The single most common reason many miss a workout is TIME. Our days are more hectic than ever and therefore, it truly can be difficult to work in an exercise regime. If you can find a mere 15 to 20 minutes a day, however, you can give yourself substantial gains in your fitness desires - you do not have to spend hours sweating for great results.
Following are some tips for when you are in a time crunch:
Do exercises that use multiple muscles, called multitasking. For example, a squat uses the front and back of your legs as well as your butt. After each squat, add an overhead shoulder press using a light dumbbell and you will hit even more muscles.
Focus on your big muscles. Working your biggest muscles burns tons of calories and will give your metabolism a good boost. These muscles are your butt, thighs, back and core i.e., lower back, abdominal and oblique muscles.
Intensify your aerobic workout. By doing so, you can get results in half the time. For example, instead of doing forty minutes of walking, jogging or low impact aerobics go on a bike or treadmill at a high intensity for twenty minutes. If you have been working out regularly for at least a month, you could try doing intervals.
Exercise at a level that to you is hard, or very hard for two minutes. Then, lower your effort - but keep moving! - For one minute. Repeat this cycle for twenty minutes.
Double up your exercises. Rather than resting between sets, use that time to work a different muscle group, preferably a complementary muscle. For example, alternate one set of biceps curls with one set of triceps dips. Alternatively, do a set of seated leg extensions with a set of leg curls. These are super-sets and they nearly double the number of exercises you can do in a short time.
Incorporate circuit training. Circuit training combines aerobics and strength training in the same workout. Doing this type of work out gives you calorie-burning benefits along with strength gains. For example, do a strength exercise for one minute. Without taking any rest, move on to another. Every two or three exercises add one minute of jump roping or your aerobic activity of choice for one or two minutes.
Before your morning shower and breakfast, or during your lunch hour, squeeze in two sets of ten of the following bare-essential moves: crunches, pull-ups, push-ups, squats and lunges. These calisthenics target and tone most areas of the body but do not take more than a few minutes to do. Short bursts of exercise add up. If you can accumulate 30 minutes of physical activity in a day in short bursts, you will get the same benefits you would if you did it all in one session.
Try something different every so often. Monotony in an exercise routine leads to boredom, which will ultimately lead to no exercise. A change in the type of aerobics, or your specific weight training routine will avoid this problem and will give you greater fitness benefits. You will burn more calories and stimulate muscles in a new way, accomplishing more in a shorter period. Try activities you truly think you will enjoy or you will defeat the purpose and get more frustrated and bored.