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Five 15-Minute Workouts to Burn Calories Even When You’re Busy

Busyness is probably the most widely used excuse for not adopting a consistent workout regimen. Regular physical activity is just as important as eating well and maintaining your mental health.

Let’s be real here: if you have enough time to watch an hour-long T.V. show tonight, you have enough time to work out for at least 15 minutes.

Try these workouts, all of which you can complete in 15 minutes or less, the next time you feel like you don’t have enough time to sweat. Chances are, you just haven’t found the right workout yet.

  1. Dumbbells at home

If you can get yourself a few sets of dumbbells to keep in your house or apartment, it’s going to be a little harder to keep making excuses. Here are a few examples of workouts you can mix, match and repeat in your living room.

  • Floor presses (2 sets of 10 reps)
  • Walking dumbbell lunges
  • Front raises
  • Bent presses
  • Bottom up presses
  1. Dance with your laptop

YouTube is great for watching cat videos and the occasional TED Talk, but the start of online video also brought with it a handful of fitness gurus who started creating and posting quick dance workout videos.

The nice thing about these workouts isn’t just that they’re free to watch. The best part is that you can take a break from sitting in your home office, click over to a new tab and have your virtual workout buddy read for you in less than a minute. In 15 minutes or less, you can get right back to work.

  1. HIIT

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a series of quick, all-out workouts with short rest periods in between them. It involves familiar moves like crunches, lunches and burpees, so it’s basically just a rapid-fire version of strength and cardio workouts you might already be used to.

The appeal of HIIT is that it’s fast, it keeps your heart rate up throughout and it is extremely convenient for when you don’t have a lot of time for a longer workout.



  1. Treadmill workout

A major misconception about running is that it doesn’t count if you do it for less than 30 minutes. You can still get your heart pumping in a shorter amount of time. Some exercise is still better than none.

  • On a 0-1 incline, warm up (walk or slow jog) for 1 minute
  • Every two minutes, increase your speed 0.5 mph until you reach the 15-minute mark

You can also try different walk-run combinations if you don’t think you’re ready to run for 15 minutes straight. Don’t forget to cool down afterward.

  1. Use the floor

Don’t own any free weights or even a yoga mat? Even that’s not a good enough excuse this time. Clear out a space in your living room big enough to accommodate a quick workout and get moving.

  • Start with 1 set of 30 crunches
  • Flip yourself over and complete 1 set of 30 push-ups
  • While in that position, start on all fours, keep your toes in place on the ground. Slowly walk your hands forward without moving your feet to work your core muscles. Walk your hands backward so you are in the same position as where you started. 2-3 reps
  • Hold a 60-second plank (or longer, if you can!)
  • “Lunge” your way across the space you have cleared, then back again.
  • Continue with 30 calf raises (rise up on the toes without bending the knees so your heels are off the floor. Lower yourself back down and repeat)
  • You can repeat these as many times as you want in any order you want.

Leave those excuses in the locker room. You got this.

Author bio: Meg Dowell is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. Follow her on Twitter @MegDowell to start learning to live a smarter, healthier life.

Top image courtesy of Ed Schipul/flickr.com.

Middle image courtesy of Simon Pielow/flickr.com.