Fitness Articles

How SparkPeople Employees Squeeze in Quick Workouts

Ideas For When You're Tight On Time

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We all have days when finding an hour to exercise just isn't an option. That doesn't mean you should skip your workout. Instead, you just need to get creative about how you'll fit in some activity. The people behind SparkPeople.com are avid exercisers, too, but sometimes they don't have time for their full workouts. Here are some of their tips for squeezing in a workout on the busiest days.

  • "Fitting in exercise takes planning. Many times I will get up early and get my run in before I begin my work day. If that is not an option, I always carry a duffel bag with workout clothes and shoes in my car. Even if I have to shorten my runs or workout routine, I live by the mantra, 'Something always trumps nothing.'  A short, easy 3-mile run trumps not running at all." -- Nancy, resident expert and certified running coach
     
  • "I am an early riser so I get my workout in early in the morning before anyone wakes up in my household. And, I also try to do some cardio at lunch if I have time. A few of us in the office have joined together to do a variety of challenges, so we fit in some push-ups and crunches in the afternoons three days a week." -- Beth, marketing team
     
  • "On my busy days, I try to take several breaks from work and do short 5-10 minutes of fitness at a time. Breaking it up like that makes it easier for me to focus on my work and other things that I have to do while I stick to my fitness goals. Also, when I go out, I tend to park further out in the parking lot to squeeze in a little extra walking and I always take the stairs. I find that even doing those little things that may not seem like much, can add up to helping me with my fitness goals." -- Denise, resident expert
     
  • "I get up and get my workout in before anything else. I'm pretty busy with four kids, so if I don't do it early, it's likely I'll never get to it." -- Josh, tech team
     
  • "I try to exercise while thinking about a work project in my head so I can still be working and also get my exercise minutes. I often get my best ideas this way!" -- Chris ("SparkGuy"), founder and CEO
     
  • "I either work out first thing in the morning or just to a 10-minute 'quick pump' workout in the office that's not so intense that I get super sweaty and need to shower, but good enough to help me maintain my strength training progress." -- Sean, marketing team
     
  • "Either do it first thing in the morning or I put it down as an appointment on my calendar." -- Tim, marketing team
     
  • "I hop out of bed and just get moving as early as possible either with a quick 30-minute run or body weight exercises like push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats and jumping rope." -- Grant, marketing team
     
  • "With work, volunteering and carting around two busy teenagers, every day is a busy day, which is why I am up by 5:30 a.m. to exercise first thing in the morning. For me, if I don't get it done then, I am likely to let others fill my evenings with activities and needs and I bump myself to the bottom of the list." -- Tanya, resident expert
     
  • "I put an elliptical in my 'bonus room' above the garage. I save up reading material for work and go up there and catch up on reading while I'm on the elliptical. Sometimes I do work conference calls from there, too! I work out much longer if I'm busy and not feeling like I need to rush back to my desk. (It helps that I work from home.)" -- Tami, marketing team
     
  • "All days are busy, so I usually break it up: 10-15 minutes in morning (something aerobic), 10-15 minutes at lunch or in the afternoon while waiting to pick up my son from an after-school event (fast walk), and 10-15 minutes in evening (weights, balance, stretching). Plus, I always take stairs, park in the last row of parking lot, hand deliver some messages at work, walk to the bathroom farthest away from my desk, etc." -- Becky, resident expert and registered dietitian
     
  • "If I have a yoga class or group run at night, I put it in my BlackBerry and block out that time. If I don't have a set workout in mind, I get up an hour earlier to make time for it. If I know I need to exercise during the day, I wear my workout clothes to the office. I'm also learning to embrace 10-minute strength-training workouts. I forget how quick it is to do a few sets of squats, lunges, push-ups, etc." -- Stepfanie, content team and certified yoga instructor
     
  • "Most days I work out first thing in the morning or at lunch. However, a really busy day probably means I've reached night time without doing either of these. If that's the case, I throw in a 20-minute yoga DVD as soon as I get my kids to bed." -- Paul, tech team
     
  • "Fortunately, my neighborhood is often my gym. Flat streets are hard to find, so even a 20-minute run is a great workout. When I'm tight on time, I try to start my day with abs and push-ups and will finish the day with resistance band workouts. That balanced with a 20-minute run is great. In my day, 10 minutes of exercise yields great results." -- Samantha, BabyFit.com resident expert
     
  • "I often do push-ups during the work day as a short break. I run first thing in the morning before my family wakes for the day." -- Rachel, BabyFit.com resident expert
Check out SparkPeople's workouts and videos for lots of quick exercise ideas!

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Member Comments

  • Looks like we all have the same struggle
  • I am a morning person and find if I don't exercise in the morning, it doesn't get done. But, most nights I don't get to bed before 11:00 and wake up every 2 hours. It's very hard to get up at 5:15 am when I've gotten only 5 hours of sleep or less.
  • I'm definitely not a morning person, but I've found that the only time I can reliably get exercise in is in the morning before everything else hits. So I make the sacrifice and drag myself out of bed early in the morning to workout. The good part is that I'm about done with the workout by the time my brain wakes up and realizes what I'm doing!
  • I am not a morning person at all and have structured my career hours around a 10 am to 8 pm or later goal. Early work is confined to computer and phone with my peak productivity 1-8 pm. I am doing my workout in ten to 12 minute increments. I have gone from total sedentary life style to gradual build up. I wad limited at 540 pounds and now at 385 just learning about fitness goals. Thus article helps me.
  • ANNROSE126
    i 'm trying to walk on the way to work. if i do as much as 15 minutes in the morning, then it's so much easier to finish the day's fitness mins. after work! and even surpass the fitness mins. goal.
  • JACKMAGIC1
    i am an moring person i get everything done in the mor,
  • SEXYSIZE_12
    Not a morning peron at all considering I worked evenings and nights for years, now I exercise most days between 1 and 4 pm sometimes even later depends what's going on in my day. Keep up the great work my spark friends :o)
  • I am so not a morning person, but I found that if I force myself to go right after I drop my daughter at school I can get it done... I take her to school then i take my little one to the mall and we walk around for an hour with the stroller. And it gives me a chance to call my mom and talk to her and catch up since I live far away. I try to do this at least 3 days a week and then walk with my daughter two days a week after school, but sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate!
  • I'm a MORNING PERSON.
  • I'm also a morning person, I get the bulk of my routine done first thing, then later in the afternnon/evening I do my walking
  • It seems like a lot of you are morning people. I'm not. I wake up with difficulty and very slowly. My husband sometimes jokes suggests I need a caffeine IV. It doesn't help that my daughter is an insomniac, and (my) bedtime is when she usually decides to bring me her worries. It leaves me a little short of sleep. My best time to exercise is between 3:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, sometimes work gets in the way.
  • It seems like a lot of you are morning people. I'm not. I wake up with difficulty and very slowly. My husband sometimes jokes suggests I need a caffeine IV. It doesn't help that my daughter is an insomniac, and (my) bedtime is when she usually decides to bring me her worries. It leaves me a little short of sleep. My best time to exercise is between 3:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, sometimes work gets in the way.
  • MBVMFLUTIST
    Interesting that the majority of these execs do it first thing in the morning! I also fall into that category...I love that exercise is crossed off my to-do list. :)


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