7 Ways To Squeeze In Cardio On Your Busiest Days

By Katrina Scott on

I totally understand how difficult squeezing in a workout can get some days. Between meetings, family, friends, and just life, it can feel like you have no time to sweat. Ever since Bella was born, I’ve been giving myself permission to do whatever I can ~ even if that means I only work out 5 minutes a day. The key to fitting in exercise, I’ve found, is recognizing that something is always better than nothing! So when I only have a few minutes to move, I love kicking up my heart rate with fast-paced exercises. That’s why in your Tone It Up app today, you’ll find Stef leading you through a Cardio Quickie workout. It's less than 15 minutes, but gets you sweating within the first few moves! Stef, our resident runner babe, also knows what it’s like to be short on time for a workout ~ she's always traveling and running around! I caught up with her to find out how she fits in her metabolism-revving routines even when she has a crazy busy day. Steal her strategies for getting a short, effective cardio workout ~ no matter where you are or how much time you have. All you need is a few minutes to move and you’ll feel SO GOOD after! xxo, Kat

7 Ways I Squeeze In Cardio On Super Busy Days

1. Just HIIT It

“When I’m pressed for time (most days!) I automatically turn to HIIT resistance training and HIIT cardio,” says Stef. “Think: QUICK bursts of speed and explosive moves in between short, timed rest periods. Even just six to eight minutes of intense HIIT noticeably revs my metabolism and sparks my energy for hours!” Stef does this exact type of workout in your Tone It Up app today! You’ll do tough moves like burpees, and take just a few seconds to catch your breath in between!

2. Plan It Out

When you only have a few minutes, it’s best to know how you want to handle that precious time ~ that means thinking through what your workout will look like, says Stef! “Having a familiar format to follow serves as an effective means of self-accountability,” she adds. Some of her favorite workout formats: Tabata (aka 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds. Try with moves like jump squats, high knees, or burpees!); working hard through an explosive move for 30 seconds and then actively recovering for 30 seconds in a plank or squat hold; and doing an EMOM workout with moves like dumbbell squats, push-ups, skaters, or dumbbell rows.

3. Put It On The Calendar

“I can’t stress this enough: prepare, prepare, prepare!” says Stef. “The night before a busy day, where can you see opportunities to take time for you?” Maybe you run to work instead of drive or take a few minutes after lunch to do a Tone It Up workout with your co-workers! However and wherever you can make your workout happen, mark it down so you stick with it.

4. Start Your Day With Exercise

“If you start your day off with movement, you’ll be more inclined to be active the rest of the day,” Stef says. You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas before you hit a little workout routine. Stef loves doing 10 air squats, 10 push-ups, and a 30-second down-dog stretch for 3 rounds right when she steps out of bed. “I’m laughing picturing myself next to my bed, oversize T-shirt, booty shorts, and hair in a tangled mess doing these moves,” she says. “But it’s amazing how warmed up I feel before I even brush my teeth! Don’t wait to make your day as amazing as it can be and see the limited amount of time you have as motivation to push yourself!”

5. Keep A Bag Packed

Stef always has a bag of gym clothes handy so she’s never without the wardrobe she needs to break a sweat! “During the days I know I will only find a few minutes here and there, I’ll even go as far as wearing waterproof mascara, so I don’t have to worry about reapplying and perfecting my makeup before I head into my next meeting,” she says. “Challenge every potential excuse you can see yourself making… YOU know YOU best girl!”

6. Just Move When You Can

Stef’s mom used to hop around her kitchen while dinner was cooking in order to get in some more exercise ~ and Stef does her own version of that now! “Keeping in mind, ‘there is no better time than right now,’ is so important for us boss babes to remember when we’re doing so much every single day!” she says. “I love going back to quick HIIT workouts in the Tone It Up app!”

7. Do Combo Exercises

If you’re pressed for time, it’s also a good idea to work multiple muscles at once ~ not just for the strength gains, but the cardio benefits too, Stef says. For example, do 10 squats to overhead presses, 10 reverse lunges with a row, and 5 burpees with mountain climbers at the bottom. You shorten up the time you spend doing all those moves separately, but still work your entire body!

Try some of our fave quick HIIT and cardio routines in the Tone It Up app! You'll break a sweat and see serious results fast!


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