If you feel like you have no time to exercise, consider this:
When you say you have no time for exercise, what you really mean is you don’t have time for hours and hours in the gym every week.
Who does? Welcome to real life.
Good news — “making time for exercise” does not mean that you have to block out 3 or 4 hours every week!
If you can find 30 minutes twice a week, you’ll make plenty of progress with your fitness program.
Here are some simple tips to maximize the benefits of your exercise program when you don’t have a lot of time for exercise:
No Time To Exercise? Strength Training Circuit instead of Cardio
Strength training workouts i.e. “lifting weights” gives you the biggest return on your time and effort in the gym.
Consistently doing a 20- or 30-minute strength circuit workout will get you stronger, fitter, and more toned without endless hours wasted on cardio exercise machines.
A fast-paced weight training circuit improves your cardiovascular fitness and bone density too!
So if you have limited time for exercise, get off the treadmill and pick up the dumbbells.
No Time To Exercise? Choose Complex Strength Exercises
Another way to maximize your results if you have limited time to work out is to concentrate on multi-exercise moves. Exercises that combine multiple moves together are called complex strength exercises.
Examples of time-efficient complex exercises are:
- Squat rows — Use the handles on an adjustable pulley stack, and do a squat with a cable row at the top of each rep.
- Planks with tricep kickbacks – Plank with your hands on dumbbells, and alternate arms to execute tricep kickbacks.
- Clean and press — A fast explosive deadlift to the “catch” position at the shoulders, followed by on overhead press. Works great with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells.
- Squat press — Holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, perform a squat. When you’re back up in the standing position, do an overhead shoulder press.
- Ab rollout pushups — With your hands on a loaded barbell on the floor, roll out into a plank, do a pushup, then roll back.
- Lunge curls — Perform a series of walking lunges with dumbbells, and do bicep curls at the top of each rep.
No Time To Exercise? Do Intervals
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a style of exercise that alternates between short bursts of difficult activity and brief recovery periods. HIIT keeps your heart rate up to boost fat burning and improve your physical conditioning.
Adding HIIT to your exercise program can be an incredibly effective tool if you don’t have much time to exercise.
In fact, one study compared the effects of HIIT to running, biking, and resistance training, demonstrating that a 30-minute HIIT session burned 25–30% more calories than the other activities.
Other Ways To Make Time To Exercise
Instead of looking at fitness as a one-hour occurrence at the gym, open your eyes to additional possibilities throughout the day. Health and fitness is a 24-hour endeavor.
How much are you moving over the course of the day?
How much sitting do you do?
Squeezing in a hard 60-minute workout doesn’t mean that you’ll see results if you still sit around all day and each crap. Sure, your workouts are important, but they are only a piece of a larger puzzle.
Outside of your daily workout, you should be moving as much as possible. Things like walking when you can, standing instead of sitting, taking the dog out, using the stairs, getting off the bus a few stops early, etc.
The opportunities to move are endless. Whether it’s 20 minutes of weights in the gym, a few rounds of calisthenics at home or outside, a 15 minute brisk walk after dinner, adding a few HIIT intervals to your run — all great tools to add to your exercise toolbox.
Have fun with it! It doesn’t take a lot of time to stay healthy.
And if you want some professional guidance putting together a time-efficient workout based on your own personal goals and preferences, contact Basics and Beyond to get set up with a personal trainer. We can show you the right exercises, and hold you accountable so you’ll stay on track!