Does your hour-long workout at the gym or yoga and Pilates classes get pushed aside this time of year because of the shopping, decorating and gathering with friends? You can always make time for a quick 15 to 20 minute workout! You’ll feel better, burn a few calories and work off some of those cookies you’ve been eating. When you’re pressed for time just add these exercises to your day. Start by playing some lively tunes while you lightly stretch your muscles. Then, for those aerobic benifits, pick up the pace and get your heart pumping.
March around your living room with knees high while pumping your arms in front. You can do this for the length of one or two song. You can add a little hop to the standing leg as you bring your other leg up to touch your opposite elbow to your knee. Tighten your stomach and get some ab work in too!
2. Knee Squats
Next, do a deep knee squat with your feet placed wide and turned out to 10 and 2 o’clock. Start by squatting eight to 10 times. Your knees should stay behind your toes and you should keep your back straight for good form. Then, bend your knees and squat to hold this position steady or slightly contract up and down for a count of five. Then return to your full squats, going all the way up and down 10 times alternating with the stable squat. Keep it up for the length a song or two.
3. Standing Side Crunches
With your arms above your head and knees turned out (as above), lift your right knee up while bringing your right elbow to your knee or thigh. Then, return your arm and leg to the starting position and repeat the action on the left side. You can keep alternating right and left or opt to stay on one side 5 reps then do 5 on the other side. Be sure to contact your side muscles when you lift your leg and drop your elbow to your knee. Repeat for the length of a song or two.
Now let’s get your heart pumping more and dance! You can freestyle here and have some fun or just skip, do jumping jacks, jog in place, or do whatever you want so long as you’re moving. Do this for two songs.
5. Cool Down
Time to cool down. March, walk, or wiggle until your heart rate goes down, then stretch your legs and arms out.
If you have time, you can do some core or abdominal work before moving on into your day.
There you have it — easy exercises that take just 15 to 20 minutes and can be done any time of day in the comfort of your home. If you’re busy and you can’t make it to the gym, just fit in 15 minutes a day and have fun with it. You’ll be so glad you did!