How to Workout to Make the Most of Your Workout Time

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, jaredpolin

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, jaredpolin

Long work hours. Caring for a loved one. School. Home maintenance. Catching up with friends. There’s less and less time for the things you know you need, like exercising. When you do have time, it seems like it’s not enough. 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there…is that enough for an effective workout? Should you even bother? 

Workout Hard, Not Long – Why?

In some ways, short, intense workouts can be more beneficial than longer ones. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), for example, is a strategy of alternating high-intensity with low-intensity. A 10 to 20-minute workout can feel as taxing as a whole hour – and as beneficial, too. The short, intense workouts of HIIT provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.

Challenge yourself: “For one month, I will dedicate my workouts to shorter, more intense intervals.”

Focus on compound strength movements to incorporate as many muscles as possible.  Try out some of the sample workouts below and see for yourself.

10-minute workout
4 rounds
40-30-20-10x reps

15-minute workout
Max rounds in 15 minutes
Run 100m

20-minute workout
Max rounds in 20 minutes

A Few Suggestions to Get Started

We suggest visiting CrossFit Endurance for endurance athletes and Gymnastics WOD for those wanting to add a boost to their athletic performance. 

Fancy equipment isn’t a necessity. Try out some of the routines found on MobilityWOD, a site run by physical therapist Dr. Kelly Starrett. His workouts specifically target maximum mobility and injury prevention. The 10-minute squat test will not only make you a believer, it’ll leave you dripping in sweat.

If resistance training isn’t your thing, HIIT can also be used for aerobic exercises. For example, periodically changing your intensity during a run can burn more calories in a shorter time and boost your metabolism.

Here’s a simple HIIT workout that will kick your butt – the speeds listed are for an individual where 10mph is a full-out sprint, and 5 mph is a light jog, so adjust accordingly:



Simple Steps to Wellness: Want More?

This blog is part of our Simple Steps to Wellness series.

We believe that incorporating small, feasible changes over shorter periods of change can help you experience the motivation and confidence that comes from seeing your personal goals fulfilled. Remember, you don’t need to wait until January 1, 20XX to get started – you can start today. You can incorporate healthy habits into your life with more ease than you may think. For more tips on wellness that are actionable and easy to bring into your everyday life, you can start with “A Single, Powerful Immunity Booster,” or try “How to Avoid Simple Carbs and Boost Your Immune System.”

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.