Some days, it seems as if every minute is accounted for leaving you no time whatsoever to get to the gym. Beating yourself up over it will only cause more stress. Instead of a long run or an hour-long yoga class, find just 10 minutes, three times a day, to squeeze in a short exercise.
Sneaking in these quick workouts will accumulate into 30 minutes of beneficial exercise. The most efficient, stress-free way to do this is to commit to 10 minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening. Not only will doing this keep your metabolism working, it will boost your mood and help you sleep better.
Here are my no-excuse ways to sneak in an extra 30 minutes of exercise on even the busiest of days:
Before you jump in the shower (even if it means setting your alarm for 10 minutes earlier), try this 10-minute core-strengthening routine:
Wake up for 10-Minute Abs
Do each of these movements for 30 seconds each. Repeat for a total of four circuits.
- Basic crunches
- Bicycle crunches
- Straight leg lifts (place hands under lower back for support if needed)
- Mountain climbers
Walk the dog
Instead of letting your dog run around the yard in the morning, take him or her out for a brisk 10-minute walk. This will get your blood flowing and is a great way to get your metabolism started for the day (not to mention some fresh air for you and your pooch!). If you don’t have a dog, commit to taking a walk on your own—it’s only 10 minutes.
Try a 10-minute yoga sequence
You can practice yoga anytime. You don’t need special equipment or space. Take a 10-minute break at work or at home to stretch your muscles and move around—especially if you’ve been sitting at a desk for a while. Yoga will help you relieve stress and feel more energized and focused for the rest of the day.
Throw a solo dance party
Do you work from home alone? Are the kids taking a nap? Pick three of your favorite songs and turn up the volume and dance. Since most songs are about 3-4 minutes, dancing to three upbeat songs will warrant you 10 minutes of fun exercise. It will probably lift your mood too! If you’re having trouble coming up with dance moves on your own, try turning on a 10-minute Pilates or Zumba video.
Move while you read
Whether it’s mail, work memos, school papers, email, or your favorite novel, try walking while you’re reading. It can be at home, in the yard, at the kid’s practice field or around the neighborhood. Choose a flat, non-slippery route and be careful to watch your steps until you get used to walking and reading. If this is uncomfortable for you, and you have a neighborhood gym, read while using an elliptical, stationary bike or treadmill.
Ride your bike
Now that spring is here, it’s time to hop on your bike. A 10-minute bike ride at the end of the day with your friends, family or by yourself is an awesome way to unwind, get some fresh air and sneak in an extra 10 minutes of exercise.
Any time of day
Whether it’s a business call or personal, pacing while talking on the phone is using your time wisely. Walk around your office, pace back and forth in a room, walk up and down stairs and stroll the hallways. Using a headset is convenient if you need to take notes while talking.
You can also try these 5 desk exercises for an at-work workout!