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5 Minute Exercises

In an ideal world we would all have at least an hour each day to work out – in reality, many of us are forced to squeeze our workouts in as and when we can, using 5 minute exercises. This is particularly true for people who travel frequently.

Is it possible to have a worthwhile workout if you only have five or ten minutes? Or if you are confined to a hotel room? Fortunately there are plenty of exercises that you can do at your desk, in a hotel room, indeed, almost anywhere that will help you to stay in shape.

Whether you are looking for cardio workouts, strength (resistance) training, or a mixture of the two, there are some great options you can choose from. Let’s look at cardio workouts first.

There are numerous options if you want a good cardio workout and don’t have access to a gym. Some of the best options include:

Walking or running: All you need for this is a good pair of shoes. If the area around the hotel is safe, this can be a great way to get to know a new city. If not, do like many locals and head for the local mall!

Stair Climbing: Who needs elevators? Ten minutes up and down the stairs of the hotel will get your heart pumping and strengthen your legs.

Jumping Rope: A jump rope packs into the smallest suitcase and provides a great cardio workout in as little as five minutes.

Running in place: As simple as it is effective.

Dancing: Turn on the TV, find some good music, and go for it. There’s no one around to see you!

Resistance training should be a regular part of any exercise program, but how can you do it without equipment? Don’t despair! You can get a good resistance workout using just your body weight – the following 5 minute exercises form the basis of an excellent workout:

• Squats
• Lunges
• Calf-raises
• Push-ups (or modified push ups)
• Wall push-ups/Counter height push-ups
• Chair triceps dip
• Curls (holding anything!)
• Abs bridge (two legs/one leg)
• Crunches

You can do these at home, in a hotel, in a park, anywhere! If you have more time, aim to do two sets of each, but if you are really pressed for time focus on those that move the most muscles – that would include squats, press-ups and at least one core exercise.

Beyond the Obvious

  • Think about how much time you spend sitting at your desk, driving in your car, etc. Next time you're in your car and a song begins on the radio, tighten your stomach muscles and hold until the song is over. Rest during the next song and then repeat.

  • You can do the same thing with butt clinches. Yeah, sounds pretty lame but no one will know you're doing it. Besides, that is the largest muscle in the body and if you can strengthen it, that couold go a long way toward increasing your metabolism.

  • Next time you're sitting at your desk and need a little break, with elbows out, take the palms of your hands and push them into each other (close to your chest) as hard as you can for 10 seconds. This is a form of isometric exercise and is more effective than most people realize.

Use your imagination to come up with your own little routines that you can do whenever and wherever life takes you. Don't use your job or your schedule as an excuse, take control of your time and your situation!

Performing these 5 minute exercises isn’t as effective as spending an hour in the gym, but they will helpy you stay in shape until you get back home and can dedicate more time to your fitness.

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