Fitting a workout in can be a challenge for many people. But if being healthy is a priority, fitting one in is a necessity. Exercise is important for overall health, not just weight maintenance, but the prevention of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, cancers, and more. Fortunately, with a little creativity, you can squeeze in a quick workout whenever you have a few minutes.
Here are some simple body-weight moves that can get your heart rate going and tone your muscles with minimal time. Pick three or four, do a few sets, and go on with your day. If you can fit two or three of these mini-workouts in each day, you’ll be well on your way to better health and your desired physique.
Push-ups have stood the test of time in workouts because they are effective and require no equipment. If a full push-up is too hard, start on your knees. The key to effective push-ups is form—maintain a straight line from knees, to butt, to shoulders throughout—it’s like a plank in motion. Aim for 10, then work up to 15, 20, and even 30 per set.
Burpees are one of those fitness moves that people love to hate; actually, they are awesome. Start in a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs back so you are in push-up position. Jump back into squat position and jump up with arms raised overhead. That’s one. How many can you do?
Squats are great for your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles. There are numerous squat variations, but always remember to protect your knees while squatting. Take care that your knees don’t go past your feet as you bend.
4. Walking Lunges
Like squats, there are numerous different types of lunges, but if you have some space available try walking lunges. Simply alternate legs, kicking one forward and bending into a lunge, come back up with feet side-by-side and try the other leg.
5. Frog Jumps
Also known as squat jumps, these will get your heart rate going in no time. Bend into a low-squat and explode into a jump. When you land, come immediately back into a squat position and spring back into a jump. Repeat.
Other on-the-spot body-weight exercises include:
- Sumo squats
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
- Donkey kicks
- Side lunges
You don’t have to live in the gym to get fit. You don’t even have to go to the gym. But try scheduling a full-length workout on most days. Attempting to fit one in around a busy schedule may work occasionally but doesn’t lay the groundwork for a lasting habit.