5 in Under 30: Five Ways to Fit a Quick Workout In, No Matter How Busy You Are!

Did you read yesterday’s post about keeping fit during the holidays and think, “sounds great… not happening”?

Are you just so overwhelmed and so pressed for time it seems there’s no way you’ll be able to get in workout all week long, let alone every day?

After all, there’s all that last minute shopping in the crowded shops, one or two emergency trips to the market to get those three things you forgot and with the kids home from school, you’re lucky if you fit in a shower! Forget about trekking to the gym for an hour!

Wait a sec.

Who ever said anything about an hour?

Or even 30 minutes?

Of course, if you have already allocated the time and are in a groove, keep up the good work!

But if not…can you eek out a mere 10 minutes, even now, during what may feel like the most hectic week of the year?

Below are five ways to get in some play, even for the busiest of schedules!

  1. Tabata Last May, a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine[1] analyzed the benefits of high-intensity interval workouts done without equipment (Tabata training). Researchers posed a 12-step sequence to be completed in a torturous 7 minutes consisting of a string of speedy squats, lunges and push-ups they found “deliver numerous health benefits in much less time than traditional programs.” All you need is your body weight.We can all find time for this, seven minutes give or take a few on the front and tail end to warm up and cool down!
  2. Walk Concerned you’ll be too sweaty to do this type of workout on a break from the office? How about a couple of short walks during the day during those ten to fifteen minute time windows you may have been filling up with yet another trip to Starbucks? And don’t feel like you’re cutting corners here; research is actually showing that short bursts of exercise are just as good for you, perhaps better in some cases than long, drawn-out endurance training.
  3. Do intervals. Studies[2] have demonstrated that interval training can help people burn more fat and increase fitness levels even after just 15 or 20 minutes of exercise. And a third study[3] still showed that people with Type 2 diabetes benefited more from interval walking, in the sense that their blood sugar was more controlled, compared to people who walked continuously.
  4. Huh? How is that exercise? Stretching improves circulation, increasing blood flow to your muscles[4] (and brain!). Having good circulation can help protect you against a host of illnesses, from diabetes to kidney disease. Greater flexibility has even been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Simply getting up out of your chair and moving out of the hunched over, forward shoulder position all too many are spending upwards of 8 hours in each day is a huge help in energizing you!
  5. A solid meditation practice involving breathing deeply and properly can also be a key part of tuning into you body, not to mention creating a better sense of calm, both of which can be assets in keeping healthy and fit during what may feel like an exercise in stress endurance!

“Sure, sure”, you may be thinking; “I get it.. but the New Year is just a week away; I’ll just wait until 2016 to start anew.”

That is quite possible the worst attitude to welcome in a New Year.

That mindset implies getting healthy is something that can be pushed off, that it’s not a priority and consequentially, it’ll be far easier to make even poorer food choices over the course of the next week.

Then, you could feasibly weigh in on New Year’s Day with another couple of pounds in addition to what you put off addressing earlier in the year.

Or not.

You could make a change now.

David Stensel, an exercise physiologist at the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences at Loughborough points out in an article[5] in Scientific American that exercising may encourage people to crave healthier fare, such as unrefined foods (like fiber-rich veggies) rather than foods loaded with refined sugar (such as cookies and cakes).

Hmmm.. that might come in handy right about now!

Look, no one’s saying you’ve got to bring a Tupperware full of boiled chicken breast and celery sticks to Christmas Dinner and nibble away on that while your eyes roll backward, staring at others’ plates loaded up with the good stuff.

Just start now by adding even a little bit of exercise each day and see if that in and of itself doesn’t already start the ball rolling in terms of actually wanting to enjoy foods that are healthier options than what you may otherwise have picked.

That, plus keeping hydrated, making sure to eat properly balanced meals with ample veggies, good fat and protein and getting enough rest are all going to steer you to choosing the best options that are served at the big dinner, whatever they may be.

Imagine not even wanting the stuffing, the marshmallow sweet potatoes and the pies in the first place versus having to fight off a craving!

It’s not a fantasy and by doing everything in your power to get your body moving and begging for nourishment instead of a quick fix, you’ll get to that end point sooner than you know.

Now….get a move on!




[1] “A Good Workout in 10 Minutes? It’s True.” NY Daily News. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2015

[2] “Short Bursts of Exercise May Be Better Than Exercising Nonstop.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2015

[3] “Research Explores Why Interval Walking Training Is Better than Continuous Walking Training.” EurekAlert! American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2015

[4] “Increase Your Flexibility and Improve Your Life.” Real Simple. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2015

[5] “Does Exercise Really Make You Healthier?” Scientific American. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2015