Easy Ways To Workout That Can Fit Into Any Busy Week
It’s easy to put your physical fitness on the back burner. Between work and family responsibilities and keeping up with the crazy demands of everyday life, it can feel impossible to stop everything for a decent workout.
But getting and remaining in shape doesn’t require an hour-long commitment every morning at an expensive gym or studio. There are plenty of quick, easy and effective ways to get your body stronger, more flexible and, generally, in better shape.
And because these workout plans are easier to fit into any schedule, you can commit to doing them more regularly. The key to physical health is a commitment to consistency.
Dust off your old workout clothes and get that heart rate pumping with these efficient fitness routines.
Letting yourself really let loose to your favorite pop tunes can actually burn some serious calories.
Next time you find yourself maybe doing chores around the house, crank up those jams that really get you moving and let yourself really move — you’ll improve your health and your mood.
If you think yoga can’t kick you into shape, think again.
This stretching and strengthening practice will help you focus on breath work so you can not only get stronger, leaner, and better at balancing, but you also have the added benefit of walking away feeling a little more grounded and relaxed.
There are so many ways to modify the practice to make it as relaxing or as challenge as you need. Even a few sun salutations every day will have you shining bright.
Done correctly, Pilates moves are some of the simplest and most effective in almost any style of working out. A few sets of good Pilates exercises focused on certain areas of the body will leave you sore for days with, what will feel like, very little overall exertion.
Do be careful, though, that you do the exercises slowly and as correctly as you can. These moves are made to be especially difficult and target multiple areas. If you cheat to make it slightly easier so you can do more reps, you won’t get as effective as a workout in.
It’s better to only do a handful of moves correctly than to do a bunch incorrectly. (That’s true in pretty much all fitness but especially true in Pilates.)
There’s a reason that Rocky theme song is one of the most iconic pump up jams ever. Let that movie or any boxing video you may watch inspire you to try it yourself.
Shadowboxing is a great way to engage your entire body while getting a decent cardio workout in. And, as a bonus, because you’re not actually hitting anything, you don’t have to worry too much about proper form.
Just start swinging (once you make sure it’s safe to do so, of course).
There’s a good reason you’ll see push ups and squats included on most quick and effective workout lists.
Even if you have to modify the exercises at first (put your knees down while pushing up or not go quite as deeply into a squat), these moves are full body exercises that don’t require much space, prep, or clean up.
So if you think you need to have access to a ton of different weight options to get strong muscles, think again.
Of course, if you do want to go the more traditional route, splurging on a set of dumbbells could make a big difference for you.
There are so many different basic exercises you can do with added weights that will isolate certain muscle groups and help you burn calories both while you’re doing it, and continue to burn after the exercises are over.
Though it’s helpful to always make sure you’re warm before lifting weights, if you’re running around doing a million activities, you can find stolen moments between things to do quick sets.
Like other types of easy exercise, a little commitment can go a very long way.
To cut the difference between weight training and only using your bodyweight, you can invest in workout bands of different tension.
They’re usually pretty cost-effective and really easy to transport if you’re going on vacation or a business trip.
Even though spin class might torch calories in a very short period of time, regular old biking can also do a lot more for your basic fitness levels than sitting in a car or at your desk.
Swapping out some shorter car rides for a bike session will have your lungs and your legs thanking you (once, you know, they both recover from a little healthy exertion)
Even the busiest people — in fact sometimes especially the busiest people — find themselves walking a ton.
If you make a concerted effort to pick up the pace a bit from what you normally do, your heart rate will have to adjust to the new level of oxygen needed and you’ll find yourself panting like a happy dog in no time.
Speaking of heart rate, if you really want to get that blood flowing, jumping rope will absolutely get you in great shape and very quickly.
And, as a bonus, because it is such an intense cardiovascular exercise, you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it to reap major health benefits.
Partner Up With Your Desk or Chair
Sure, a human gym partner might keep you accountable for working out. But people who spend tons of time working know that they tend to hang out with their office furniture way more than their gym bestie.
So learning basic ways you can use your chair to help stabilize you for certain bodyweight exercises or having your desk help you get a really deep hamstring stretch will mean you’re surrounded by “gym” equipment in any work environment.
Play in a Pool
With summer coming up, plenty of families will be hanging out by pools to keep cool.
And while it can be an ideal time to lounge and soak up some welcome sun rays, it can also be a great time to get a good workout in.
Find an excuse to jump in and play around. The water’s resistance can make your lungs work even harder getting all the oxygen you need which means — you guessed it, you’ll be wet ‘n wilding your way into better shape.
Try to Keep Up With Your Kids
The boundless energy youth have is often, well, exhausting. And if you’re lucky enough to have kids around, play with them.
Rather than trying to find a time to separately workout and hang out with your family, combine it naturally.
Play an outside game of anything as long as you actively participate. Even a good “tag” session or playing "keep away" can get your body moving and calories burning.
Invest in a Fitness App
We’re lucky enough to live in a world there are experts for pretty much everything.
No matter what your schedule, situation, or general fitness level, there is someone out there who has figured out a way to add a simple workout into your life.
All sorts of apps will customize, educate, and inspire you to reach any big or little fitness goal.
Now that YouTube has been around for a long while, people everywhere have contributed to the digital conversation and, very likely, have posted exactly the answer to the question you’re searching for.
Somebody has been as busy or busier than you and figured out easy, quick and effective ways to get a workout in.
And, as a bonus, they’ll likely include technique basics and maybe even answer your questions before you even have them.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) gained a lot of popularity recently not only by becoming mainstream thanks to big fitness names like Jillian Michaels, but also because it’s genuinely extremely effective.
Combining a short burst of intense exertion with a rest period that includes weight training or body weight basics can get you dramatic results in very little time.
Focus on a Different Body Region Every Day
If you feel overwhelmed trying to get a full body work in, even if you can find quick ways to do it in short periods of time, consider cutting yourself a break and separate different days of the week into different body areas.
One day can be focused on just getting some cardio in. Another can be all about those arms. Another can be just for abs.
By breaking it up, you can spend even 10-15 minutes on one element of your overall fitness and, over a period of time, greatly improve it.
Back to Those ‘80s Style Basics
Toe taps and jumping jacks may make you feel retro, but they should also make you feel good because those moves and others like them genuinely work.
While there have been plenty of advancements in health and fitness since the ‘80s, the calorie-burning, jazzercise-loving, bright-jumpsuit-wearing at home fitness pioneers still have plenty of sage wisdom in their always-entertaining VHS tapes.
Even if you just take a couple moves from them and weave them into modern workouts, your body — and your sense of humor — will be glad that you did.