Here’s How To Stay In Shape With Little Time and Space

I’m busy. You’re busy. Life is hectic for us young people and we’ve got a lot of responsibilities. We have jobs, friends, instagram accounts, maybe even pets, too, that demand our time and attention. When it comes to health, however, it’s easy to let our bodies slide when other things seem more pressing. That’s why when I have to travel for work or have just a few minutes free before or after a job, in between homework sessions for UMASS online, I have been making it a point to do something good for my body besides vegging out. This is hard, trust me, as I’m very good at chilling.

You don’t have to join a fancy gym or even give up too much of your time to work on your muscles and body. Even lucky me with muscle memory from my sporty childhood days has realized the importance of getting that heart rate up and toning even the smallest muscles of the body. While there is nothing like taking a challenging Flywheel class or getting stretched on those machines at Pilates Reformer or even having a near death experience at Barry’s Boot Camp (that place is the devil!), I find my quick and easy home work outs make me feel good and give me the results I desire. Truth right here: You don’t have to murder your body for hours to get fit. Folks, I now share with you the proof.

The internet is good for a lot of things and for workouts, it’s no exception. If you’ve only got 30 minutes, these videos are key. All you need is a mat or even a towel, some lights weights or none at all. I have even used chunky wedge sandals and bottles of water as weights before. Tip: throw in weights on any work out to maximize your workout time.

Legs And Booty 

I’ve been doing this video for several years now and it always makes me sweat and feel sore the next day. It’s only 10 minutes long, but as the instructor Andrea Orbeck says, the ‘time under tension movements’ burn fat all the same. This lower body one (and even lower abs- every workout is an ab workout if you hold them in!) is my absolute favorite.


For abs, I like this other 10 minute video provided by Popsugar. Instructor Jake Dupree is not only hilarious, but he has my abs screaming every time. I finally can do almost every rep of the whole workout. You’re thinking, it’s 10 minutes, how hard can it be? Trust me, you will feel this workout the next day. It’s killer on the stomach in the best way. No fancy $40 classes necessary. Just get on the floor in your own apartment!


This workout, also Pilates and ballet based, is all about balance, toning, and good posture. We could all do with that, right? This video incorporates your lower body while focusing on your back and arm strength. It’s a great finisher to the home workout I love to do.

If you have serious weight loss goals or desire feeling the ultimate burn for 2 hours due to some stress or frustration, these work out videos are not life changing, it’s true. However, you will sweat and maybe cry during this 30 minute home session.  It may never replace a 15 mile run or an hour of boxing, but this work is maintenance and will help you stay on track if you have to travel for business, simply don’t have time to head to the gym, or don’t want to break the bank with expensive classes. Give it a try and let us know how you feel in the comments!

Cover photo image courtesy of: Haiyin Lin

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