When you’re busy with work, family, and life, making health a priority can sometimes seem impossible—too expensive, too time-consuming, too complicated. But in reality, every tiny step you take toward wellness makes a difference. That’s why mindbodygreen and Lorissa’s Kitchen are celebrating the #SmallWins that make healthy living attainable to anyone, anywhere. Here, fitness and lifestyle coach Nora Tobin shares a 20-minute workout that you can squeeze into any schedule.
One of the hardest things to balance when you’re striving for success in the workplace is fitting in time to work out and eat healthy. When the work begins to pile up, our healthy habits are usually the first to go. (It’s much easier to focus our attention on work during the day and then collapse in front of a juicy episode of The Bachelor at night.) Unfortunately, this pattern drains energy, kills confidence, and does not improve physical fitness.
The simple change that worked for me: short, intense workouts
I used to think that if I didn’t have time for a full hourlong workout, there was no point in exercising at all. But now I know that anything is better than nothing—and that it really is possible to squeeze in a great sweat session in as little as 20 minutes.
The secret to this #SmallWin is scheduling it into your day; before the week begins, take a few minutes to write out a calendar for the week. I plan two 20-minute workouts a day, as that amount of time keeps me feeling my best.
I’ve also learned how important it is to fuel my workouts with the right food. When I’m in a hurry or away from home, eating right can be tough—but prepackaged, portion-controlled healthy snacks can help. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Prepackaged veggies
- Flax crackers
- Lorissa’s Kitchen Sweet Chili Pork, Premium Protein Snack
- Homemade trail mix
These are the #SmallWins I’m most proud of: squeezing in workouts whenever I can find time and getting the most out of those workouts by fueling my body right.
Make your own #SmallWin: Try this 20-minute workout
High-intensity interval workouts are designed to burn fat long after you’re done exercising. They speed up your metabolism and keep it high for up to 24 hours post-workout. You get the best bang for your buck and will see results fast. At only 20 minutes in length, HIIT training is a #SmallWin you can schedule into almost any day.
Perform each exercise, as fast as possible, for 30 seconds, resting for 10 seconds between moves. Cycle through each move, and repeat the entire sequence five more times.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Deeply bend both knees, shift hips back, and lower down like you are sitting in a chair. Keep chest lifted and core strong. Press through the floor to come back to standing.
Come into a straight-arm plank with legs extended. Bring hands away from shoulders. Deeply bend at the elbows and lower down until chest hovers over the floor. Press through the palms to come back up. Keep spine straight and core engaged the entire time.
Step straight back; deeply bend both knees until back knee hovers over the floor and front knee is over ankle. Return to starting position, and switch sides. Keep chest lifted and core engaged the entire time.
4. Mountain Climbers
Come into a straight-arm plank with wrists under shoulders and legs extended. Drive one knee toward the chest, then quickly switch sides. Continue at a fast pace, keeping spine straight and hips level.