Efficient Exercise for the Busy Gal

Exercise can be viewed in one of two ways: a necessary chore or a time for self-care. I choose the latter view. Why? Because exercise feels amazing and FUN when you are doing the right exercise for YOU! Let me be clear: ANY exercise is good exercise. For busy gals, though, good exercise is efficient because we like to use our valuable time wisely.

When I think of efficient exercise, I think of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Think more workout in less time, meaning you work harder and push your body in a shorter amount of time instead of your laissez fare 45 minutes on the elliptical. Recent studies show HIIT workouts can reduce body fat percentage 28.5% more than moderate intensity workouts AND increase muscle mass. This increases your basal metabolic rate (more on this in a later post). Let me be clear again: this is not to knock your relaxing walks or elliptical time if that’s what you enjoy!

I kind of consider myself a fitness junkie. Not that I have super fit Michelle Obama arms or anything like that, but I enjoy exercise and I love to try new workouts. SO, I’m sharing with you all the workouts I’ve done that are efficient AND fun. I’ve tried a lot, and I have a pretty extensive repertoire for when I need to change things up. Why keep things the same all the time??? Don’t let yourself get bored with a monotonous routine.

The Workouts:

  1. Kayla Itsines’ Sweat app: We’re going to call this one the gold standard because this CHANGED my body for the way better. These timed workouts can be done from home with minimal equipment. It’s challenging, but it gives results. Not to mention, the workouts are only about 30 minutes. I always find myself going back to these because they make me feel awesome. You can try a week free to see if you’re a fan.
  2. Anna Victoria’s Fit Body app: Honestly, I mainly love these workouts because I LOVE Anna Victoria. She does a great job of building a supportive and motivational online community for her followers. Follow her on Insta and watch her Lives. It’s the next best thing to having a super-relatable and honest personal trainer. These workouts are similar to the Kayla workouts in that they’re short and can be done almost anywhere, but they tend to incorporate more weight. If you’re into the booty gains, this is for you. You can also get a free trial of this!
  3. Kickboxing: The most fun workout in my opinion!! If you’re wanting to challenge yourself and have fun (maybe learn to kick someone’s butt??) I would highly encourage you to try a kickboxing class. Class times vary, but if you can incorporate this into your routine, you’ll be looking and FEELING like a champion. Google classes offered in your area and ask a studio about trying a class!
  4. HOTWORX: This one gives you the opportunity to #EarnTheBurn. Literally. It’s an infrared heated fitness studio with 24/7 access and virtual instructors. You literally workout in a sauna, guys. Workouts are 15-30 minutes and include row, cycle, yoga, pilates, core, buns, and more. You’ll sweat your face off and love it because you’ll torch calories and feel great afterward. Sweat is one of our body’s detoxification systems. Just remember to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes after 🙂 Your first workout is free!
  5. Orange Theory Fitness: If you enjoy cross-fit style workouts and a little bit of healthy competition, this one is for you. OTF incorporates cardio and strength training circuits for an hour of high-calorie and high-fat burn with fun music. There’s a leaderboard to check out your progress and how you compare to others. This definitely appeals to people that need a little competition. The trainers rock, too! This one is expensive, but a great time and money investment for high fitness payoff.
  6. Obe Fitness: If you literally just want to do a dance workout in your living room with an awesome NYC-based trainer, Obe is so great! You can get a full-body cardio or sculpt workout and have so much fun with this app. On a rainy day, I like to put this on my tv and clear my living room floor to dance it out. No shame. This one also offers a free 7-day trial!
  7. uphill cardio: Okay hear me out on this one. If you love cardio, make it challenging! I’m not saying you have to run miles and miles. I truly think walking is underrated. It’s great for circulation, burning fat, and improving your mood! If you just crank up the elevation, you can even build muscle by engaging your core, calves, quads, and glute muscles. I’m not a big treadmill person, even though you could obviously do this on the treadmill. I enjoy walking a really hilly neighborhood or hiking several times a week. If this is an option for you, I highly recommend turning on a great podcast or audiobook and getting your steps in for 30 minutes. It’s free and feels great.

There you have it!! Each of these workouts has different benefits and price levels. There are so many workout options now that it’s easier than ever to find the right thing for your schedule and body. Let me know if I missed a good one that I should try out 😉

About Laura
Laura Gaston, RD

Welcome to my website! I’m Laura Gaston, a registered and licensed dietitian. 

First of all, I’m honored you’re spending your valuable time reading my posts or looking into my services. The mission of Busy Gal Nutrition is to make sustainable nutrition for weight loss and general health accessible to the girl on the go. Nutrition doesn’t have to be time-consuming or restrictive, but it does have to be science-backed. I also think it helps if it’s a little fun, too. 

I provide nutrition coaching that includes all of that tailored to your schedule and needs. This is YOUR lifestyle, after all! Continue reading…

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