especially When You’re Busy)

Ell Woods said it best: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Beyond happiness, self-care creates a positive domino effect in our lives. It makes us feel better, gives us more energy, and provides a calmer and stable mindset resulting in physical and mental well-being — reduced stress, anxiety, and depression among many other things.

“Health is not merely defined by being disease-free,” Jacobs says. “As defined by the World Health Organization, health is a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being. And unfortunately, by that definition, many of us would be considered unhealthy, as health is about more than just physical well-being.”

This is why 20 minutes of self care through exercise is the secret weapon to health both in the body and mind.

Now is the Best Time to Start (Or re-start) an Exercise Routine

Although starting a fitness routine when your schedule is already at full capacity seems like the most inconvenient and inopportune thing to do, it’s for the best.

While fitness routines are typically thought of as a way to maintain your physical well-being, they also yield significant benefits to overall physical, mental, and social well-being. “By establishing a fitness routine, you can build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle, and now is always the best time to start,” Jacobs says.

Contrary to belief, you don’t need that much space, time, or equipment. “Once you have developed a routine you will have created an ability to train efficiently and effectively, anytime, anywhere, making it much easier to consistently maintain overall good health no matter the situation,” Says Jacobs.

The convenience factor of training from home is ideal in order to help establish or adopt a new routine to ensure that you make yourself a priority.

Jennifer Jacobs doing a dumbbell workout
Courtesy of Jennifer Jacobs

20 Minutes Training with Jennifer Jacobs Equals a Better 24 Hours

If you’re needing the motivation to get moving, Jacobs, a busy mother of two created Job 1, which consists of quick, effective, and efficient workouts that allow you to focus on yourself and feel better; all in the comfort of your own home.

“I wanted to reach as many people as possible, changing their mindset around their own health and wellness; Helping them lead healthier lives.” Says Jacobs.

The 20-minutes-a-day, 5-days-a-week functional training program helps you prioritize your health and fitness habits — no matter how much you have going on in your life. The program hits multiple muscle groups every single day for a total-body sweat that leaves you feeling stronger, invigorated, and accomplished; with three days of strength training, one day of endurance cardio, and one day of HIIT to help build your stamina, improve your energy, and dial-in the fat burn, with the option to add on a SPIN day with the Beachbody MYX bike.

“It’s so important that people realize that taking care of themselves is their number one priority and that they are worth it.” Says Jacobs.

Taking that first step can sometimes be challenging. “With Job 1, I am here to show you that it is doable and achievable.” She says. Job 1 is an approach to fitness that can easily be made part of your lifestyle no matter what level you are at.

Jennifer Jacobs Full Body Resistance Band Workout

One of Jacob’s favorite quick workouts is this three-move, 20-minute routine using her J METHOD’ resistance bands. Perform for as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.

Archer Rows

  1. Hold a light to medium resistance MiniBand with both hands and extend your arms straight in front of you, as if you were holding on to a steering wheel.
  2. Begin with your feet hip width as you draw your right elbow back, pulling the band toward your right shoulder while stepping your right foot back simultaneously.
  3. Slowly return to the start position and repeat the same motion on the left side.
  4. Continue to alternate sides for 45 seconds (20-30 reps).

Looped Tricep Kickback (Unilateral)

  1. Hold a light to medium resistance MiniBand. Stand with your feet hip width and parallel.
  2. With a slight bend in your knees, hinge at the hips and bring your chest almost parallel to the ground.
  3. Hold the MiniBand with your left hand and secure it against your right shoulder.
  4. Grab the bottom of the MiniBand tightly with your right hand and extend your arm back, so there’s a straight line from your shoulder, to elbow, to fist.
  5. Be sure to keep your neck neutral, back flat and elbow tucked into your ribcage.
  6. Continue to repeat on this side for 45 seconds. When your time is up, stand up, take a few seconds to reset, and repeat the same movement on the left side for 45 seconds (about 12-15 reps).

Single-Leg Kickstand Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

  1. Hold a medium to heavy resistance MiniBand and put it under the arch of your foot on the forward leg of the same side.
  2. Place your foot firmly into the floor.
  3. Create a kickstand with your feet by placing the opposite leg slightly behind standing on the ball of your foot and heel lifted.
  4. The toes of the front of that back foot should be lined up to the heel of the forward leg.
  5. Press your hips back behind you hinging down and then drive back up shooting your hips forward as you continue to hold the MiniBand in your hand.
  6. Slowly hinge down again and drive back up. Repeat that motion on this side for 45 seconds.
  7. Take a few seconds to reset, and repeat the same movement on the opposite side for 45 seconds (12-15 reps each side).