Efficient Workouts for Busy Schedules

Efficient Workouts for Busy Schedules

Dive in to get simple but effective tips on how to stay fit on the go.

Akash Vaghela Akash Vaghela · Dec 6th, 2023

Training Beginner
15 Mins


    Regular exercise boosts productivity and well-being. Prioritise finding time for it even amid busy schedules. Effective strategies include resistance training, bodyweight workouts, resistance bands, and incorporating short activity bursts throughout the day. Follow the 80/20 rule to optimise results.

    In today's fast-paced world, finding time for regular exercise can be a challenge, especially for high-achieving professionals with busy schedules. However, the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle extend far beyond just physical health. 

    Regular exercise has been proven to enhance cognitive function, boost mood, and improve overall well-being and productivity.

    When you prioritise finding time for exercise, even amid a hectic schedule, you take care of your body and invest in your mental and emotional well-being. 

    Physical activity releases endorphins, "feel-good" chemicals in the brain that can reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and improve overall mood. By engaging in regular exercise, you are better equipped to handle the demands and stresses of everyday life.

    Moreover, exercise impacts cognitive function and mental performance positively. Studies have demonstrated that regular physical activity can improve attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine provides your brain with the necessary oxygen and nutrients to function optimally, leading to increased focus, creativity, and productivity.

    By carving out time for yourself and engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfilment, you'll be better equipped to handle the demands of your professional life and approach challenges with a fresh perspective.

    While the benefits of incorporating regular exercise are compelling, the challenge is finding the space in busy diaries and making it one of the top three priorities. 

    When exercise is given priority in our daily routines, it reinforces its significance and ensures that it becomes a non-negotiable part of our lives. By consciously allocating time for exercise and treating it as an essential task, we are more likely to follow through and make it a consistent habit. 

    Prioritising exercise also conveys to ourselves and others that our health and well-being matter. It demonstrates self-care and self-respect and sets a positive example for those around us. 

    When exercise becomes a priority, we are more inclined to find creative ways to fit it into our busy schedules, whether waking up earlier, utilising lunch breaks, or setting aside dedicated time in the evenings. Taking that first step and prioritising exercise lays a solid foundation for a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

    Once that first hurdle of prioritising exercise has been crossed the following steps are more straightforward to execute. 

    Implementing simple strategies can maximise the benefits of exercise without sacrificing valuable time.

    So, let's dive into some actionable examples to help us achieve our fitness goals while keeping up with our demanding lifestyles.

    Resistance Training

    When it comes to resistance training, aiming for at least three sessions per week is a great goal to work towards. Compound exercises, which target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, are highly beneficial for strength and muscle development. Here are a few examples of compound exercises that you can incorporate into your resistance training routine.

    If you are strapped for time and can't head to the gym, do them at home with a set of dumbbells or even just use your bodyweight.

    Perform three sets of each exercise with 10-12 repetitions per set.

    Banded Hack Squat

    The hack squat primarily targets the lower body, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. It's an excellent exercise for building strength and muscle in the legs while also engaging the core for stability.

    Dead-man’s Lean

    The Dead Man's Lean is a quad exercise and a great way to build up your leg strength. 


    The Dead Bug exercise is a core-strengthening movement. This exercise targets the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and deeper stabilizing muscles, promoting core strength, stability, and improved posture.


    Push-ups are a fantastic compound exercise primarily targeting the chest muscles, shoulders, and triceps. Begin in a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, engage your core, and lower your body towards the ground while keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push back up to the starting position. If traditional push-ups are too challenging, you can modify them with the following variations:

    Knee Push-ups

    Start in a high plank position, but lower your knees to the ground instead of being on your toes. This modification decreases the load on your upper body and makes push-ups more accessible for beginners.

    Elevated Hands Push-ups

    Place your hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step, while keeping your feet on the ground in a high plank position. This modification reduces the amount of bodyweight you have to lift and is a great option for individuals working on building strength.

    Remember to maintain proper form throughout the exercises to maximise their effectiveness. As with any exercise, it's always a good idea to listen to your body and adjust the difficulty level as needed.

    As you progress, you can increase the intensity and resistance. You can maximise your workout effectively without adding more weight. It's important to perform these exercises with proper technique. 

    You can check out more exercises on our YouTube channel

    Utilise Bands for On-the-Go Training

    Resistance bands are a fantastic tool for optimising training for frequent travellers or those who spend considerable time away from the gym. They are lightweight, portable, and versatile, allowing you to perform various exercises to target different muscle groups.

    Example Resistance Band Workout:

    Perform three sets of each exercise with 10-12 repetitions per set.
    1. Banded Push-ups

    2. Pike Push Up

    3. Banded low row

    4. Banded Lateral Raise

    The Little But Often Strategy (Greasing the Groove)

    Don't underestimate the power of small windows of exercise throughout your day. The little and often strategy involves breaking your workout into shorter, manageable chunks that you can do throughout the day. This approach allows you to fit exercise into even the busiest schedules.

    Incorporate a 10-minute morning stretch routine to kickstart your day and improve flexibility. Throughout the day, aim to take short active breaks, such as a five-minute walk or a quick set of push-ups and lunges, every couple of hours. In the evening, wind down with a calming yoga or meditation session for 15 minutes.

    This approach allows you to break up your exercise routine into manageable chunks, ensuring you stay active throughout the day without feeling overwhelmed or sacrificing too much time. Integrating bursts of activity into your daily routine can boost energy levels, improve focus, and promote overall well-being.

    There are two ways to fit in the little and often method depending on what feels right for you.


    LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) are two popular forms of cardio exercises that can be incorporated into a busy schedule. Here's a breakdown of each and how they can fit into a busy lifestyle:

    LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State)

    LISS involves performing cardio exercises at a low to moderate intensity for longer. This can include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical machine. The goal is to maintain a consistent intensity level for an extended period, typically aiming for a target heart rate or perceived exertion level. This form of cardio is gentle on the joints and provides several benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and increased fat burning.

    Incorporating LISS into a busy schedule is quite feasible. Since it's a lower-intensity exercise, it can be done for longer durations, ranging from 25 minutes to an hour. This allows you to incorporate it into your routine as a daily activity. You can use your commute time to walk or cycle, choose stairs instead of elevators, or allocate specific time slots for dedicated LISS workouts. It's a convenient and effective way to stay active throughout the day while managing a busy schedule.

    HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

    HIIT involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of active recovery or rest. This type of training typically consists of short bursts of intense exercise, such as sprints or high-intensity exercises like burpees or mountain climbers, followed by brief recovery periods. HIIT workouts are known for burning a significant amount of calories in a shorter time, boosting metabolism, and improving cardiovascular health.

    Due to its high intensity, HIIT workouts are usually shorter, typically lasting between 15 to 25 minutes. This makes it more time-efficient for individuals with busy schedules. HIIT can be incorporated into a busy routine by setting aside 2 to 3 sessions per week. You can schedule these sessions during lunch breaks, early mornings, or when you have short time windows. Many HIIT workouts can be done without any equipment, making it easier to fit into your schedule at home or in a small space.

    Finding the right balance between the two types of cardio exercises and incorporating them into your routine based on your fitness level, goals, and available time slots will help you maintain a consistent workout regimen while managing your busy schedule.

    Count Your Steps

    Step count
    is an essential aspect of physical fitness that is often overlooked. Walking is a low-impact, efficient, and accessible exercise that can improve overall health and well-being. 

    The number of daily steps is a good indicator of overall physical activity levels, making it a useful measure of health and fitness. The 10,000 steps per day goal is an excellent benchmark for achieving optimal health and has gained significant popularity over the years.

    The notion of 10,000 steps per day originated in Japan in the 1960s as a marketing campaign for a pedometer company. The campaign aimed to encourage people to be more active and walk more.

    Walking between 8,000-12,000 steps a day has numerous benefits for physical and mental health. It can improve cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Walking can also improve joint flexibility and reduce the risk of injury, making it a great, low-impact exercise option for people of all ages.

    One of the most significant advantages of the 10,000-step goal is that it is a measurable and straightforward target. Wearing a pedometer or fitness tracker to measure steps taken can motivate you to take more steps and move towards the goal. The popularity of smartphones has also made it easier to track steps, with many devices coming with pre-installed step counters.

    There are several simple and effective ways to increase your step count and reach the 10,000 steps per day goal.

    Don't Drive: Walk

    Consider walking or biking instead of driving for short distances. You can choose to walk to work, school, or nearby stores.

    If the distance is longer, try using a bike or opting for public transportation and getting off a few stops earlier to add more steps to your day.

    Take The Stairs

    Instead of using elevators or escalators, take the stairs whenever possible. Climbing stairs is a great way to incorporate more steps into your day and work out your leg muscles.

    Get Some Fresh Air

    Instead of sitting at your desk or in the break room during lunch breaks or breaks throughout the day, take a walk. You can go for a brisk walk outdoors, explore nearby paths or parks, or even walk around the office building.

    Walking Meetings

    Instead of sitting in a conference room, suggest having walking meetings. Walking and talking can stimulate creativity and provide an opportunity for physical activity while discussing work matters. This can be particularly beneficial for one-on-one discussions or brainstorming sessions.

    Throughout the day, look for opportunities to be more active. For instance, take the long route when walking to the restroom or water cooler, stretch your legs during TV commercial breaks by pacing around, or incorporate short walks into your daily routine by taking a stroll after meals.

    Remember, the goal is to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. By making minor adjustments and being mindful of opportunities to be more active, you can gradually increase your step count and work towards achieving or even exceeding the 10,000 steps per day goal.

    Follow The 80/20 Rule

    To further optimise your body transformation journey within your busy schedule, use the 80/20 rule as your guide.

    The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a concept that states roughly 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the inputs. 

    This principle can be applied to various aspects of life and, especially, personal fitness.

    To get the best results, we don't have to take the all-or-nothing approach, which is what most people find daunting.

    Making small but effective changes in your daily life can help you make tremendous progress.

    80% of your results can be achieved by focusing on the most effective exercises or training methods that target the largest muscle groups or movements.

    Similarly, the principle can be applied in nutrition by ensuring that 80% of your diet consists of nutrient-dense foods while occasionally leaving room for more indulgent choices.


    If you have a packed schedule, it is still possible to achieve efficient workouts. You can optimise your health and fitness without sacrificing time by embracing short but effective workouts and adopting the little and often strategy. Remember, finding balance and adapting these strategies to your circumstances is key to success.

    Don't let a busy schedule hold you back. Book a call now and discover how to stay fit with versatile workouts to suit your unique needs.

    Akash VaghelaAkash Vaghela

    Akash Vaghela has spent 10+ years transforming bodies and lives around the world, and in May 2017, founded RNT Fitness to serve this purpose. His vision is to see a world transformed, where ambitious high performers experience the power of the physical as the vehicle to unlock their real potential. He’s the author of the Amazon best-selling book Transform Your Body Transform Your Life, which explains his unique and proven five-phase methodology, is host of the RNT Fitness Radio podcast, has been featured in the likes of Men’s Health and BBC, whilst regularly speaking across the world on all things transformation.

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