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5 Ways to Work Out When You’re Short on Time

There are these stressful times in life where you want to hit the gym but just can’t make it. But it doesn’t mean you can’t get your workout on. The good thing is that staying healthy does not necessarily have to be about going to the gym. If you don’t have the time to drive to the nearest gym, there are workout routines that you can do even at home. Using these 5 tips, you can get several interesting ideas on how to workout when short on time. Feel free to build these up and improve on them.

1. Staircase sprints

One of my favorite methods to get a quick and efficient workout – especially when on a holiday, as these can be easily performed at your hotel building’s staircase.

You can always spare a few minutes to do staircase sprints. And it’s so simple it’s really hard to get these wrong. A staircase climb will strengthen your quads, glutes and above all improve your cardiovascular fitness. There are several ways to pull off this workout: you can open up a timer and decide you want to go all out for say, 7 minutes – in which you’d attempt to perform max stair climbs. Another option could be to hit a target of 5 climbs as fast as possible, followed by a 1 minute rest and a repeat for 4 more rounds.

Play around with it – it can get spicy real fast!

2. Tabata

This is a system that involves various workout routines that can be a great replacement for a regular gym session. Aptly named after the researcher who came up with the method - the Tabata protocol is performed under little rest and at high intensity and is a proven tool for improving both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

This involves 20 seconds of continuous workouts followed by 10 seconds of rest and then repeat. You can do this for several cycles before you stop. The good thing about this is that before your body can recover from the intensity for the first 20 seconds of workout, you have to go back again. You can include burpees, push-ups, kettlebell swings and dumbbell squats in the routine.

Here's an Air Squat Tabata workout that could help you get started:

On the clock, perform 8 rounds of:

20 seconds of as many reps as possible of Air Squats

Rest -  10 seconds

There are many ways to go about this. You can switch through the exercises and play around with other combinations, such as doing 4 rounds of air squats, followed by 4 rounds of pushups.

3. Death by Pushups

This is an intense way of doing pushups because you don’t count. You just have to keep moving up until you are too tired to continue. The minimum should be 5 minutes of straight pushups. If you feel tired, you can gradually rest parts of your body, but still continuing the process. You start by resting your toes, then your knees and finally your arms. However, the goal is to keep pushing up until you reach your limit. For beginners, you might give up after 1-2 minutes, but if you get used to the process, it becomes easier later on. You can do this at home or even during lunch breaks at work.

4. On Demand Fitness Programs

On-demand fitness programs are now a thing. Various fitness companies, such as Les Mills on-Demand, Freeletics & P90X offer some great options to get on with your training in an on-demand basis, through web-based applications either on your smart TV or phone. These types of workouts also don’t require gear for the most part, meaning you can get them on within the confines of your house or outdoors.

5. Outdoor Sprinting

This workout routine will bring out the Usain Bolt in you and is all about pushing yourself to the limit.

You are not expected to run really fast at first, but your mentality should be geared towards breaking your own records and improving your times.

A  typical workout could consist of a 200 meter sprint, repeated up to 8 rounds with a resting period of 1 minute or two. Since this is a strenuous effort, you would want to first warmup with a casual jog with changing pace, to get your muscles all warmed up.

Make sure to build it up slowly – feel free to play around with the distance and repetitions. Sprints are a great tool to developing your fitness but they must be done in moderation and with proper warmups, as they demand a lot from your body.

Again, having no time to hit the gym is no longer an excuse to still not do workout routines especially now that you know the secret techniques.

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