If you do not have much spare time on hand, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may deliver the biggest bang for your buck.
HIIT calls for brief but powerful bursts of physical activity and even shorter recovery periods — and some practitioners keep moving during the break periods, although at a reduced rate. This workout keeps the heart rate high and burns higher amounts of fat.
One approach to a 10-minute workout features a body-weight HIIT workout plus two minutes of planks. Select four physical exercises — lunges, push-ups, squats, and squat jumps are good candidates.
Do eight reps of each physical exercise and keep each round under 20 seconds. Take a 10-second break between each set. Follow up with a pair of one-minute-long planks with a rest period in between.
The mix of HIIT and planks will give you an energizing shot of adrenaline in the arm. It will also increase your concentration when you return to the task at hand.
You may also save time and effort by doing your workout at home instead of going to the gym. A HIIT workout works well for people who need or prefer to stay at home — for example, parents who have children to watch over.
In addition to body-weight exercises, you may also use simple exercise equipment. A kettlebell, jump rope, or medicine ball goes well with HIIT-style workout sessions. (Related: Start your morning with a great workout – your brain will thank you for it.)
Yoga offers another way of enhancing and maintaining physical fitness. Practitioners may try out a 20-minute workout with both intense yoga flows that increase strength and poses that restore energy.
Begin the session with several rounds of the sun salutation pose. It speeds up circulation and clears the mind.
Next, perform the yoga poses that build up body strength. These are the warrior 2, warrior 3, chair pose, boat pose, crow pose, and yoga plank poses.
Maintain each pose for 60 seconds on each side. Doing so brings your entire body into the exercise, which maximizes the strength-building effects.
Wrap up the workout session with restorative poses like "legs up the wall" and "goddess." They soothe the nervous system, reconnect the breathing process, and help the muscles begin recovering from the strain of the more intense poses.
You may also combine strength exercises with a complementary type of workout — either cardio exercise or flexibility exercises.
For strength-cardio exercise combinations, swing and snatch kettlebell weights. Not only do they build up strength, but they also increase the heart rate, resulting in a significant cardio burn.
One of the recommended approaches suggests a 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 rep ladder of weighty kettlebell swings. Follow up with kettlebell snatches on the left and right sides to balance out. Feel free to take a break whenever you need a breather.
If you prefer strength-flexibility exercises, take up mat Pilates. It doesn't require any specialized equipment, which allows anyone to do it anywhere.
Whenever possible, tack on a few minutes of cardio exercise to the strength-flexibility workout. One way is to use a jump rope.
Whatever approach to working out you choose, do it whenever you can. Make a habit out of physical exercise to get its health benefits.