Anyone else have big plans to get back on their cardio game...only to struggle to hit 50 steps a day? 🤪 You're not alone, promise! And we're here to remind you to always show yourself grace. The key to fitting in exercise can be as simple as recognizing that something is always better than nothing! Yes, even if that means carving out just 5 minutes a day.
Seriously! Head to your Tone It Up app for a 4-minute Cardio Booty Burnout with Chyna. Or take 15 minutes to sweat it out a Cardio Quickie workout from Stef. Mamas, there's also a Quiet Cardio postnatal workout you can do while baby naps. And TODAY, we're all doing Yoga Cardio Flow with our girl Chevy — just one of the amazing TIU21 routines in your TIU app. Sign up for the 21-day program HERE!)
Want a few more ideas for sticking to your cardio plan? We caught up with Stef, our resident runner babe, 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!
“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 6 to 8 minutes of intense HIIT noticeably revs my metabolism and sparks my energy for hours!”
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. “Having a familiar format to follow serves as an effective means of self-accountability,” Stef says. 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.
“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 a girlfriend. However and wherever you can make your workout happen, mark it down so you stick with it!
“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!”
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!”
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!”
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!