Don’t use a busy schedule as an excuse to let your healthy-living goals disappear. These workouts are perfect for busy holiday days, no matter what’s on your to-do list. Whether you have two, five, 10, or 20 minutes, choose a quick workout below, and get on with your day.
If You Only Have 2 Minutes
You’ll feel the burn with this leg and ab Pilates workout, the Series of Five.
If You Have 5 Minutes
- Wake up your body with this energizing morning workout.
- Burn 200 calories with this calorie-blasting, five-minute workout.
- Improve your strength and feel more powerful with this five-minute plyometric workout. If you like to jump, this workout is for you.
- This quick lower-body workout will help shape those legs and burn calories. It may look simple, but you’ll definitely feel it.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and perform each of these five arm moves for a minute each for an effective and short upper-body workout.
If You Have 10 Minutes
- Warm up with this 10-minute cardio blast workout video.
- Feeling lazy? You can do this workout on your couch.
- Burn major calories with this 10-minute Tabata workout video.
- Check out more of our 10-minute workout videos on our Class FitSugar page.
If You Have 20 Minutes
- A no-running 20-minute cardio workout you can do anywhere.
- Fire up your Spotify: here’s a 20-minute bodyweight workout set to music.
- No equipment? No problem. This 20-minute strength-training workout is perfect for beginners.
- Take it slow with this 20-minute yoga sequence.
Go big or go home? Why Shape says you may want to scale back your intense workouts.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) keeps skyrocketing in popularity. But with everyone from your bootcamp coach to your spin instructor telling you to HIIT it, and the results you see convincing you to keep at it, could you end up pushing yourself too hard? Definitely, says Shannon Fable, director of exercise programming at Anytime Fitness. “People are always searching for the silver bullet, and anything that promises twice the results in half the time is going to win the race,” says Fable.
HIIT intervals can last anywhere from six seconds to four minutes, with rest periods of varying lengths between them. The catch is that to truly be working at the HIIT level, you need to be reaching greater than or equal to 90 percent of your maximal aerobic capacity at each interval, according to researchers. To measure your intensity in class, pay attention to your breathing, says Fable. If you’re at the right intensity, you won’t able to talk during intervals and should need to take the break that’s coming.
Sound like the intensity you typically reach? If so, you only need about 20 percent of all your workouts to be HIIT, says Fable. To lessen your risk of injury, experts say you should cap your HIIT workouts at three per week. Going overboard can lay the foundation for plateaus or keep you sidelined with pain or other issues, adds Fable. Incorporating HIIT into your routine can have many benefits, but don’t forget to round out your routine with steady-state cardio and less intense exercise, so you score the best results while avoiding the injury list. (See 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training.)
If you’re a fan of fast and effective workouts (and who isn’t?) you’re in luck; The New York Times recently released a new seven-minute high-intensity interval workout that will help whittle your waistline in under 10 minutes flat.
Like the original seven-minute interval workout created by the American College of Sports Medicine, this advanced version will raise your heart rate and burn major calories thanks to 30- to 60-second intervals of intensity, followed by 10 seconds of rest. These intense bursts – done at an intensity level of eight on a scale of one to 10 – have been proven to help improve heart and overall health as well as boost your metabolism for a better fat burn. The new workout requires a set of dumbbells and is slightly more advanced than the original ACSM version (yes, there are burpees and deadlifts involved), but focus on doing the moves correctly during each interval and you’ll be able to scale up once you become more fit. Even better news? You don’t even have to worry about counting down or memorizing the workout; the site’s timed web-based app means you can pull up either the basic or advanced seven-minute workout on your phone or laptop and follow along hands-free.
Adding this short session to your day will improve your health and fitness level, but it’s important to vary your routine so you continue to see results. Mix up your regimen and start feeling stronger, slimmer, and healthier in no time with our intense video workouts that are just as quick and effective. Just press play and follow along to a 10-minute video of your choice.
You made it to the weekend! Aside from a break from the daily grind, it means a lighter schedule to do what you want when you want. With no meetings to run off to or deadlines to make, you have more time to devote to your sweat sessions, so here are some ways to get more out of your weekend workouts.
- Go long: Without having to squeeze in your workout before, during, or after your 9-to-5er, you have more time to devote to exercising, so use your weekend to do longer workouts. If you normally run or swim for 30 minutes, go for 45 or even 60. Or sign up for a two-hour hip-hop dance workshop.
- Fill in holes: With limited availability during the week, you might only have time to do cardio and that’s it. So use your time on the weekend to devote to areas of your workout that you miss, like strength training or stretching.
- Break away from routine: During the week, you stick to the workouts you’re used to, ones that take the least amount of prep, and ones you know are effective. That can get superboring, though, so use your weekends to ignite your passion for moving by trying something new or doing workouts that take more time. Go indoor rock climbing, sign up for paddleboard yoga classes, or try that new Tabata workout at your gym.
- Double up: You barely have time to fit in a 60-minute indoor cycling class during the week, so when Saturday and Sunday roll around, the extra time affords you the luxury of doubling up on classes. Burn some calories in Zumba, and then tone up in a Body Pump class. Hitting two different classes in a row will allow you to work your entire body, burn more calories (to make up for the ones you consumed during that enormous brunch), and can be extremely exhilarating when you’re used to only taking one.
- Exercise to your workout: You drive to your workouts during the week to allow as much time for your actual workout, so on the weekends, use the extra time to burn more calories by walking, running, or biking to the gym.
- Get sweaty: You may not have time to shower after your workout during the week, so on Saturdays and Sundays, do as intense a workout as you can, with no worries about how stinky and sweaty you get – you’ll have a relaxing shower to look forward to afterward.
- Explore: A more flexible weekend schedule means you have more time to travel to your workouts. Go some place new to hike, run, or bike ride, or hit that yoga studio across town everyone’s been raving about. You could even make an overnight trip out of it and drive a few hours away to a new exercise destination.
- Get together: Since your friends are most likely off these two days as well, make a plan to get together with a few and work out. It’s amazing how a group can motivate you to push harder than you normally would on your own.
Source: Flickr user eugeneyoga
Is there anything exercise can’t do? It helps people lose weight and sleep better, as well as aids in the prevention of colds and disease. And aside from the endorphins it creates to uplift moods and energy levels, hitting the gym can also reduce stress. With all these benefits, it would seem that more is better - but is that really the case?
To stay healthy, experts recommend about 30 minutes per day of moderately intense exercise five days a week. If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, 60 to 90 minutes a day, five times a week is the goal, and we’re talking heart-pumping, calorie-burning cardio.
With that said, it’s not always possible to fit in five workouts each week, so doubling up in one day is a great way to balance a tight schedule. When doing two daily workouts, make sure they’re different from one another so you can include a balance of cardio, strength training, and stretching over the course of a day. Go for a run in the morning and take an evening yoga class, or hit up that lunchtime Spin class and do some strength training before dinner. Be conscious of which muscles you’re targeting each time you exercise, because solely working your legs twice in one day could not only cause a muscular imbalance that leads to pain or injury, but you’ll also get bored. Rest days are also important, so take it easy at least twice a week to allow your muscles a chance to heal and strengthen.
Of course if you’re training for a race, tackling a daylong hike or snowshoe, or attending a fitness event, you’ll be exceeding the two to three hours of exercise two basic workouts would entail. For big fitness bursts like this, pace yourself throughout the day and be mindful of pushing yourself too far. If you’re feeling extremely lethargic, dizzy, nauseous, or painfully sore, stop immediately to rest, and the next time scale down the intensity a bit. If two regular daily workouts is something you’d like to make a habit of, it’s a good idea to stick to 30 to 90 minutes per session, and make one high-intensity cardio and the other lower intensity.
Also keep in mind that exercising twice in one day will cause you to burn more calories, and make sure you’re nourishing yourself with enough protein and healthy carbs. And as long as getting in your two workouts doesn’t have a negative effect on your life or prevent you from getting enough sleep, then there’s nothing wrong with sweating it out twice (as long as you’re OK with taking two showers!).
Cardio is a must for burning calories and losing overall body fat, but you need to complement it with strength training to build muscle. More muscle mass not only burns extra calories, it also transforms the way your body looks, so your weight loss is even more noticeable. Sculpted, toned arms, shoulders, and an upper back are only a click away – just follow one of these effective upper-body workouts regularly, and you’re sure to notice a difference in your strength and appearance.
Source: POPSUGAR Studios