Forget that endless list of excuses – isn’t it about time you found time to exercise? The good news is that finding time may not be as hard as you think — especially if all you need is 30 minutes to get the job done. Thirty minutes will help you burn fat, firm your muscles and get in shape. You’ll feel stronger, healthier, more energetic and more alive!

You do it automatically: you step in the shower, brush your teeth, shave or put on makeup and you do it every single day. So, why isn’t exercise part of that same daily routine? Maybe it’s because you’re not in the “habit” of making exercise a necessity in your day. Well, that’s about to change and so is your commitment to exercise!

Change Exercise into a Daily Habit

Don’t skip that workout because you don’t have time – use the small amount of time you do have and make the most of it. That’s the idea behind the 30-minute workout. It’s a wonder that more people aren’t taking advantage of those spare minutes in each day – and yes, we all have them, no matter how busy we think we are. Minutes in the day are like spare change in your pocket – and if you put them all together you’ll soon discover the time you need for exercise.

It may be half your lunch hour or something you do in lieu of staring at the TV at night. Instead of lulling yourself into mindless relaxation, head out to the gym for a good workout that will relieve tension and energize you. If you’re a morning person, consider starting your day with a pre-work workout. Stop at the gym on your way to work or exercise before leaving home and then shower.

Find an Exercise Option that Works for You

If your gym is near your house or near work, plan to go at least 2-3 times each week. If you choose to do a lunch hour workout or to exercise after work, then schedule in a day and time that’s convenient. Put it right there in your planner, so that you keep your appointment. Remember, the payoff will be firm muscles, fat loss and a healthier you. If you do a lunchtime workout, you’ll move into the afternoon with a calmer, clearer head and probably be more productive.

Once at the gym, use the circuit and incorporate equipment that will work each of the following on Day 1:

  • chest (incline chest press, bench press, dumbbell flies
  • back (lat pull down, seated row)
  • biceps (dumbbell or machine curls)
  • abs (crunches)

Then, on Day 2, concentrate on these areas of your body:

  • legs (dumbbell squats, leg curls, leg extensions and leg presses)
  • shoulders (seated machine press, standing dumbbell lateral raises, dumbbell shrugs)
  • triceps (lying dumbbell tricep extensions, seated bench dips)
  • abs (fit ball crunch)

Before each workout be sure to do a five-minute warm-up and at the end of your workout leave time for 5 minutes of stretching. Alternate your Day 1 and Day 2 workouts at the gym and, to keep things from getting tiresome, choose one day a week to get out for a brisk 30-minute walk instead. Once you’ve gotten into a routine with walking, then begin challenging yourself by picking up the pace a notch or by walking up hills or the stairs in your office building.

Another popular approach to a gym workout is to alternate between a 30-minute cardio one day and 30 minutes of strength training on another.

Remember: Always warm up and cool down. Also, be sure to keep moving. Use every minute to its fullest advantage!

Keep these Simple Tips in Mind

The following are a few easy-to-follow tips that will help keep you on track with your workouts:

  1. Pack your sneakers and gym clothes – bring a gym bag that you can throw in your car or carry with you each day. You’ll be ready for your scheduled workouts as well as for those impromptu walks or exercise sessions.
  2. Brown bag lunch – you won’t waste time standing on line at the deli and you’ll be able to control the quality and quantity of food you eat.
  3. Eat a quick, healthy snack – to rid yourself of pre-workout hunger eat an apple, or a handful of nuts or carrots. The snack will keep hunger at bay until you’ve completed your workout.

If you prefer to exercise at home, choose a workout tape that works your whole body and gives you some cardio in 30-minutes. There are so many tapes available. You may want to check with your library or local video rental store first to find a tape you like – then buy it and use it!

Achieve Desired Results in Minutes a Day

At first, you might dread those workouts, but, before too long, you’ll begin to look forward to them. Why? It’s simple — you’ll feel better afterwards. You will have released endorphins and relieved tension, plus you’ll feel stronger and be less likely to overeat because you’ll feel healthier and more satisfied.

Thirty minutes a day three to five times a week can put you on the path to successful weight loss and improve your outlook on life. What are you waiting for… get going!