Sometimes it’s hard to carve time out of your day for exercise, especially when you’re trying to find an extra hour in your schedule to go for a run and lift some weights.
Many trainers nowadays are advocating for shorter workouts with higher intensity. While this sounds too good to be true—who wouldn’t want to work out for only 15 minutes—some experts are now recognizing its effectiveness.
The European Journal of Applied Physiology published a study that found 15 minutes of resistance training showed just as much effectiveness at boosting metabolism as a moderate 35 minute workout. Another study stated that people seem more prone to stick with an exercise program if they only had to workout for 15 minutes.
I’m a firm believer in a healthy lifestyle and diet, but I found it inspirational that studies are now showing 15 minutes a day can have a greater effect on your health. My thinking is if you can find 15 minutes several times a day to scroll through your social media, you can find 15 minutes to work out.
Here are some great tips on how to incorporate 15 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule.
- Be mindful of spare minutes. If you’re like me, I sometimes find myself with spare minutes at the end of a phone call or a meeting. It’s usually not long enough to start on a project or make another phone call, so I’ll just flip through my emails. If you become mindful about watching for these small breaks in your schedule, you can use that time to do some lunges in your office or run up and down the stairs a few times. Keep resistance bands in your desk drawer and do a few routines during these in-between times.
- Invest in a DVR. Most hour-long shows on TV only run between 40 to 45 minutes each. That leaves 15 to 20 minutes for commercials. If you record your favorite show, you can skip the commercials, watch the show in its entirety, and still have time left over to work out for 15 minutes.
- Hire some help. Hire someone to do the chores that seem to suck up all of your time. Most women struggle with this option because we like to think we can do it all. One way to look at this is to ask yourself what is an hour of your time worth. Another key question is to ask yourself what you’re spending your disposable income on. If you’re able to spend a sizable amount on shoes or clothes, you can easily trim that back to pay for a cleaning service. Rather than spending a couple of hours each week scrubbing down your bathtubs and showers, let the cleaning service handle it so you’ll have more time for your business and more time to work out.
- Get up 15 minutes earlier. Most of us can’t fathom getting up at 5am every day to work out, but even the heaviest sleeper can set the alarm 15 minutes early to squeeze in a little exercise. And think of it this way—even if you don’t work out first thing in the morning, you’ll get to work earlier, get things done earlier, and you won’t feel as guilty about taking time out in the afternoon for a workout.
- Set a timer for 45 minutes. If you have some control over your schedule at work, try setting a timer for 45 minutes, and then focus completely on work. When the timer goes off, get up and move for 15 minutes. Walk the halls at a brisk pace or take a quick stroll around the outside of the building. It’s amazing how this helps clear your head and energizes you to come back to your desk refreshed and invigorated, ready to tackle the next 45 minutes.
If you’re not sure what to do during the 15 minutes you’re able to find in your schedule, a simple Google search for 15 minute workouts will give you plenty of ideas to keep you busy.