Contrary to popular belief, short workouts can be effective.  Studies have shown that brief intense bursts of cardiovascular exercise can boost the metabolism and burn calories very efficiently.  Thus, a few short workouts a week that elevate your heart rate and get your muscles activated can help you achieve your fitness goals without long hours of strenuous exercise. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, one minute of vigorous activity burns about the same calories as two minutes of moderate activity.  Considering this, if you only have 10 minutes to work out, then bump up the intensity and maximize your calorie burn.  This means choosing exercises that are dynamic, explosive and intense.  For example, it is best to choose routines that burn a high number of calories such as jump squats, jumping jacks, lunges and push-ups, over low calorie exercises such as crunches, bicep curls and triceps extensions. 

You should also incorporate both aerobic and resistance training into your routines.  A brisk walk to work opposed to taking the bus or driving is a form of cardiovascular exercise and can be your first workout for the day.  Similarly, taking stairs throughout the day instead of elevators and escalators will also get your heart rate up and burn calories – this could be your second workout for the day.  If you can not make it to the gym, then find time at home to do short intense workouts.  For instance, when you wake up in the morning take five minutes and do some pushups and jump squats before you get in the shower.  Try doing pushups while the kettle boils, and then in the evening fit a longer 15 minute workout routine while watching television.

There are two short and simple workouts provided here.  Set aside 15 minutes for these routines or you can do them at home while you and/or the children watching television.  These routines are designed to get your heart rate up, burn some calories and tone those flabby areas.  Do these workouts daily alternating days 1 and 2.  If you have more time and more motivation, then try jumping rope for 10 minutes or going for a 10 minute jog. 

Day 1

  • Jumping Jacks  – 100 reps
  • Shoulder press with tin cans, 3lbs, 5lbs or 8 lbs dumbbells  – 25 reps
  • Jump up and down (jump as high as you can or just make sure your feet leave the ground) – 50 reps
  • Sit down in a chair to start; stand up and sit down – 25 reps
  • Crunches – 50 reps
  • Repeat circuit 2 – 3 times

Day 2

  • Jump rope (use a rope or pretend) – 100 reps
  • Throw punches; (jab cross) hold tin cans, 3lbs, 5lbs or 8lbs dumbbells – 50 reps
  • Calf Raises – 50 reps
  • Lunges – 25 reps
  • Squats – 25 reps
  • Jump rope (use a rope or pretend) – 100 reps
  • Pushups on knees or toes (do as many as you can for one set)
  • Repeat circuit 2 – 3 times

Short workouts save time and maximize your burning of calories. Too often we avoid exercise because we do not have enough time or the motivation to go to the gym.  The truth is you do not need that much time, nor do you need to go to the gym.  Work out wherever you are and make it a short and intense routine that will ultimately reap more results than a long lazy routine.  Do some exercise every day – anything is better than nothing.  Remember that the results from exercise are cumulative.  Be patient and stay regular.