Take the stairsBusy is a way of life these days. We work, get the kids to school, go to the grocery store, meetings, cook dinner, and all over again. Whew! How can we find time to get in shape?

There are things we can do to take advantage of the time we have to make the most of the workout and still get dinner on the table. Take the stairs, park farther away from the door and walk, pick up the pace or stretch.

Here are some quick workouts for busy people:

Skip the Elevator and Take the Stairs

While you’re taking those stairs be aware of your muscles. Don’t just take the next step but walk erect over your hips, squeeze your backside and push up with each step. If you are doing it incorrectly you will feel the movement in your knees. But if done right you will feel a lift with each step that actually saves wear and tear on your knees, back and ankles.

Walk like a Ballerina

Walking is great exercise for busy people. Waiting at the corner for the light to change? Take the opportunity to stretch. Relevé and plié like a ballerina. With each beat of the “Do not Walk” sign, lift up onto your toes while standing tall. Feel the stretch on the front of your legs. Gently lower your heels and bend your knees while keeping those heels on the ground and your balance over your hips. Feel the stretch in your calves. Keep the movements slow and steady. There won’t be time for a lot of repetitions, but enough to keep your legs limber and ready for the next intersection. You don’t have to be out on the street to do this exercise. You can relevé the minutes away while waiting in line at the grocery store, in line at the lunch counter or working at the counter in your own kitchen.

Add a Twist to your Workout

If you are actually working out and don’t have much time increase the burn without adding more time on the workout clock vary your activities, and make each movement as complex and as varied as possible. Instead of just going for a run, do sprints — and then stop, start, turn, and twist. Add motion and movement into your activity and you’ll literally keep your body expending maximum energy in the time you have.
Another trick while working out is to reduce rest periods between exercises. If you only have an hour try to talk less and move more. Don’t give your body time to recover since it has to stay in condition for the next bout of activity. By decreasing rest periods you will actually be doing more and end up in better shape without increasing your workout time. A body at rest tends to remain at rest; a body in motion tends to remain in motion. So the more you move in any given time period, the easier it becomes to keep moving.

The Seven Minute Workout

Finally, if you are out of time here is a workout for you and it only takes 7 minutes. You’ll sweat. Your muscles will probably be sore the next day. And all you need is a small space on the floor, a chair and your own body weight. This article on The Seven Minute Circuit will guide you. With the seven-minute circuit, you do 12 exercises back-to-back for 30 seconds each, taking a maximum of 10 seconds of rest in between. It’s not a workout for beginners. For 30 seconds at a time, you should be working at 85% to 90% of your maximum heart rate — or an eight out of 10 on your personal exertion scale. Each exercise focuses on a different part of the body, so the other areas can recuperate without lowering your heart rate. Seven minutes. No excuses left.

There are many ways to make the most of your time when the time you have is so limited. The key is to be aware of those moments that you can take advantage of and work your body to its best advantage. We all have so little time to get everything in that we need to each day but it is vitally important to move and keep moving.


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