How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t have time for a workout,” or maybe you have said this yourself? There are only 24 hours in a day, and each person has to decide what to do with that time. Often times we wish there were more time in a day, but in reality we know we can’t add more hours to the day! And even if we could we’d probably still be wishing we could add more hours.
We live in a fast paced world and most people struggle with balancing their time with daily responsibilities. Whether it be meeting the next deadline at work, shuttling your children to and from school, or running to the store, we try to squeeze as much as we can in each day. The goal however needs to be overall balance and if we don’t spend time taking care of ourselves (such as doing a little exercise), we may struggle even more keeping up with all of our daily responsibilities. Exercise seems to be one thing that easily gets left out of one’s schedule when time is short.
Have you ever considered how you make time to meet the work deadline, take your children to school, or make it to the store? You do it because it is on your schedule and honestly you have to, you don’t really have a choice with some of these tasks. So what if you treated exercise the same way…put it on your schedule and made it a priority (a must do agenda item)? , and put it on that same schedule?
Now you may be saying, I don’t have an entire hour in a day to devote to a workout. That is OK! The good news is you can get a good workout done in 20 to 30 minutes. Does that time frame seem more manageable? I am going to give you some guidelines for how you can fit a 20 to 30 minute workout into your day.
First and foremost, put the time you will exercise on your calendar or make an alarm on your phone. This will remind you that it is time to exercise. Not only will it be added to your schedule, but it will give you a sense of accomplishment for checking something off of your to-do list!
Another hesitation when it comes to a shorter exercise session is where do I exercise? The good news here is that you don’t need a gym membership or any equipment to get in a quick workout. Try this: 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and a 30 second plank. Repeat this sequence 3-4 times/sets. Another great option for a quick workout is to go for a walk. Try getting up 20 minutes earlier or walking while your child is at soccer practice.
Still concerned you are not getting enough bang for your buck with a quick workout? Try limiting the time that you rest between exercises. For example, when doing the squats, push-ups, sit-ups, and planks listed above, shorten the rest time between each exercise and set. As you do the workout more often, you can limit the rest time to even shorter and maybe get an extra set or two in.
Another great way to maximize your time is to try interval training. This is where you exercise at a lower intensity (i.e. walking) for a period of time followed by exercising at a higher intensity (i.e. jogging), and then repeat. Here’s a quick interval workout to try:
- Walk for one minute
- Jog (or walk faster if you aren’t ready for jogging) for 2 minutes
- Repeat up to 10 times
Interested in trying out some different exercises or maybe you have some equipment at home? Circuit training is another way to maximize your time when it is limited. This is a type of training where you perform anywhere from 3 to 5 exercises in succession, and repeat. This will allow you to target multiple muscle groups in a very short amount of time.
We all seem to have limited amount of time and we cannot add hours to a 24-hour day; even if it would help us get more accomplished. So, although it seems like you may not have time to exercise, try some of these tips and see how a quick workout can fit into your schedule. Those 24 hours are ultimately your time, so decide wisely what you will do with it. You might be surprised at how easy a 20 to 30 minute workout can be, and even more surprised at how much better it will make you feel.
Article Written by:
Ciara Floyd, M.S., CPT, CSCS
Health & Fitness Professional
Ciara holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While pursuing her Master’s Degree she spent time training intercollegiate athletes. She’s been coaching and training athletes for 10 years as a gymnastics coach, physical education teacher, and sports performance coach. Ciara was also a collegiate track athlete for four years at Samford University. The majority of her career has been focused on athletic improvement. In the last few years she’s spent more time working with a non-athlete population. Ciara is extremely passionate about helping people meet their individual goals to live a healthier more fulfilling lifestyle through exercise and improvements in nutrition.