Getting in a workout during a busy day can be challenging, but for those who work in office jobs or sit for most of the day, it’s imperative to get up and get moving at least once an hour. Sitting for long periods of time can increase the risk of heart disease and other illnesses, so finding a few minutes to get active can be hugely beneficial.

The problem is usually finding the spare time to do it. However, there are several bodyweight training / calisthenic workouts you can do to get your heart rate up and raise your energy level. Here are some of the best.


The 2-minute desk workout

If you have the space in your office--or even an area of the parking lot--you can do a quick workout that will raise your heart rate and burn calories at the same time. Calisthenics incorporate many muscle groups and allow you to get some stretches in, so you’ll feel better throughout the day. The 2-minute workout includes:

  • 25 jumping jacks
  • 25 “push-ups” against the wall or your desk
  • 25 lunges
  • 25 squats


Use your local playground

Taking the kids to the park later? Use the monkey bars to do pull-ups, or you can use a pull-up band to do assisted pull-ups. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do too many the first few times; most people can’t. Keep trying! The more you practice, the more arm strength you’ll build up.


Go for a swim

Swimming is another great way to fold family time and workout time into one. If you’re taking the kids to the pool, take a few minutes to swim some quick, focused laps while they play. Swimming is an excellent way to burn calories and is great for your heart health.


Split up your exercise times

Many people who are actively trying to lose weight attempt the recommended 30-45 minute workout every day. Rather than doing a workout in 30 minute increments, split up your workouts into ten minutes apiece and do two or three of them per day. Studies have shown that people who do this have a higher success rate of losing weight and keeping it off.

Get the family involved

Exercise is much more fun when you aren’t doing it alone. Get your spouse, kids, and even the dog involved so you can go for walks together after dinner or play a quick game of basketball.


Pay attention to your idle minutes

No one’s saying you have to be moving every minute of the day, but you may have large blocks of minutes that could be filled up with a quick workout, such as when you’re standing in the kitchen waiting for water to boil for dinner. Do some quick jumping jacks or push-ups so those minutes aren’t wasted.


Paige Johnson is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast, avid cyclist, and loves exploring hiking trails with her dogs. She enjoys writing about health and fitness for