How to Exercise in Less Time

November 1st, 2020

A man doing pushups with a personal trainer.

The holidays can be a busy time of year, with holiday parties, gift shopping, and seeing friends and family leaving less time for exercise and taking care of yourself. But as our Fit & Food Corner contributor Katie Talarico points out, exercise doesn’t have to take a long time. Here are her suggestions for making sure you can fit some movement into your day, no matter how packed your schedule is.


Here’s How to Exercise in Less Time

By: Katie Talarico

We get it. You don’t have a lot of time to exercise. But exercise doesn’t always have to be long. In fact, it’s better to move your body each day for a short amount of time versus not at all.

Here are some ways you can exercise in a short amount of time that have an impact on your fitness.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 

HIIT uses short bursts of intense exercise and rest periods. It has been linked to greater weight loss, improved endurance, better cardiovascular fitness, and other benefits. Also, It requires no specialized equipment.

A simple HIIT workout is 30 seconds to 1 minute of sprinting followed by 30 seconds to 1 minute of walking or slow jogging. Repeat this cycle 8-10 times and you can easily cut a long workout down to 10-15 minutes.  You can replace sprinting with vigorous biking, spinning, stair climbing, push-ups, squats, sit-ups, skaters, burpees and other exercises that you can do intensely.


5 More Options for Short Exercises 

There are other forms of quick exercises. Here are a few more to consider:

  1. 4 Minute Tabata: Inspired by Dr. Izumi Tabata, this exercise combines 20 seconds of intense bursts of vigorous exercise and 10 seconds of rest for up to 4 minutes.
  2. 7 Minute Workouts: This famous 7 minute workout has 12 exercises using only body weight, a chair and a wall, and is scientifically based. In addition, Dr. Oz’s version of a 7 minute workout includes push ups, lunges, and yoga poses.
  3. 10 Minute High Intensity Circuit Training: Involves multiple exercises that work your body in different ways, repeated a few times. Example: 20 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 lunges on each leg, 20 second plank, and 30 jumping jacks repeated 3-4 times.
  4. 15 Minute Power Yoga: 15 minute power yoga sessions are short bodyweight exercises which will help strengthen and stretch your muscles through various poses. Although not cardio, power yoga can be great strength training.
  5. 10-15-Minute Intervals of Low Impact Exercise: Perhaps none of these appeal to you and you like low impact exercise, such as walking. If you aren’t able to fit in a longer period of low-impact exercise, break it up into 2 or 3 10-15-minute intervals.

For exercise, you can find the right solution for your schedule, exercise level, interest, and motivation to keep yourself healthy. Hopefully, these shorter options give you some new ideas to expand the possibilities of how you move!