You know how it goes. Day after day, you set the alarm and just can’t bring yourself to get out of bed early enough to get in a long workout—or maybe even any workout at all. More often than not, rather than risk being late for work since you stayed in bed too long, you decide to try again tomorrow. But tomorrow turns into days or weeks.
Sound like a familiar pattern?
Most of us have only the best intentions when it comes to health and fitness, but struggle with how to fit exercise into a busy schedule. We know it’s important, but how do we find consistency when we’re always on the go? Working out in the morning typically makes the most sense if you’re trying to establish a consistent routine, but it’s got to be quick enough to get you on your way fast.
The good news is, those workouts really do exist. The key is to find the best quick workouts for you—something you can do that gets your heart pumping and your exercise out of the way so you can move on with your day. Let’s take a look at some of today’s best quick workouts to improve your fitness without spending hours at the gym.
Fast Morning Workout for Beginners
- Walk: Just because you don’t have an hour doesn’t mean that walk isn’t worth taking. Even if it’s only for 15 to 20 minutes, walking your dog or hitting the treadmill first thing in the morning can really help improve not only your health, but your outlook on life for the day.
- Yoga: Not too crazy about looking for your shoes that early? Try some barefoot yoga. There are plenty of apps and videos on YouTube that will show you some short beginner yoga routines you can do without even changing out of your pajamas.
- Strength: With or without equipment, you can do a quick routine of strength moves. After warming up your muscles with a few minutes of light movement, try doing 10-20 reps of some of the following exercises:
- Toe raises
- Push-ups or planks
- Leg lifts
- Crunches (standing or lying down)
Just make sure you do some homework on the proper form (like not extending your knees beyond your toes during squats), and stop if you feel any pain. If you’re uneasy about a move, swap it for a different one. And whatever workout you decide to do, remember it’s always best to consult a doctor if you have questions or want to start something new.
High Intensity Interval Training
From apps on your phone to designing your own workout with a free interval timing app, high intensity interval training (or HIIT) is one of the most popular and best quick workouts. With HIIT, you perform intervals of high-intensity exercises (or as high as you can handle with your conditioning), alternating with rest periods.
Your workout might be as simple as going back and forth between 45 seconds of running and 15 seconds of walking slow. Or, you can choose exercises like squats, planks, mountain climbers, jump rope, jumping jacks, side lunges, etc. You can mix up your moves however you like throughout the workout. How you design it is up to you and how you feel, but here are some ideas on how yours might be structured:
- 45 seconds of exercise and 15 seconds of rest
- 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest
- 1 minute of exercise and 30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of exercise and 30 seconds of rest
Whatever you decide, you can choose how many rounds you do based on how much time you have that day. Just be sure to warm up first and take a cool down stretch when you’re done. HIIT workouts can be as fast as 12-15 minutes, and research has proven that your results can be just as good or better as with longer workouts.