10 Ways to Sneak In a Workout (Even When You’re Crazy-Busy)
Turn Your Commute into a Workout
On days that Monica Vazquez, 27, a master trainer for New York Sports Clubs in New York City, can't do her usual run, she stuffs her essentials—keys, cash, credit card, phone, and ID—into a fanny pack (we're obsessed with these chic options) and jogs home from work instead. "Running is a great workout, but it's also great transportation," she says. "Sometimes I get home even earlier than I normally do taking the subway." (Here are more tips for how to run commute.)
Not into pounding the pavement? Here’s how to find time to work out on the go: Bike to work, get off your bus or train a few stops earlier, or park the car farther away to extend your walk.
Set Your Alarm Early
Becoming an A.M. exerciser means you get to cross your workout off your to-do list ASAP. We're not telling you to skip out on sleep to figure out how to find time to work out, but there are simple steps you can take to reset your sleep schedule and wake up earlier. Can't quite get yourself out of bed that early? Wear your athleisure so it’s a cinch to get your sweat on as soon as you wake up. (P.S. You have no excuse: Here's How to Wake Up Early for a Morning Workout, According to Women Who Do It at 4 A.M.)
Sneak In a Lunch Break Workout
Make use of your precious 60 minutes by hitting the gym or going for a walk. Not only will it keep your waistline in check, but also you're proven to be more productive during the day by logging off for an hour than you would be by eating lunch at your desk. (Snag our top tips for making the most of a noon sweat sesh.)
Work Out at Work
Get your daily dose of exercise even if you're working all day long. Try this tip for how to find time to work out without stepping foot outside of your office from Gregory Florez, personal trainer and CEO of Fitness First Inc.: "Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses, and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each." (Related: 4 Genius Chair Exercises for an Office Tabata Workout)
Take the Kids with You
Got a young brood? Invest in a jogging stroller to get your miles in without paying big bucks for a sitter. Or strap your bundle of joy into a carrier and do squats for extra resistance and a fun distraction. (And check out how this creative mom of three exercises with all of her kiddos!)
Multitask on the Treadmill
Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt session from Michael George, the author of Body Express Makeover: Trim and Sculpt Your Body in Less Than Six Weeks.
“Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a one-minute set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals, and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. It's an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing four-minute sets." (Or try this 10-minute workout for when you're crunched on time.)
Make It a Date
Here's one way you can sweat like a medal-winning athlete: Go on a fitness date like Olympic figure skater, mom, author, and philanthropist Kristi Yamaguchi. She and husband, NHL player Bret Hedican, set up exercise dates to keep themselves fit. Single? Invite your friends to try a new gym class instead of hitting happy hour. (Related: Why Having a Fitness Buddy Is the Best Thing Ever)
Don't Just Wait Around
All the time we spend waiting for the subway, for the microwave to ding, or in line adds up, so why not sneak in a workout while you're standing there? Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent says one of her favorite solutions for how to find time to work out can be found in the aisles of your locals store. Crank our lunges, toe raises, and squats at the checkout line, she suggests. "People might look at you like you're silly, but who cares?"
No More "Couch Potato"
Just because you're catching up on This Is Us doesn't mean you can't do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and squats too. (In fact, this workout was made to do while watching This Is Us.) Clear up some space between the couch and the TV so you don't miss anything while breaking a sweat. Need an extra nudge? Move your dumbbells, jump rope, and other fitness tools near the tube to give yourself visible reminders.
Power Up Your Stair Climbs
"Instead of walking leisurely up a flight of stairs, gradually increase your speed and the number of stairs you take in one minute," says Kari Anderson, a group fitness instructor and the owner of The Seattle Gym in Seattle, Washington. "Take two steps at once—if you're able to do it safely—and you'll target your glutes even more." (Related: You Can Do This Total-Body Stair Workout Just About Anywhere)