No time for a long workout session? Try doing a few quick workouts and reap the same rewards! While motivation can be a big hurdle to our fitness routine, finding time for workouts is always a challenge.
Driving to the gym to exercise can easily turn a quick workout into an entire evening. I usually schedule my long run days (>1-hour) 2-3 weeks in advance, just to fit them in.
But not all exercise routines need hours of your time. Many of us spend more time getting to and from the gym than we spend actually at the gym. It’s the workout time we want. Even if it’s only a few minutes here and a few minutes there…it all adds up.
Here are some ideas for a few short-duration workouts that will help you bolster your routine without cramming your calendar.
- The 5-minute morning workout:
What can you possibly do in five minutes? How about a few sets of crunches and push-ups! Before you hop in the shower do this short routine. You’ll notice results in a few weeks and the cumulative affects of the additional exercise will improve your muscle tone and metabolism. It’s a hard time of day to exercise…sometimes I don’t even open my eyes while doing the crunches…but the exercise time all adds up!
- How do you spend your lunch hour?:
If you find yourself eating at your desk or going out to eat, try adding a walk or a quick workout in there. Even just a 10-minute walk around the building would provide some long-term health benefits. That 10-minute break away from your desk will also provide a good mental respite. If your workplace has locker rooms or showers, try adding a more rigorous exercise routine. For most of us, lunchtime is our time, and is a great opportunity to squeeze in a variety of quick workouts and reap the long-term benefits!
- Do kid’s activities fill your days & evenings?:
I’ve noticed more and more parents walking or jogging around the soccer fields while their kids are at practice. What a great idea! If you’re going to be there for the duration take advantage of it. Coaching kid’s sports is another great way to get a solid workout as you’ll likely be on your feet and running around the whole time…and helping our children in the process! Have some others walk around the field with you or help you coach, and you’ll have that added social aspect (“chit-chatting”), as well.
- Evening Couch Time:
There’s nothing wrong with relaxing in front of the TV to wind down your day. But don’t miss the opportunity to squeeze a 15-minute light workout in on the many commercial breaks! This is the time where I usually do some leg exercises and some sit-down calisthenics….nothing too strenuous. Doing leg lifts or calf raises are just a few basic exercises that you can start off with. You can add other exercises depending on your plan, desire, and motivation. Even a few nights a week would provide a significant health benefit.
Not all fitness routines have to involve a large scheduled block of time. Squeeze in what you can, when you can. Quick workouts add up.
By taking these and other small steps, you’ll find that your routine will grow…and your fitness level will improve dramatically over time.
Look at your daily routine to see where you can add a few minutes of exercise – do it for YOU!