These Fitness Hacks Are Perfect If You Don't Have Time For A Full Workout Every Day

by Georgina Berbari

Real talk: Making time to work out when your life is incredibly busy and you're overwhelmed by day after day of long to-do lists is hard freaking work. Seriously, as ideal as it would be to actually have time to go to the gym or hit up your favorite workout class every day, it's just not always realistic. That's why incorporating easy fitness hacks into your daily routine is the most practical way to stay active without the commitment to an actual hour-long workout.

Having an "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to fitness isn't always the best way to go about a healthy lifestyle, especially when your schedule doesn't allow for lengthier sweat sessions on the reg. Whatever you're able to make time for in your schedule, it's best to just do it, even if you feel like it "wasn't enough." Seriously, the little things truly do add up in the long-term. According to a 2011 study published in The Lancet, just 15 minutes of exercise each day can be incredibly effective when it comes to improving overall health, and it can even help you live longer.

I'm willing to be that finding 15 minutes in your day is probably pretty doable, and it's even easier when you have a few simple fitness hacks to help you get the job done. Give these five hacks a try on those days when a long workout just isn't an option.

Use Your Purse For A Quick Arm Workout

If you're used to picking up some free weights at the gym when you want to work on your arms, but you just don't always have time for a full lifting session, there's a pretty genius, low-key way to still put in that work when you're busy AF.

Carrying around a purse could be all you need to work out your arms, according to Women's Health. I know, it sounds a little ridiculous, but hear me out: The way you hold your purse can offer a lot more arm strength than you would think, and switching up your grip on your bag can be a really subtle way to challenge yourself while you're just running some errands on a busy day. Hey, it's better than no workout at all, right?

Casually Squeeze Your Glutes Right At Your Desk

Why yes, I am suggesting that you sporadically squeeze your butt cheeks throughout the day while you're getting sh*t done at work. Judge me if you please, but this isometric exercise (meaning that your muscles tense up and activate without you actually having to leave your chair) is super casual, and you'll be making some major #BootyGains without anyone even knowing.

Hold each squeeze for about 10 to 30 seconds, and do as many reps as your heart desires! It'll probably feel weird at first, but hey, it's easy as hell and a totally effective way to avoid the dreaded dead butt syndrome.

Activate Your Core While Sitting Down

By simply taking more pronounced, mindful inhales, and actively engaging your core while you're sitting down at work, you can make a pretty huge difference not only in your ab strength, but even your posture.

It's referred to as the "drawing-in maneuver," and it will basically feel like you're trying to make your belly button "touch" your spine. A few rounds of this will help you engage your innermost core muscles, sans crunches or lengthy ab circuits — all on the DL.

Take The Stairs Whenever You Can

A totally underrated fitness hack that many people don't even realize counts as a workout is simply opting to take the stairs whenever possible.

Ditch the escalator and say peace out to the elevator by surprising your body with a mini sweat sesh. Climbing a few flights here and there throughout your regular routine will totally add up to the treadmill sesh you were planning on slaying, but couldn't quite get around to. Oh, and climbing stairs on a regular basis is really good for your heart, in case you needed more incentive.

Dance It Out During Your Bedtime Routine

Put on a good playlist and dance around your apartment while you go about your nighttime routine before bed. It's a great way to end your day on a fun, positive note, and it definitely counts as exercise — as long as you get into it, of course.

In between songs, or even while you're brushing your teeth, try some wall sits, and challenge yourself to do a couple of planks before you finally climb into bed and wind down.

Before you know it, you'll easily have clocked in those 15 minutes of exercise. Yeah, you're welcome.