Sometimes you are so busy that the only way you’re going to make it to the gym is if you clone yourself. Since that’s not happening, your next best bet is a mini workout.
What’s a mini workout, you ask? It’s a brief workout—5 to 10 minutes—that allows you to maintain your exercise routine no matter how hectic your schedule looks on any given day. The goals of a mini workout mirror the same goals you have for a lengthy gym workout: to get your heart pumping, burn those calories, build your strength, and improve your endurance.
Benefits of a Mini Workout:
- Mood-boosting: Say you’re having a stressful day at work and you decide to step outside for a mini workout. Chances are you’re going to return to work in a much better mood after a mini workout and a breath of fresh air.
- Hello, versatility! Are you cooking dinner at home? While you wait for the water on the stove to boil, set a 5-minute timer and run up and down your stairs. Stuck waiting for your doctor to come into the exam room? Run in place and perform some squats.
- No slacking! We get it—there are some days when time’s not an issue—motivation is! Mini workouts can keep you motivated because it’s surprisingly easy to talk yourself into one on account of knowing that you can return to whatever you’re doing in no time.
- Bring on the intensity: The shorter your workout, the more compelled you’ll be to give it everything you’ve got.
Ready to try a mini workout? Set a timer and go for it!
- 5 minutes: Perform 30 seconds of squats followed by 30 seconds of calf raises. Perform 20 jumping jacks and then 10 push-ups. Round out this workout by doing 10 more squats and then 25 sit-ups. If your timer hasn’t gone off yet, hop, skip and/or sprint across the room until it does.
- 7 minutes: Tap your left knee and left elbow 15 times. Tap your right knee and right elbow 15 times. Perform 20 lunges. Tap your opposite knee and opposite elbow 15 times. Repeat with the other knee and elbow. Hold a 20-second plank, do 10 push-ups, and repeat all exercises a second time until the timer goes off.
- 10 minutes: Perform 10 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, 20 lunges, a 20-second plank, and then rest for 30 seconds. Run in place (high knees!) for one minute, jump rope for one minute, and then rest for 30 seconds. Perform a bent-over row with a set of dumbbells for one to two minutes. Round out this workout by doing one minute of straight leg kicks.
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Remember, don’t underestimate how beneficial a mini workout can be. Research shows that multiple mini workouts throughout the day are essentially the equivalent of one long workout session at your favorite gym. A workout is a workout, so go get ‘em! You’ve got this, and you know it.