Trying to fit in exercise while on a time crunch can seem like a daunting task. As life happens and schedules become busy, finding that time to work out may be difficult. Having the ability to mold and shape your routine around those hectic times can help you be consistent. This can certainly be a challenge for those who have a specific training routine or regimen they adhere to. I’ll give you some examples of how to modify resistance and cardiovascular training into short, yet effective, 10-minute workouts.
While a 10-minute walk or run is great for cardiovascular training, many times the prep work involved can last longer than the actual time spent exercising. Throw in having to shower for work or unsuitable weather conditions, and you could be pressed for time.
The key is to choose an exercise or type of training that incorporates enough quantity of exercise without having to sacrifice the quality of your effort. Essentially, perform an exercise that’s not so strenuous it calls for long periods of rest or that's too comfortable and doesn’t elevate your heart rate. This can take some time to figure out depending on your level of fitness.
I find that keeping it simple and performing body weight movements such as push-ups, squats and lunges allows me to adequately work on both resistance and cardiovascular training without making it too confusing.Here is a step-by-step example of how to incorporate both components into a short, yet effective workout.Step 1:
Pick any two from the list
- Forward Lunge
- Overhead Shoulder Press
- Lateral (Side) Shoulder Raise
- Calf Raise
- Tricep (Chair) Dip
Perform one repetition of each exercise with 2-3 seconds of rest between movements.
Example: 1 Push-Up, Rest, 1 Shoulder Press
Now, perform two repetitions.
Example: 2 Push-Ups, Rest, 2 Shoulder Presses
Continue the workout, increasing each set by one repetition.
Example: 3 Push-Ups, Rest, 3 Shoulder Presses
Continue counting until you reach 10.
Example: 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10
Still have some time left? Try counting back down to 1.
1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, 9-9, 8-8, 7-7, 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, 1-1
(200 Total Repetitions/100 per Exercise)
This type of exercise is effective for several reasons, including:
- No equipment necessary. All you need is floor space and possibly a chair for tricep dips.
- Great for tracking progress. Try using a stopwatch to track your workout. Say, for instance, you stop on the round of 7 repetitions. Go ahead and check your stopwatch. That way you can try to beat your time on the next attempt. You can also strive to complete more repetitions on the next attempt.
- These are functional movements for everyday use. Because only bodyweight is involved, you’re able to focus on keeping proper form throughout the movements. Having good form ensures the right muscle group is being targeted while also decreasing the risk for injury.
- It's great for challenging yourself and adding variety. Feel free to add in some lightweight dumbbells to increase the intensity, if needed. Also, try mixing up the body weight exercises to keep your body guessing. Challenge yourself to complete the entire pyramid of repetitions (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1). This equals 100 repetitions and a total of 200 for both exercises.
- Saving time while reaping the benefits. Based on the American College of Sports Medicine general health guidelines, splitting a daily workout into three, 10-minute sessions is just as effective as 30 minutes all at once.
So if you’re pressed for time, don’t sweat it - make those minutes matter!