Summer is the season of busyness. You have to juggle camps, extracurricular activities, sports games and practices — all on top of your normal day-to-day routine. So how can you possibly fit in exercise on top of an already-packed schedule?
With its clear health benefits and mood-boosting potential, daily exercise is a habit you don’t want to neglect. Even if you’re short on time, carving out 10 to 15 minutes to devote to fitness can help you be the best version of yourself. One of these five super-quick workouts can help get your blood flowing and infuse your body with energy.
Note: Please check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
1. Try a Tabata
Tabata workouts are an excellent way to torch calories in a short period of time. A basic Tabata consists of eight 30-second rounds, for a total of four minutes of exercise.
But don’t let the short period of time fool you — these intense workouts are designed to leave you breathless. Tabatas can be performed with any exercise move or can be created by combining a series of moves.
For the following cardio-focused Tabata, do each move listed below for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest. Repeat the circuit once to complete the Tabata.
Mountain climbers: Get into a plank position and bring your left knee forward, toward your left elbow, and then back into the plank position. Do the same with the right foot. Run your knees through the exercise, going as fast as you want or as slow as you need. Try to maintain good form, with your shoulders over your wrists.
Squats: Standing with your feet a little wider than hip width apart, push your rear backward and squat down. Be sure your knees stay in line with your ankles. On the way up, push from your heel to activate the glutes. Repeat.
Burpees: Start in a standing position. Crouch down and come into a squat, put your hands on the ground and kick your feet back into a plank position. Complete a push-up and return to standing. Jump up and extend your hands into the air. That’s your first burpee. Repeat.
Push-ups: For this classic move, get into a plank position. To make this exercise easier, start with your knees on the floor. Ensure the elevated part of your body forms a straight line. Lower down as close to the floor as you can manage and push back up using your arms and upper body. Repeat.
2. HIIT It Up
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is another great way to quickly get your heart pumping. Sprints can be done anywhere and at any time. Warm up first for five minutes, and then follow with 10 rounds of 30-second sprints followed by 30 seconds of rest. End with a five-minute cool-down and some stretching.
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3. Focus on Compound Moves
If you’re creating your own workout, try focusing on compound moves, which are exercises that work multiple muscles at once. This will increase the amount of calories you burn during your workout.
Squats to shoulder press, dumbbell row to rear fly, planks and push-ups are excellent compound moves to include. Another exercise that works every muscle in the body on top of cardio? Swimming.
4. Work Your Entire Body
If you’re pressed for time at the gym but still want to get in a quality strength workout, make sure to target each of the main muscle groups of your body for a full-body workout.
Perform three sets of 10 reps, with a 45-second rest between sets, for the following strength exercises. You can also do this at home with a set of dumbbells.
- Bench press
- Seated shoulder press
- Bent-over rows
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5. 5-Minute Ab Burner
If you only have five minutes to spare, try this quick ab burner exercise. Do each exercise for one minute, for a total of five minutes of exercise. Trust us — you’ll feel like your core is on fire (which means it’s working!).
- Side plank: 30 seconds
- Side plank (other side): 30 seconds
- Bicycle crunches: 1 minute
- Reverse crunches: 1 minute
- Mountain climbers: 1 minute
- Forearm plank: 1 minute
These workouts are sure to get your blood flowing quickly and effectively. Make fitness a priority this summer and know that with the right timing and consistent commitment, even just 10 to 15 minutes a day can make a difference in your mood and energy levels.