It’s a downward spiral: You know you’d have more energy if you started a daily exercise routine, but you can’t find the energy or the time. The more tasks you try to fit into your schedule, the more burnt out you become. And the worse, physically, you feel.
And recommendations from medical experts just seem more overwhelming. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week. Keep in mind, that number is just for basic maintenance. If you want to lose weight or make health gains, they double it to five hours a week. And that’s just aerobic exercise. They also recommend doing strength-training exercises two days a week.
Most busy adults would love to have five whole hours a week to bike, skate, swim, or play tennis. Unfortunately, that kind of time commitment seems impossible. And that’s if you’re already in good shape. If you’re older or have been sedentary for years, it’s going to take a few weeks before you can endure hours of exercise every week without needing an equal amount of time to recover. Especially if you have a chronic health condition, and this can mean even less time for work, families, and daily tasks.
The Benefits Of A Short Daily Exercise Routine
The good news is that current research supports shorter bursts of exercise as an answer to your fitness woes. In fact, not only do they add up over time, a 10-minute exercise session can improve your cognitive performance as well as your physical fitness. This means that you’ll work more efficiently, and perhaps, even free up some time for fun activities like swimming and tennis.
Those exercising for heart health should know that short 10-minute sessions of aerobic exercise proved as effective as 30-minute sessions for lowering blood pressure. For those battling Type 2 Diabetes or metabolic syndrome, five-minute sessions every hour proved better than a whole hour in the morning for managing blood sugar levels.
Intensity counts, perhaps more than duration, when it comes to exercise, and those who workout exercise in short increments are often better able to meet with their daily exercise routine goals when that routine was just a few minutes long, done several times over the day. And best of all for those trying to lose weight, intermittent exercise reduces appetite when performed throughout the day.
Finding The Best Short Daily Exercise Routine For You
You may be new to working out or just trying to fit a full workout routine into your busy day. Before settling on a daily exercise routine, remember that the best exercise is the one that you’ll do. While you may decide to pick one program that you stick to religiously, remember to choose fun activities that get your blood pumping, too.
There are a number of fun ways to fit physical activity into your day when you only need to plan for 5 or 10 minutes. Walk the dog and race your pooch down the block or bike or walk to the corner store for milk, instead of driving. Five-minute dance party, anyone?
When adding a daily exercise routine, take some time to make an honest assessment of your health and your lifestyle. While goals of getting buff and bikini-ready can motivate you, be realistic in order to avoid crushing disappointment and losing all your motivation. Especially if you haven’t been fit for a while or have a lot of weight to lose, setting small, achievable goals is the first step in making your plan.
How We Chose The Best Daily Exercise Routine
There’s no perfect solution for everyone, so there may not be a “best” daily exercise routine that meets everyone’s goals or abilities. However, we’ve based this list of suggestions for quick routines on how well they fit some different workout types. Some we’ve used for years and recommend them from experience. Others have the features and flexibility we’ve learned to expect after examining different exercise programs over the years.
While some of these short daily exercise routines provide a whole-body workout, others focus on strength or flexibility. Some are intense, and others are moderately paced. In fact, we recommend trying several of these short routines in order to avoid boredom. After all, good physical fitness requires a balance of strength, flexibility, and aerobic capacity.
High-Intensity Daily Exercise Routine
If you’re already fit and just trying to save time in the gym, consider a high-intensity program that crams a lot of workout into a few short minutes. High-Intensity Interval Training — often shortened to HIIT — uses traditional exercise methods but set on turbo speed or using extra-heavy weights. High-intensity training can include either weightlifting or aerobic exercise; the trick is to work in hard, fast bursts between short rests.
A Tabata workout is a four-minute workout routine. You read that right — just four minutes long. The Tabata method came from the Japanese coach, Izumi Tabata, who documented the technique in 1996. Speed skating coach, Irisawa Koichi, developed the technique after testing it with his team and asked Tabata to collect and analyze the data.
The Tabata method uses an extremely short interval of intense training and an even shorter one for rest. The explosive interval is 20 seconds, and the recovery interval is 10 seconds. This cycle is repeated eight times for a total of four minutes total.
You can use Tabata intervals for either aerobic or strength training, but keep in mind that maneuvering quickly through a weight machine circuit could prove awkward. Here’s an example of a simple calisthenics routine using Tabata timing.
Intense And Fun Daily Exercise Routine
Working out should be fun, and you enjoy watching action movies where the hero or heroine save the day with their physical prowess, you might enjoy martial arts in your daily exercise routine. Best of all, you don’t have to tell anyone you’re pretending that your Jackie Chan or Michelle Yeoh the whole time. Just have fun while getting fit!
10 Minute Solution - Kickbox Bootcamp
This fun program from 10 Minute Solution includes five 10-minute kickboxing workout routines. Each gives you a fast and fun workout that isn’t too long and will raise your energy and give you that warrior physique. The best daily exercise routine is fun and invigorating, and this one is a blast.
Amazon buyers give this program 4.5 out of 5 stars because it's so much fun and so effective. Walmart shoppers give it 4.6 out of 5 stars. You can buy the DVD online between $8 and $10, or use the 2 free workouts on the BeFiT YouTube channel. Choose from the “thighs and buns” or “arms and shoulders” workouts.
Low-Impact Aerobic Daily Exercise Routine
You may be looking for a quick aerobic routine to improve your energy levels or improve your cardiac health. Either way, select a program that you can start comfortably within your current fitness level. Then work up to a more strenuous or longer workout. Low impact aerobics are a good start for everyone, including kids and seniors. Choose one that you’ll look forward to doing on a daily basis, so you’ll have a harder time finding excuses not to work out.
Dance That Walk - 10 Minute Latin Energy Walkouts
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do for your body. It comes naturally to nearly everyone, and it's what nature designed us to do. The problem is that it gets really boring. Even if you walk on a beautiful beach or on a high-end treadmill in an air-conditioned gym with your favorite show on TV. It becomes tedious fast.
But dancing? That's fun! And the Dance that Walk program combines the best of both with walking and Latin dance steps combined in a selection of 10-minute low-impact routines. Learn to dance and get in shape at the same time, while working out to energetic Miami beats. Choose from Salsa, Flamenco, Merengue, or Cha Cha step workouts.
This is a new program from Australian trainer Gina Buber whose 45-minute program rates 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon with hundreds of satisfied customers. Her new program, comprising four 10-minute workouts, gets 4.9 out of 5 stars from buyers. You can find the DVD online between $15 and $20. And you can get a preview before you buy from the SMILE Workout YouTube channel.
Daily Exercise Routine For Overall Fitness
T-Tapp Basic Workout Plus
You get a little bit of everything in this 15-minute workout from exercise trainer, Teresa Tapp. You get two DVDs, which include an instructional that shows you all the moves at a learning pace and a workout performed at speed to follow along. Because each exercise requires correct form and focuses on muscle isolation, you get a whole-body workout in just 20 minutes.
You’ll never do more than eight reps of each exercise, and the routine includes core fitness, flexibility, aerobic conditioning, and even stimulation for the lymphatic system. With its focus on isometric exercise and proper mechanical alignment, it’s great for posture, digestion, and muscle density. This is one of our favorite workout quickies and includes some bonus materials.
Amazon buyers rate this at 4.1 out of 5 stars, and you can purchase it online for $36 to $45 from Amazon or the company website. It’s a bit spendy compared to other exercise videos, buts we’ve gotten over 15 years of use out of our copy. The following video shows the final move in this workout, and by itself, it eliminates that energy slump that sometimes follows a meal or falls in the middle of the afternoon.
Daily Exercise Routine For Balance And Grace
Tai Chi – The 24 Forms
Tai chi ch’uan is a Chinese martial art form that dates back to the 17th century. But in modern times, many people practice it as a slow-paced and gentle workout that improves balance, coordination, neurokinetic function, and mental outlook. Tai chi is particularly useful for older people and those with chronic health problems.
As an exercise routine, tai chi is a sequence of movements or positions called "forms." A short form tai chi routine comprises about 24 forms and takes about six minutes to complete. Their simplicity and brevity make short forms a great place for beginners or those who want a quick daily exercise routine to revive flagging energy levels.
This step-by-step program with Dr. Paul Lam has received enthusiastic reviews from new users and experienced martial arts practitioners alike. Its comprehensive approach will help you improve your form and walk you through each movement sequence until the routine becomes second nature.
Amazon users give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars, citing the quality of the material. If you’ve ever watched a tai chi demonstration in complete bafflement, you can appreciate the strength of feeling behind the gratitude customers show for its high level of detail. You can buy it online for $30 to $35 from Amazon or the company website. You can also view the course introduction that includes a free tai chi ch’uan lesson on Dr. Lam’s YouTube channel.
Daily Exercise Routine For Multitaskers
Nano Workouts: Get in Shape and Lose Weight During Everyday Activities
If you find yourself intrigued by the idea of fitting lots of quick five-minute routines throughout the day, Nano Workouts might just be the thing for you. Nano Workouts include short bouts of exercise you can do pretty much anywhere or any time.
It’s no secret that modern life rarely offers us a chance to really work our bodies physically. Our forefathers and mothers used their entire bodies just to complete the daily tasks of life and put food on the table. Now, we sit or stand, usually in one place, for many hours. Putting food on the table today usually exercises no more than our fingers on the app that brings pizza to our door.
Blogger Joakim Christoffersson has collated a number of nano workouts and provides a list of quick exercises you can do throughout the day. Brushing your teeth? You can do calf raises or squats while doing so and score two health goals at the same time. Work out at your office desk with chair dips or do a leg workout while putting together the family meal. Note that there is a product called the “Nano Gym,” not associated with the Christoffersson’s blog or program.
Huff Po, LifeHacker, and Self magazine have featured Christoffersson’s workout. Amazon buyers rated the Nano Workout book 4.8 out of 5 stars. And while you can purchase his book on Amazon, everything you need to get started is on his website. You can find the book at several onl
ine booksellers priced between $11 to $15 in digital or hardbound formats.
Starting Your Daily Exercise Routine
Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like you’ll ever find the time or energy to meet your fitness goals. But take heart: No one said you had to go from 0 to 60 in one day, one week, or even one month. Start with short, fun workouts that you know you’ll enjoy. Choose a variety of activities to squeeze in throughout the day. If you only manage to fit one short workout in every day, then you’re doing better than you were before.
Once that short and easy workout becomes a habit, add another one. Or even better — add a fun activity or sport to your day. Run with your dog, play catch with your kids, or talk a walk in the evening while listening to your favorite tunes.
How do you fit a daily exercise routine into your busy day? Do you workout with friends or family or do you go solo? Do you squeeze it in at lunchtime? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below so our readers can benefit from your tips and tricks. Which are your favorite time-saving workouts?