What If I Only Have 15 Minutes to Workout?

With a very busy life it’s sometimes difficult to make your workout.  You don’t have time to get to the studio and take your class.  It can be frustrating, but it’s going to happen.  On those days you may be able to take 15 minutes though. What do you do with 15 minutes to exercise if that’s all you have? 

It turns out you can get results with 15 minute workouts. There are many variations you can do for 15 minutes.

Something is always better than nothing.

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, has become popular because it works. Several repetitions of high-intensity exercises are separated by medium intensity exercises for recovery. The high-intensity exercises are done at near capacity. The medium exercises are done at 50% of capacity. This is followed by a cool down period. HIIT can last from 5 to 20 minutes. The specific exercises vary, and you can get a lot of variety in these short routines.

Another variation is circuits. Circuits are a series of exercises strung together seamlessly using the same pair of weights, so you don’t have to pause for anything. You start with the larger muscle groups like legs and back and work through to smaller muscle groups like biceps and triceps. Repetitions of each exercise are performed one after the other. You fatigue each muscle group and stress the cardiovascular system with the continuous exercise.

Another routine you can do in 15 minutes is 4 Big Moves. You only do 4 exercises.  Exercises 1 and 2 are performed in alternating sets. Then you rest for 1 minute and do exercises 3 and 4. Rest 2 minutes then start the routine again. The 4 exercises are big exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, burpees, pull-ups or lunges. There are many body weights exercises you can use for 4 Big Moves. It all depends on your level of fitness and your strength.  There’s no doubt you can use body weight movements for 15 minutes and get a workout.

Here’s a 15-minute abdominal workout that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied. It’s the 15-minute core workout. There are 5 exercises. Do 10 to 20 repetitions of each in a row. That’s one circuit. Rest for 2 minutes and start another circuit. Do this for 15 minutes.  What are the exercises?  Try planks, bicycle crunches, side planks, vertical leg crunches and reverse crunches.

If you need something less elaborate you can always do 15 minutes of anything.  Walk up and down a hill.  Walk up and down the stairs. Jog around the block.  The key to all of this is to move.  Move your whole body for 15 minutes and you’re going to get some benefit.

It’s best if you get to class for your full body workout but if you can’t, something is better than nothing!