April 19, 2011

Just Bust a Move: 5-Minute Workouts for Busy Days

Lately, even as a trainer - where I work primarily in a gym - I've been having a hard time fitting in my regular workouts.  Laugh if you will, but between training other people, traveling on weekends, and trying to squeeze in some semblance of sleep, it's getting increasingly hard to lay down a good old-fashioned 60 minutes of exercise each day.

That said, there's no excuse.  I probably spend 5-10 minutes here and there wasting time - checking Facebook, playing with the dog, doing something on my smart phone, or replying to tweets (again, hopefully I'm not the only one here!).  What if - and let's just get crazy here - we spent that time working out instead?

It doesn't take much.  With just some simple planning and equipment "stashing," you can make those little moments of down time worth their weight in...well, weight loss!

Some examples:
  • The Line Dance - while standing and waiting in a line, lean from side to side, lifting each foot slightly, and pull the abs in with each "shuffle" for a small crunch contraction
  • Desk-er-cize - first off, switch out your desk chair for a Swiss ball or modified Swiss ball chair.  Then, roll forward and back (using only your butt/hips to move you) while you take a phone call
  • Jump for Joy - stash a small jump rope in your desk or purse and on lunch hour, spend the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes jumping rope.  You won't even notice the 10 minutes gone and you'll burn 100 calories or more!
  • Burpee Blaster - recently heralded as the single best exercise you can do, try and do 10 burpees in a row without rest - and repeat until you reach 50 or reach fatigue, whichever comes first
  • Push It - alternate sets of 10 pushups and 10 crunches for 1 minute at a time, resting 30 seconds in between sets.  To intensify it, add a 30-second bout of high knees at the beginning and end of each set
  • Shadow Boxer - if you're in a situation where you can't access weights, "shadowbox" (mimic punching and kicking movements) to music for 5-10 minutes - here's a how-to if you're unsure what to do
One of the best parts of accumulating these short routines is that when you do have time, you can combine them into a 25-30 minute, very high-intensity circuit workout.

Do you have a a favorite 5-10 minute exercise routine that you like to do when life gets super busy?  Leave a comment for us and share your expertise!

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