Exercise Ideas for the Time Poor

I may have been an elite athlete in a previous life, but I am the last person to recommend some kind of gruelling, militant-style training regime. Those days are well and truly behind me, belonging squarely to a time when, let’s face it, there were fewer demands on my time and attention. As life got busier, I’ve had to make a more conscious effort to squeeze snippets of physical activity into my day, or switching something up, turning it into an opportunity for exercise.

Whether it’s a short 2-minute squat session while you brush your teeth, or 15 minutes of bouncing bubs while he giggles his little heart out, it’s all good! All physical activity counts for long-term health and happiness. So don’t stress if you’re not going out and hitting the pavement for a two hours every day. Or if you haven’t yet mastered the art of pulling a jumbo jet up a mountain with a rope. The reality is, you probably have much better things to do with your precious time.

So here it goes: a list of exercise ideas for the time poor.

1. Whoever said hula hooping wasn’t cool?

 Next level Hula hooping:

Exercises with hoops


2. This one is for all the mums in the house. It’s an old one but a good one.

 Exercise for the time poor

3. Yes, knowing exercise trends, this could be a thing.

Couch exercise


 But couch exercise probably looks more like this in practice.

Couch exercise weights


4. Doing this a thousand times? Totally okay with them.



5. Taking this guy for a walk.

He doesn’t care if you’ve had a stressful day, or if you got into an argument with someone at work. He just wants to go out and play with you, no holds barred.

Walk the dog


6. Arm wrestle!

Arm Wrestle








Because, why not? As long as it’s all in good humour.


Some other tips:

  • Keep it social: it helps to stay motivated. If you spend the whole walk talking, then good!
  • Join a class: it’s almost impossible to slack off with 15 other people participating in an activity. It’s energising.
  • Get outside: chances are you’ll be moving, especially if you live in a cold climate.
  • Can’t get outside? You don’t need fancy equipment to exercise indoors. You can just use your own body weight as resistance. Plank, push up, squats, lunges, and even a couple crunches. Hand stands? Only if you have good balance!
  • One more every day: even if you start at 2 sit-ups a day, adding one every day, well, everyone can squeeze just one… more… little… try.

Mother and her daugther practice yogaIf you’re feeling like this was all very cute and quirky, but that I’m dreaming if you’ll ever find the time or energy to get fit, then a good place to start is by trying to find the time of day that works best for you. Routine? ‘Yeah right,’ you say. But the first step in finding time is, well, figuring out where that time could come from.

For some people morning is better because, for them, that’s when they’re more likely to get some ‘me time’ at home. For other people it’s the evening, after work, walking to the train stop, or during work lunch breaks. Other people have to make it up on weekends because their schedule just won’t allow. They work long hours and have other demanding out-of-work-hour commitments.

Whatever the difficulties, it’s important not to feel guilty no matter what effort you make. Every. Little. Bit. Helps.