When it comes to scheduling exercise into your calendar, it can often time feel like shoving a puzzle piece where it doesn’t fit. We all understand that exercise is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, yet, it can be a struggle finding the time to fit it in.
If carving out an hour or two, to make it to the gym isn’t feasible, there are plenty of ways to fit in a fast workout that still yields results — wherever you are.
Prioritizing 15 minutes, a few days a week, to exercise at the gym, work, or at home is much better than no exercise at all.
Take the pressure off yourself and find what works for you and your schedule with these:
Fast workouts for busy people with 15 minutes or less – wherever you are.
No, not the internet craze from a few years ago. I’m talking full body exercise planking. When done properly, it can be an excellent way to work the entire body in a short amount of time. When you assume the plank position, either in a pushup position or down on your elbows, you should be engaging your upper body, core muscles and lower body. Be sure you keep your head, neck and spine in a neutral position, to avoid injury or neck strain. If you are just starting out with this exercise, try holding the plank position for about 20-30 seconds at a time, then work your way up from there to a minute or two, with 30 to 90 seconds rests between sets. Planks are also a great exercise to sprinkle in between other types of exercise or as part of a “working rest break”. I once had a trainer who loved to use 60 second planks as part of our “rest” between sets of other cardio work. Pure torture, but the payoff was worth it!
Burpees are a high intensity cardiovascular exercise that also tones muscles. If you’re not sure what a burpee is, it’s simple to explain, but not quite as effortless to do! First, stand up straight, then get into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a push up position and immediately drop your chest to the ground. Using your arms, bow your chest up, and return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible. Immediately jump up into the air as high as you can. Shoot for 60 seconds of burpees, with 20 seconds of rest. Repeat this for as many reps as you can. You can interchange burpees with other exercises outlined here.
3. Lunges & Squats
Lunges and squats are simple, yet effective, allowing you to get creative with working them into your day. You can do squats while brushing your teeth, right before you hop in the shower, or while you wait for your coffee to brew! You could do a few lunges around the kitchen while dinner is cooking or anytime you would normally be standing still during the day. Try to see how many ways you can fit in some squats or lunges to pass the time. If you want to pull double duty, try doing some calf raises between lunges or incorporating some upper body motion along with your squats and lunges, such as reaching up to the sky with each move.
4. The 7 Minute Workout App
There are tons of in-home workout apps to choose from, but this little guy right here is super easy to follow, and it gets the job done in, yes you guessed it, 7 minutes. Each exercise can be done without the need for any equipment. The idea is that you complete 12 different exercises, in a specific order with no more than 10 seconds rest between exercises. They also recommend you complete 2-3 circuits to get the maximum benefits. The exercises in the app easy to follow and you can unlock more exercises by logging your 7MWC circuits consistently. This is a go-to of mine if I absolutely cannot fit in a proper workout or if I’m on the road traveling and need an easy workout routine that can be done in a small space, such as a hotel room.
Whether you have them in your house, or somewhere nearby in your neighborhood, school, or park, stairs can be a great way to fit in a little cardio. Run up the stairs, walk down, and repeat. Get in as many reps as you can, and you will have a heart-pounding workout in 15-minutes or less. If running up the stairs isn’t your thing, you can try slowly lunging up the stairs or taking the stairs two by two to increase your stride length and give your glutes a nice workout. Or, you could even try to walk up the stairs sideways to give your lateral glutes a nice burn!
6. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is a cheap and easy way to get your heart rate up in a very short amount of time. This is a fun high intensity exercise that is good for improving coordination, body awareness, cardiovascular health and can help to increase bone density! When considering a jump rope, be sure to get one that is both long enough and heavy enough, as some of the cheaper children’s jump ropes are not conducive to a good cardio workout. You can find good quality exercise jump ropes on Amazon. If it’s been a while since you’ve used a jump rope, start out slowly and work your way up to longer bursts of jumping. See how many jumps you can complete consecutively for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds. Try to increase your consecutive jumps while keeping your rest periods to about 30 seconds.
No matter what workout you decide to do, make sure you pick a few that you know you can stick to. Working out really can be fun if you find activities that you enjoy, rather than dread.
I love a good challenge that helps keep me accountable. So, the 7MWC app (7 minute workout challenge) is a favorite of mine because it tracks my workouts in the app and I can set reminders for it to prompt me to work out on a specific day at a specific time. It really is all about finding what you enjoy and gasp…you might even start looking forward to!
What’s your favorite type of workout or favorite exercise app? Let me know, I’m always looking for new ideas.
Yours in Health and Wellness,