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The question

I used to go to the gym five times a week, but work is so busy that I no longer have time to spend an hour-plus in the gym. At home, we have a treadmill and an exercise ball. Can you suggest a good home workout?

The answer

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Getting results is all about consistency. If the convenience of working out at home will allow you to do it consistently, it will get you more results than working out sporadically at a gym.

Here's a time-effective plan. All you need is to buy a set of five- to 10-pound free weights to make your home gym more complete.

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Cardio. 30 to 40 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. Start by warming up for five minutes. Then do four to six sets of three minutes of hard work followed by two minutes of medium-intensity work. Cool down for five minutes.

Tuesday: Legs and core. Warm up for five minutes on the treadmill. Pick five leg exercises and two core exercises from The Globe and Mail's online Fitness Basics section (tgam.ca/fitness). Do one minute of each exercise followed by two minutes of speed walking or running on the treadmill. Rest for one minute, then repeat the cycle two more times. Cool down and stretch.

Thursday: Upper body and core. Warm up for five minutes on the treadmill. Pick five upper-body exercises and two core exercises from the Fitness Basics section. Choose different core exercises than you did on Tuesday. Do one minute of each exercise and follow up directly with two minutes of medium to hard cardio on the treadmill. Rest for one minute, then repeat the nine-minute cycle two more times. Cool down and stretch.

Trainer's Tip

In addition to this plan, make sure you are eating well and try to incorporate as much movement into your daily life as possible, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking instead of driving.

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Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at trainer@globeandmail.com . She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

Read more Q&As from Kathleen Trotter

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The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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