The Best Quick and Easy Exercises for Busy People

by Jessica - February 4, 2019

The Best Quick and Easy Exercises for Busy People

Today’s busy lifestyle leaves very little chance to take care of ourselves like we’d like to. It’s possible that you simply may not have enough time in the day to visit the gym, despite your willingness to take care of your health with some exercise. Well, don’t worry, because there’s plenty of exercises to be had even on the busiest of days.

We’ve compiled a list of exercises without equipment that is so quick and easy to do from home that you’ll miss the gym less and less each day. These are not part of a single routine, per se, so feel free to mix-and-match them in any order you want and with as many repetitions as your experience and condition allow you.

Cat-Cow Stretches

Start on all fours, with your hands right beneath your shoulders and knees on the ground, and your back kept as straight as possible. While inhaling,  tilt your pelvis back so that your tail sticks up, doing so in a way that the movement starts from your tailbone and ends in your neck. Drop your belly down while drawing in your navel. Your neck shouldn’t be cranked back, but instead pointed slightly upwards. This is the cow position.

For the cat position, put the tops of your feet on the floor, tip the pelvis forward and tuck your tailbone in. Draw your navel toward your spine and drop your head gently down. Like with cow before, this should move up your spine starting from the tailbone; your back should now be arched upwards and your gaze pointed at your navel.

Switch between positions during your inhalation-exhalation cycle and do it gently, without forcing your neck or spine to stretch beyond the point of comfort.

Speedy 5-minute routine

This is a super fast routine that you can do in pretty much any room with enough space, even while watching over your kids! It’s composed of four simple exercises:

  • 20 squats
  • 15 mountain climbers
  • 10 pushups
  • 5 burpees

The great thing about this is that you can increase the number of repetitions for each one as you progress and gain more stamina. Don’t push yourself too hard at first, though. Take short breathers between each set if you need to, it’s not a race!

Butterfly abs

Lying on your back, place the soles of your feet together and let your knees rest to the sides. Put your hands behind your head stick your elbows out. Now, tightening your abs, lift your chest and shoulders, hold for a second, then slowly release back down. Do a set of 10 repetitions, or 6 if you’re not yet conditioned.

Step-ups

If there are stairs in your home or office, this is a good way to take advantage of them. Place your entire right foot on a step, then step up with your left leg. Step down with the left, reaching back about 10 inches, then step down with the right. Repeat, starting now with the left leg. Keep alternating sides, and as you grow stronger, you’ll want to do this holding small weights.

Afternoon desk routine

Start by stretching your arms, neck, chest, spine, and legs (depending on how close you are with your coworkers, you might even try the cat-cow stretch). Side bends, chest openers, head tilts, quart and hamstring stretches should do the trick, though.

For the strength part, start with a reverse lunge by holding onto your desk, take a large step back with your left foot, and lower your hips so that your right leg becomes parallel to the floor (your knee should be parallel to your ankle). The idea is to adopt a position where both your legs are as close as bent in a 90-degree angle as possible. Get back up by pressing your right heel, and repeat alternating your legs.

There is no “best exercise” for your overall health. The key is to be constant, knowing the limits of your body and gently but steadily keep pushing them so that you feel better (read: less demolished) after each routine. Remember to always stretch before cardio and strength exercises, and do it in a room with enough space to avoid accidents; this means keeping the area clean and tidyyy, and if you’re short on time already, there’s definitely help out there.