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Quick And Fun Fitness Workouts For Busy People

Updated on April 2, 2015

How To Get The Most From Your Efforts in Fitness

Alright. If you’re reading this, you probably want to get right to it and find out some fast and effective ways to work out without taking a lot of time. You know why you need to work out, you know at least some of the benefits, and if you need motivation or other fitness tips you can check out my other hub, Yoga and Fitness in Kamloops and Beyond.

So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

How To Work Out Fast and Effectively


  • Go Hard! An intense workout where you’re giving all you’ve got in 15-20 minutes can bring you more benefit than if you were doing light exercise for an hour or more.
  • Use Your Whole Body. Do exercises that engage and tone multiple muscle groups. I’ll give you some examples below.
  • Join A Boot Camp. You’ll learn tons of awesome exercises, work harder than you knew you could, and get in the habit of working out intensely and efficiently.

A note about fitness boot camps: I joined a boot camp and was amazed at the way my body changed. I loved it! It was so much fun that I can’t wait for the next session. The best part is that I woke up early, did an awesome workout, and felt refreshed and ALIVE before I would usually even be out of bed!

Doing a boot camp trained me, so that now when I go to the gym I get down to business. I look around and I’m working harder than most of the other people in there, getting way more done in less time. Boot camps rock! Just make sure you find a boot camp instructor you like who challenges you and yet treats you well. You should feel empowered, not degraded.

Quick and Fun Workouts

1. Rotate the following 4 exercises as many times as you can do in 20 minutes:

  • 25 Lunges (each side) with your back leg up on a stair or chair
  • 15 Burpees (see video below if you don’t know what these are)
  • 30 Bicycle crunches (15 each side – do them super controlled)
  • 20 Reverse crunches (With your hands under your back or butt to support low back, draw your knees toward your chest then extend them all the way out straight so they’re 6 inches above the floor)

2. Do this one outside, and plan a short lap that takes you a few minutes to run.

  • Run half the lap, then sprint to your mat or home base
  • Do 25 jump squats (squat, then jump at the top)
  • Run most of the lap, then do lunges to your mat or home base
  • Do 15 Burpees
  • Run half the lap, sprinting back
  • Do 25 push-ups
  • Run most of the lap, do lunges back
  • Hold floor plank on your forearms for one minute
  • Repeat

3. Watch this core yoga workout below for a third option

(You can see photos and a breakdown of this workout in my Yoga Core Strength Fitness hub.)

Yoga Core Strength Fitness Routine

Remember to Warm Up and Cool Down

Just because you’re not working out for as long doesn’t mean you get to skip your warm up and cool down. Stretch! Otherwise you’ll be stiff and it won’t be nearly as rewarding to have worked out in the first place.

Warm Up Ideas:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Heels to the butt (put your hands behind your back and try to kick them with alternating heels, running in place with the knees down)
  • Jogging
  • Push-ups
  • Squats (with no weight)

Make sure you do a quick stretch session after your warm up and cool down.

Here’s a great hub that gives you a great stretching sequence which you can use before and after your exercise routine. POST WORKOUT STRETCH HUB. Use some or all of it to lengthen your muscles after you’ve given them such a great intense workout.

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    • betherann profile image

      Beth Morey 7 years ago from Montana

      Great suggestions! I also really enjoyed your quick workout guides. Voted up!

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

      Hi, Thanks for this hub- those burpees look so TOUGH:( I wonder if i will ever manage to do even two in a row.

      Right now in this summer heat, I feel so LAZY and totally resistant to even starting. I simply have to work on getting rid of my resistance to work out. (am trying eft on that)

      The intense excercises are good for people who are used to exercising. Can you recommend some easier ones for lazy beginners like me?

      Thanks again.

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Betherann,

      Thanks! So glad you liked the hub. I hope you get some great ideas from the exercises.

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Vibhavari,

      Yes - these exercises do require at least some conditioning, though you can just start by doing whatever you're able. Like with the burpees you can skip the push-up part and just work on getting up and down, plus back to the top of a push-up without the push-up.

      However, when you're just wanting to get started without feeling intimidated, do what you can. My suggestion to just get your body moving is to do simple things that you enjoy. Go for walks, go swimming, dance, and do yoga.

      Some of my other hubs can give you great ideas as well. Good luck and let me know how it goes! :)

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

      Thanks for those pointers!

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      You're very welcome, Vibhavari. I hope they help!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      wow, these are very good information Katrina, , bookmarked and thimbs up, plus I rated this up, Did you join the health contest? Night, Maita

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Maita,

      Thanks so much! I did a little bit of the health contest, but definitely didn't create as many hubs as I could have. Just busy. I admire how much you're able to write here. Great job!

    • profile image

      Jonas 7 years ago

      Great info. I particularly like the boot camp portion since I run a boot camp in New Orleans. The women I teach have definitely had some incredible results from sticking with the program.

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Jonas,

      Your boot camp rocks! So glad you like the hub - thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      thanks Katrina, your hubs are rich source of info as well, specially health ones, and your yoga are best! Maita

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Maita,

      You're so sweet! I'm truly grateful for your recognition. You write such excellent hubs as well. :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What a wonderful hub Katrina. Bookmarking it so I could follow these routines. :)

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks Ripplemaker! So glad you find them helpful. Keep it up and have fun. :)

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      This is so inspiring! And easy enough to implement on a tight schedule - Thank you for your excellent information! I am only beginning to get back into a program and was looking for quick workouts until I can make taking the time a habit! I was body building for about 6 years and got so bored, but after 4 years of not doing it, I am ready to start again! Just slower and less intense workouts!

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      MWatkins,

      Well thanks! I'm so glad you found something you can use here. As you said, the key to getting going again is to start small and continuously build. I've heard that you can hit a plateau with body building and burn out, but maybe you add strength training to a dynamic variety of things you enjoy doing to get into (and stay in) shape. Have a great day!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Katrina, Thank you so much, Maita

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      My pleasure, Maita!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I am certainly looking for something super quick - and definitely fun. OK - I'm going to bookmark this so I can come back and do this. Seriously.

      I think sitting around and writing/hubbing so much we certainly need to remember to exercise. Thanks a lot!

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      BkCreative,

      Yes! Sitting around writing asks for exercise for balance. Glad you found some ideas here - thanks for leaving a comment!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Katrina this was a lot of fun. Feels good in my hamstrings and calves. Lately my quads have been feeling sore from my occasional run, I'll look back for more great yoga information in the future!!!

    • Katrina Ariel profile image
      Author

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Great Ben! Stretch those quads - thigh stretches are so important and often get forgotten. Isn't it great how your body tells you what it wants?

    • profile image

      irvine 6 years ago

      I will really enjoy your workouts when i start doing it.Looking for more great yoga workouts in the future.

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