If you’re short on time, don’t waste a single minute worrying about the fact that you don’t have “enough” time to workout. Whether you have 10 minutes or 30, a short blast of movement can boost your fitness. Heck, simply standing up every hour and shrugging your shoulders can get your blood flowing and improve your health.

Having a small window of time to squeeze in a quickie workout can be an awesome motivator to jumpstart your system and focus on elements of fitness you might normally neglect. You can get an incredible, productive workout in very little time IF you concentrate on the components of physical fitness that don’t require marathon exercise. Instead of focusing on endurance, it’s time to think high-intensity and increase your speed, power, and strength.

Choose one of these three options and get moving!

1) Do a speed-based running (or walking, rowing, elliptical, etc.) workout.

Endurance athletes often get sucked into the mentality that more miles are always better. However, it’s the quality of the miles that matter the more fit you get. If you’ve established a decent amount of endurance, do a speedier short tempo run/walk, hill repeats, or speedplay/fartleks. Picking up the pace periodically will not only save you time, but it will also bust you out of a rut and give you the edge when speed matters.


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2) Do a low rep/heavy weight lifting session.

The popularity of some trademark programs that emphasize repeating the same strength moves over and over has made some people forget the effectiveness and importance of doing fewer reps with heavier weights. Instead of thinking you have to do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions for every strength move, grab heavier weights and do one set of each move. If the muscle group is fatigued by the time you are done with the set, then you are doing it right! If not, try heavier weights. You can easily target all major muscle groups (and many minor ones) by doing compound movements. For example, execute lunges while you do bicep curls. Try plies with a trap raise.

workout3) Do Intervals.

You can boost your metabolism, integrate exercises that target all the major muscle groups, improve agility and speed with a simple interval workout. Do a 5 minute warm-up of gentle movement. Then, spend 2 minutes on a cardio move that gets your heart pumping. Follow that with 2 minutes of a strength move. Perform five rounds. Finish with 5 minutes of stretching, and you’ve done a tight 30-minute cardio/strength workout. High-intensity interval training takes little time and renders results. If you’re not keen on creating your own and want to zone in on cardio moves only, try a sample interval workout from the American Council on Exercise.

The bottom line is that even if you only have a handful of minutes, get up off your kiester and kick it into action!

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