The two biggest reasons women don’t exercise are (1) time, and (2) not knowing what to do. A lack of energy is right up there but this post is targeting the biggest two obstacles so that you can exercise effectively when you are having a crazy day. I’m going to give you five busy day short exercise solutions. Further, these are tested and proven to work (better) than long workouts for most midlife women.
Who has an hour to exercise any more? My follow up question is always, who needs it? The truth for 9/10 women I work with is that our old belief that it takes an hour to exercise can keep us from even starting to use the 10 or 20 minutes you do have that might be more hormone balancing. Reality is, that is the name of the game from peri-menopause to the end of life. Your hormones play a significant role in you younger at every age. That is, you more fit, less fat, and having more fun.
My Exercise Solutions
I’m sharing 5 of my time saving exercise solutions here. If you like them, and prefer done-for-you demos, jump down below and do my 5 Day Flip. I’ll send you 5 days of short videos demonstrating how easy it can be to get healthy exercise at home or anywhere plus an at-a-glance checklist to be sure you’re focused on results-getting moves not just getting tired. I want to make it easy for you to exercise anywhere: at home, hotel room, or at the gym.
These are literally my saving grace exercise solutions.
These are not a made-up set that I might give a made-up client sometime! These are literally my saving grace exercise solutions. A house, a dog, a business of my own (two really), family and travel all make my life just as crazy as anyone’s! When I can do more, yes I do, but these keep me consistent and balanced both in body alignment and hormones. Scroll to see (two) cardio, (two) strength training, and mobility exercise solutions that you’re welcome to swipe and try yourself.
- Warm up 5 – 10 minutes (always: it helps burn fat and allows more work)
- 10-12 minutes of interval training (yes, done correctly that’s enough)
- Cool down for 3-5 minutes (always: reduce soreness, and recover for a better next workout)
Guidelines for cardio intervals:
- Hold speed or hold resistance/incline
- Modify just one variable for creating “hard” and “recovery”
- Be “done” and in need of the rest at the end of the hard interval
- Be “ready” to go again at the end of recovery
- Don’t blur the two intensities: go low and go high, don’t go gray (I don’t care what you do with your hair, but here its important to have distinct black and white!)
Here are my Go-To interval exercise solutions for time-crunched days:
- 30 seconds of a hard work interval: 1:00 of recovery
- 1:00 of a hard work interval: 1:00 (or more) of recovery
I can do this anywhere! Outside on a small hill, indoors on my dreadmill, and in a hotel room doing boxing moves: solutions not obstacles.
- Choose 3-5 metabolism-boosting major muscle group exercises
- Sequence exercises to allow a rest between using the same body part
- Do each exercise for specific time (I like 1 minute)
- Repeat the circuit to complete 2-4 times depending on time
Guidelines for weight training:
- Move slow and purposefully when you’re lifting
- Move quickly between exercises
- A minute = 10 -12 repetitions done with control (slow down if you’re able to get 15 or more: the muscle is not doing the work)
Here are my favorite exercise solutions for no-nonsense goal-getting weights:
- Squats, Bent Over Row, Chest Press, Plank
- Rear Lunges, Bent Arm Pullover, Chest Press, Single Leg March (dead bug position)
Flexibility/Mobility Exercise Solutions
Choose your personal needs moves based on:
- Your personal assessment (have some known issues? If for example hip bursitis or a hamstring pull has occurred more than once – this is something to tune into with regular maintenance)
- Your repetitive movements (You cut hair for a living? You keyboard daily?)
- What’s true of your yesterday and today? (Traveling for 10 hours in the car, for example? Or planting your garden this week?)
In general, we each need spinal mobility that includes flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and rotation. So flowing moves like yoga sun salutations could be a part of a short 5-10 minute sequence, or they could be the entire sequence.
If you have known hip issues, as so many of us do, yoga is an old and intelligent exercise. You may have practiced for a long time without really even processing this. For example, hip-opening poses are usually preceded by flowing moves involving the hips, then holding poses that contract the hips, and then finally poses that release the hips.
That said, if you too have tight hips from either sitting too much, exercise activity, or both, this series would be a perfect recovery day (or roadside park/truck stop) practice.
This is my 5th exercise solution for busy days. We often forget that even when it feels like a “work in” more than a workout, we still need to plan it so it happens and we can keep moving comfortably. The analogy is like putting gas in your car: we don’t forget that. But getting the car in for an oil change or tune-up we put off. (Is that just me?) If we put that off too long we’re going to suffer in a big way! (Yes, I learned the hard way in my 20s.)
- Sun Salutations I and II (each 2 or 3 times)
- Chair Pose
- Prayer balancing pose
- Pigeon pose (standing or on the floor or both)
You can shrink or expand the time spend on each of these so you have a 5-10 minute practice or a deeper 15-20 minute practice dedicated to hips.
Do it with me! Stop by the Flipping 50 Facebook page where I demonstrated this series for you weary travelers and desk jockeys! I just had the 10-hour car trip twice coming and going across Nebraska (that makes me hurt worse than my hips do) to make my Colorado-Iowa trip.[You’ll find it in Videos as Hip Opening Yoga sesh and please let me know if you love it.]
There you have it, two short cardio exercise solutions, two weight training flips, and one mobility exercise solution. If you want to do 5 daily flips with me that come right to your inbox already done, click here for my cheat sheet for how to use your short time best and 5 days of exercise videos you can do at home.
I’d love to hear what you think. Was this helpful? Did I leave you with a question?[P.S. I’m going to do an experiment and reveal the truth about my own hormones, what training for an endurance even actually does, and take you along for the ride. First post is Thursday!]