Only got 20 minutes? try sprinting intervals
Even if you only have 20 minutes to spare, you can still get a kick ass workout in. The trick is to take the time to make it happen. For me, the go-to short workout is intervals of walking and sprinting.
There are many ways to go about doing this, but the basics are always the same. You need a lightweight, portable interval timer like the Gymboss. You need a minute or two to get dressed at the outset, and you need a few minutes to recover afterward. Things like GPS-based distance and speed apps on your smartphone are optional (though I do prefer to do mine with such tech on board, and I use Strava).
The workout I did today can be an example. I had only 20 minutes, so I set my timer to four rounds of a double interval of 3:30 and 1:30. That would total 4 x 5 min rounds, or 20 minutes. I set everything in motion, started walking, and hit the timer. I walked for three and a half minutes, which adequately warmed me up. Then the timer went off. At that point, I ran as hard as I could, utilizing all I know (which is, I admit, very little) about proper running form: staying forward on the balls of my feet, lifting my knees, leaning forward, striding out, and working my arms. When the seemingly endless span of ninety seconds was done, I returned to walking.
After the second round, I turned back towards home, so that I could minimize the final walk back to my door. The third and fourth rounds brought me close to home (I took a slightly different route out and back).
The end result was that I did a total of six minutes of sprinting and fourteen minutes of walking. I got my heart rate up and it stayed there. And my entire workout of the day was over in only about twenty two minutes (I had to walk back about 1/8 a mile to my door). Six total minutes of full intensity work is a great basis for so-called “metabolic conditioning.” Nothing to be sorry about there!
I have to remind myself to invest in my fitness. So I’m sharing this reminder with you too. It’s good to remind yourself that even if you only have twenty minutes, you have enough time to improve your fitness.