Some people enjoy exercising. Tell them to do mini workouts, and they’re over the moon.
Then there are normal people – people who dread physical activity. Working out is so far from enjoyable that it’s not even visible!
Add busy schedules to the mix and you get the perfect recipe for the “I don’t have the time to exercise” excuse.
Well, we’re here to break your rosy bubble.
There is always time to lose weight, and, we promise, it can be fun.
Sure, hitting the gym three days a week is great. But who cares about that?! Any physical activity you do (even a 10-minute walk while running errands) is good exercise!
Mini workouts for the time-crunched, always busy, or just too lazy people
There are a billion (okay, at least a thousand) ways to exercise.
Even if you’re too busy.
Keep that in mind. Because it all counts. Even getting up in the morning and doing 10-minute stretches or yoga. They might not burn calories, but they’ll keep you limber.
With that as your north star, let’s get into creative ways to get more exercise when you’re short on time.
1. Embrace the art of "deskercise"
Sitting for long periods is detrimental to health. You know that. But what if you could turn your desk or couch into your personal fitness hub? Picture this:
- Mid-meeting leg raises
- Secret calf raises under the desk
- Stealthy glute squeezes during those never-ending conference calls.
There are a lot of micro-movements you can do while at the office. And if your company is cool (or you WFH), switch your chair with a stability ball to work your core muscles.
What about weekends and holidays? How do you incorporate mini-workouts throughout the day, then? You do the same from your couch while watching TV!
Hit play on the movie or show you’re bingeing on, and instead of lying on the bed or sprawling on the sofa, exercise. For 10 minutes, do stretches, leg raises, squats, or jumping jacks in front of the TV.
2. Step into the beat
Walking is one of the best exercises for people short of time. Take it up a notch by saying “see ya” to the elevator or escalator.
Take the stairs.
Make it a fun workout by creating a playlist of your favourite energetic songs and call it stairway DJ. Take two steps at a time, do high knees, or add in some fancy footwork for an extra challenge.
3. Unleash your inner urban ninja
Parkour is not one of the quick exercises to lose weight. But it is the most fun. If you’re new to parkour, watch this video.
If you’re already enamoured by it, then use it during the daily commute. Instead of Ubering or driving all the way to work, do parkour-inspired commuting.
Walk or run part way, and when you come across railings, do daring vaults or jaw-dropping jumps over benches or climb over low walls. Make the commute an adventure (although a safe one).
P.S: We do urge you not to use parkour as one of your mini workouts if you’ve never done it before.
4. Hula-hoop hijinks
Go buy a hula-hoop and keep it at the office or home to sway, twirl, and twinkle your way to a stronger, more balanced you. It’s a fantastic method to include 2-minute workouts throughout the day.
When you take a break, challenge yourself to keep the hoop spinning for a set amount of time. And in no time, you’ll have a strong core and your coordination on point.
5. Retail therapy, but make it fitness
When time is of the essence and the outdoors seem out of reach (or scorching hot), fear not, for the mall becomes your mini workout sanctuary.
Treat the aisles of a mall like an indoor track and then power walk through them. And don’t let anyone ever say shopping and exercise can’t unite in perfect harmony!
6. Jump-rope revolution
In a world of flashy fitness trends, the humble jump rope gets overlooked. Make it your best friend, and you’ll never have to Google “quick exercises to reduce belly fat.“
Grab a rope and use it for quick and intense bursts of exercise. Jump for a minute or two, then rest for a short period. Repeat this interval pattern for a total of 10–15 minutes, and you’ll be torching calories left, right, and centre!
7. Office Olympics
For all the introverts reading this, if you’re too shy to do mini workouts at the office, here’s a trick: Make it a competition. During lunch break or downtime, organise a challenge—mini table tennis, paper basketball, or any other game that gets everyone moving and laughing.
8. Doggo playtime
If you have a furry friend, take advantage of their energy. Instead of a leisurely walk, engage in active play sessions with your dog. Chase after tennis balls, challenge each other to a race or play an intense game of fetch. Your dog will be thrilled, and you’ll discover how to exercise with little time!
9. The dance of waiting
This mini-workout idea is for extroverts. Find yourself waiting in line? Or just waiting?
Don’t sit or stand still.
Ignite your inner dance spirit and let loose. Turn on some music and dance. It doesn’t get more creative than this if you want to exercise but don’t have time!
10. Choreography of cleanliness
Here’s a radical thought: You don’t have to make time for exercise with a busy schedule. You kill two birds with one stone. How? By active cleaning.
Crank up the volume on your favourite energetic tunes and transform mundane cleaning chores into a full-blown workout extravaganza. Combine:
- Lunges with vacuuming
- Squats with mopping
- Small jumps with dusting
Break a sweat while banishing dust bunnies, and relish the satisfaction of a spotless home and a rejuvenated body.
11. Be a kid with your kids
Talking about one stone, two birds. Here’s another creative way to exercise more when you’re short on time: Play with your kids for a minimum of half an hour each day.
You squeeze in quality time with the children and get to work on your body. The caveat? The play has to include body movement!
12. Tech out and tone up
I don’t have time to work out. How can I lose weight? If that’s something you’ve thought or said out loud, then, my friend, you’re not making the most of this tech era.
You don’t need a gym, a trainer, or a whole hour to exercise.
Find a health app that will give you an exercise plan or put you in touch with a professional who can create a mini-workout schedule for you.
Ready for Creative Workouts?
Don’t let a busy schedule become a crutch. It’s fantastically easy to turn mundane moments into memorable fitness fiestas.
What you need to do is change perspective and embrace the unconventional, and then you’ll never be too short on time for mini workouts at home or office!