Excellent workout options are available when you are pressed for time. Regardless of your level of fitness, you can achieve and maintain a healthy weight and build strength and endurance with quick workouts. A well-composed routine can burn fat, tone muscles and restore your mind. No matter how busy you are, a quick workout will improve your quality of life.
Kettlebells date back to the 1700s, when they were developed as workout tools. These cast iron balls with handles are still effective tools for increasing flexibility, balance, strength and endurance. A study referenced by the American Council on Exercise revealed that a 20-minute kettlebell workout burns 272 calories and heightens cardiovascular fitness and strength. Usually, women should use an 18-pound kettlebell, and men should opt for a 35-pound version. Kettlebell deadlifts, single-arm swings, Turkish half get-ups, kettlebell push-ups and kettlebell single-arm rows from a push-up position can constitute a comprehensive workout. Plan to perform this workout three times weekly. Consult with your trainer to determine an appropriate number of circuits and repetitions, but intensity should increase each week.
This workout only requires dumbbells and a matted surface, and it helps you tone and energize. Complete this workout while holding a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. March in place for two minutes to warm up. Incorporate a combination of squats, push-ups (full or modified), jogging in place, deadlifts, jumping jacks, crunches, bicep curls, lunges, triceps extensions and bent-over rowing. Complete each activity for two-minute rotations until 20 minutes have elapsed.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, for 20 minutes results in the same physical benefit as longer, less-intense workouts. HIIT sessions involve one minute of strenuous effort, followed by one minute of easy recovery, repeated for 20 minutes. Strenuous effort is defined as an activity that increases your heart rate to about 90 percent of its maximum. To roughly calculate this number, subtract your age from 220. The strenuous intervals can involve riding on a stationary bike, running or any other exercise that rapidly increases your heart rate. Easy recovery involves performing the same exercise but at a much more relaxed pace.
Workouts for Children
A University of Illinois study revealed that, for children, a 20-minute workout can be beneficial for cognition. The study showed an increase of 5 to 10 percent in decision making, flexibility and problem solving skills. A child's 20-minute workout could consist of walking on a treadmill or cardio kickboxing. The effects last a few hours, but even that short-term cognition boost can help children with activities that require concentration and complex thinking, such as studying.