6 Ways to Exercise in 30 Minutes or Less

Lately I’ve been struggling to find the time to exercise. A common issue, I know, but historically not a problem for me. I always made time for it, whether that meant getting my butt out of bed before dawn to run, or a late-night gym sesh. Then came Lucy, and that changed REAL quick. Evenings are spent walking, feeding and of course, cuddling – and mornings are not only quick, but loud. I can’t easily get up and run, since she (who does NOT like her crate) tends to make a lot of very unpleasant noise when I leave.

Enough complaining.

That’s what I told myself. It’s very simple: we need to move our bodies in order to feel good. There is no question about it, and exercising is absolutely the fastest way to get the endorphins flowin’. That doesn’t mean it needs to be rigorous or extremely time consuming. Keeping this in mind, I set out to find the fastest ways to get sweaty. Short on time and feeling my pain? I hope these resources can help.

1. Gaiam TV: Many people who have a Hulu subscription are not aware of the health/fitness genre. It’s awesome. There are a tooon of quick fitness videos, in addition to cooking shows and wellness series on topics such as meditation and spirituality. Gaiam is my favorite of the networks they broadcast, and has everything from yoga and Pilates to cardio and weight training. Almost all of them are under 20 minutes! If you don’t have Hulu, you can also create an account and stream here.

2. YouTube: This post from Greatist came out just in time as I embarked on my journey toward faster fitness. Not all the videos are 30 minutes or less, but many are. The best part? They’re all totally FREE!

3. A Better 7 minute work out: A revamped version of the NY Times 7-minute workout from Domesticity. Full disclosure, this guy is harsh, and sort of contradicts my commentary on time spent exercising. But it gets the job done.

4. Mobile apps: In short, here are my favorites: Nike+ Training Club, Daily Ab Workout FREE, Daily Yoga, and Pump Up. You can find them all in the app store.

5. Run/walk/awkwardly work out with your dog: Lucy is still pretty young at about eight months, so we are not logging miles on the reg. I am training her though, and hoping soon enough she’ll be my fave running buddy. She has the energy, that’s for sure. Right now, we’ll run for a few blocks (about 5 minutes), then I give her a treat, because she is a treat monger, then walk for one or two blocks. To start running again, I show her that I have a treat which she knows she’ll get after the next interval. Since this is not exactly an intense workout, I also add a couple blocks worth of lunges and squats. 20 lunges, 20 squats, walk 20 feet and repeat three times. I have to say, it’s slightly awkward to do lunges up and down the street while other people are passing by, but hey, it’s easy to do with Luce on the leash, and adds some nice leg action to the workout.

6. When there just isn’t time: While deep down I know if you truly want to, you can always fit in a workout, I am not one of those people who does it. It may be because you don’t have time for the shower/hair wash/blow dry afterward, or it may be because it’s freaking freezing outside and your body’s saying no, or it may be because you had a late night. Sometimes a girl’s gotta sleep! Whatever the reason, be mindful of how you can move around throughout the day. What are your options? Can you bike to work? Take a walk after lunch? Swap the elevator for stairs? Get creative, and most importantly, don’t beat yourself up. Tomorrow’s a new day!

What did I miss? Do you have any go-to quick exercises? Please, do share.


  1. loving the blog already! 🙂 When I don’t want to go outside and need/want a quick workout I use the app Workout Trainer (by Skimble) on my iPad. They’ve got tons of free specific workouts for each body part/workout goal – it gets the job done!

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