Struggling to fit a workout into your busy day? Hate the idea of going to a gym or taking an exercise class? What if I told you that you could build a workout routine to complement your existing schedule and help you reap all the benefits of exercise without actually having to set aside 30 to 60 minutes at a time?
A study by the Journal of the American Heart Association found that you don’t actually need to work out in a single session to experience all the benefits that come with regular exercise.
In fact, short bouts of exercise interspersed throughout the day can be just as effective. You may even find that you are exercising more than 30 minutes a day, as you are able to do it with plenty of breaks in between. Adults should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, which equals 30-ish minutes five times a week. You’ll be well within these limits with this mini workout guide.
Here are some ideas for building a workout routine throughout the day.
To start your day off right, you can do some light stretching in bed while you are waking up and getting ready for the day. This can be a great way to get your blood flowing and set yourself up for victory. You can also do some ab exercises in bed. They will get your heart rate up (though not too much), and they will ensure your core stays strong.
When you get to the bathroom, you can take your time to do some squats while brushing your teeth. If you feel the foam will distract you from the actual movement, you can do squat sets in between the steps of your morning routine.
If you have the time in the morning, you can do a 10-minute cardio routine before your shower. Any exercise that will cause you to sweat will be perfectly acceptable — like going for a brisk walk around your block or even a mini jog. If you don’t feel like going outside, a dance workout in your pajamas is a great idea, especially if the music will get your endorphins going too.
When you get to work, set yourself the task of taking a walk during your lunch break. Take the stairs up and down the building if you don’t want to grab your coat to head outside, but a walk in the fresh air is always a great option. Spending time in the sun will provide a supreme boost to your mental and physical health, so even as little as 15 minutes can make you feel better about the rest of the day ahead.
If you work at a desk, try to get up at least every hour and move. Some stretching will help your blood flow and boost your focus and productivity. If you aren’t shy (or if you work in an office alone), you can also do some desk exercises. In fact, you can get the whole office to try the same routine together. Have a reminder set that will signal when it’s time to do some extensions or even pushups.
The evening can be a great time to get some exercise in as well, especially when you know it doesn’t have to be a set, long routine. You can do a bit of HIIT or an invigorating silent cardio routine. Just remember to breathe through your nose and work on breaking a sweat. You don’t have to tire yourself out too much and deplete all of your energy reserves.
If you’d prefer to skip the cardio, you can do a 15-minute strength routine. Choose a muscle group and run through a few sets of your favorite exercises. By focusing on a different area of your body every day, you’ll end up running through a full-body program by the end of the week.
Ideally, you want to fuel your body after this evening’s burst of activity, so try to squeeze it in before dinner. If you are absolutely famished, leave yourself some wiggle room for a light snack afterward to reward your muscles for the effort.
Fitting a workout routine into your day becomes much less demanding when you realize you can break it up into shorter bursts of activity throughout the day. Whenever you feel a bit stiff or low on energy, move your body. Even a couple of stretches can do wonders for your overall health, as your body begins to understand that there is an upcoming activity in the near future and that it won’t be condemned to sit around all day, feeling lethargic.
About the Author
Sarah is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.