Doing More With Less Time to Exercise

time to exerciseThis is a guest post from Josh Anderson, founder and Editor of DIY Active.

In this article Josh talks about the disastrous impact a lack of exercise can have on your health, and encourages readers to make the most of even small blocks of time to get some exercise in. We’ve spoken about the importance of finding and creating time for exercise before, and here Josh calls out a specific exercise routine that you can do in just 20 minutes….

If you are like many of us, you have less and less free time… From work obligations to barely having any free time to hang out with your friends and family, it’s hard to squeak in some time to workout… Much less for 45 minutes a day like everyone recommends.

So what are we to do? Totally skip exercise altogether? Simply sit on the sidelines because you have no time?

Being Inactive Can Wreak Havoc on Your Health

Did you know that over 65% of U.S. adults admitted to being physically inactive during their free time? Seriously, 2 out of 3 of us don’t do much exercise with the little free time we have! The problem is many of us think we have to do so much in terms of exercise to even see any benefits but this can’t be further from the truth.

A little exercise can go a long way in improving your overall health. From decreasing your risk of early death to just making your life more enjoyable, getting active is the key to a happy, healthy life. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that lack of physical activity is more deadly than obesity! The interesting part was that the researchers hypothesized that only 20 minutes of activity, like brisk walking, a day was enough to help decrease early death risks… just 20 minutes!

Exercise Adds Up

So just 20 minutes of brisk walking a day can change your entire health? Hmm… Twenty minutes of walking a day has the ability to improve your muscle mass, decease your weight and improve your cardiovascular health… among other things. But if walking isn’t for you, it’s time to get an amazing at home workout in with as little as 15 minutes. When we engage in high-intensity workouts that require only a quarter hour are we more apt to actually follow through with our workouts. It’s about getting your body out of its “normal” routine and push it to new limits in a short amount of time!

It’s no joke; short bouts of high intensity exercise can boost our metabolism and burn some major calories. Here’s a quick workout that can produce some serious great results.

Fast, Efficient Workout

Let’s pick 6-8 exercise that work your total body (combined) and perform them for as many reps as possible with proper form for 30 seconds each with little to no exercise between sets. The key is to alternate between cardio moves and strength training moves so you get some muscle pumping action while also keeping your heart rate elevated the entire time, burning some serious calories! Here’s a quick workout you can do for 3 total sets to blast calories, build muscle, increase your cardiovascular conditioning, and improve your overall health:

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Pushups
  3. Burpees
  4. Squats
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Lunges
  7. High knees
  8. Planks with shoulder taps

If you push yourself throughout this entire workout you will be gassed, your muscles will be pumped, and blasting some serious calories in less than 15-20 minutes! I will note that the important part is concentrating on form and get the most quality possible reps. Not just most, not just quality, but the most quality reps possible. Likewise, as with all workouts make sure you are cleared by your physician before beginning as they may have some helpful tips, recommendations or warnings. Better safe than sorry!


We all want massive biceps and a 6 pack but with this simple, quick workout we aren’t talking about blasting 1000 calories or building a barreled chest, but this simple workout can totally change your health perspective and your life. What’s better? Skipping exercise altogether or getting healthy, one quick workout at a time?


Josh, M.S., is the founder and editor of the at home fitness site DIY Active. He enjoys blending the latest science with health practices to help you exercise smarter.

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