Workout Routine for the Busy Professional

The husband and wife each arrived home about the same time and tired from a stressful day at work. They still had children to get to and from music lessons, school clubs, and sports practices, never mind the fact they had to find time for the family dinner. Each would like to unwind and get some exercise, but when?

Time becomes one of the greatest obstacles to people becoming or staying physically fit. Many people don’t have physically demanding jobs, but do have mentally demanding jobs. If you ask many people they simply don’t know how they can fit in a 60 to 90 minute workout in by days end with all they have to do.

Exercise by its very nature causes discomfort while you are doing it and other than the time factor that discomfort will lead people to avoid exercise. We can’t do anything about the discomfort because when you exercise it does work the muscles and does create some level of pain; hopefully, the chemicals that your body produces during a workout will provide for you an “exercise high” after the fact that keeps you exercising.

Is there a solution to the problem of time? Of course there is.

Everyone has 24 hours in a day to accomplish all the tasks that we have to do. Each of us will prioritize our time differently and those who don’t “have the time” for a fitness routine simply prioritize their time differently than those who do. Our secret is to find “hidden” time for exercise so you don’t have to reprioritize your time.

The goal is not to make the case that a 15 minute workout is equal to a 60 minute workout. Our goal is to show the average person there is a workout routine they can do to improve or maintain their fitness and overall health within a typical day without giving up on the other things they make a priority.

There are many exercise benefits.

If you are like many people you want to feel better, have more energy, and even extend your life expectancy. If that is you look no further than old-fashioned exercise for the solution. The merits of regular workout routines include preventing chronic health problems, promoting ideal weight, and providing for longer and deeper sleep.

The Mayo Clinic gives seven areas where your life can be improved through exercise.

1. Your mood improves by exercising.

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that often leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. Exercise will also change your appearance, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Regular physical activity can help prevent depression.

2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.

High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can be controlled or prevented when you exercise regularly. Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) while decreasing triglyceride. That in turn keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries.

Regular physical activity can literally save your life. It can help you prevent some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.

3. Workout routines assist in managing your weight.

Exercising causes your body to burn calories. The more intense the exercise, the more calories you burn. When you burn more calories than you consume you burn excess fat. Most Americans could benefit from losing excess fat through exercise.

4. Consistent workout routines increase energy levels.

Exercise transports oxygen and vital nutrients to your cells. Regular exercise actually helps your entire cardiovascular system work more efficiently. The improved efficiency of your cardiovascular system leaves more energy to do the activities you enjoy most.

5. Deeper and more restful sleep comes from regular exercise.

A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. Physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Timing is important, however. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day. There are many people who have serious sleep challenges that would be improved with exercise.

6. Improved sex life can be the result of more physical activity.

Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise, especially as they get older.

7. You can make exercise fun!

Physical activity doesn’t have to be boring. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Play childhood games! Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Some communities even have adult kickball leagues!

Find a physical activity you enjoy, and go for it. Boredom also says something about you. It is a mind set that YOU have control over. If you are bored change what you are thinking about – change the channel. Just get moving. If you’re moving, it counts!

A good workout routine consists of four components.

An affective workout program will help build your stamina, muscular strength and flexibility, as well as your balance. Your workout routine should include exercises that work each of those pieces.

If you work at being active for longer and longer periods of time your endurance will improve. That may be a very simple principle for building endurance, but for most people it works.

What that means is you want to get your heart rate working a bit harder for increasingly longer periods of time. Two general rules you can use are either using a target heart rate of 220 minus your age or the conversational check. If you can easily hold a conversation while doing your workout routine you probably aren’t working hard enough. If you are struggling to talk you are probably working too hard.

Building Endurance.

If you haven’t had any success in the past getting into a workout routine you need to think about your goals. Your workout routine needs to include aerobic training, so you need to figure out how to do it if committing the time to dance, fitness clubs, or the like hasn’t happened in the past.

I would certainly encourage all those things or even swimming, one of the great exercise programs there is. I know from experience that for too many of you time will hinder you.

The two exercises I will recommend for starting an endurance fitness program are walking and or jumping rope. Done consistently both those exercises will be of great benefit to your physical and emotional well-being.

Walking program.

Everyone can find ways within their day to walk more. It is quite simple. You can increase the amount you walk without even taking time out to “go for a walk”. Let me explain.

A middle aged man who stands about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds – the median height and weight for men – should consider taking between 5,000 and 7,000 steps per day, before working out. The number of steps will of course depend on the calories he consumes.

According to a UN report the average American consumes nearly 4,000 calories per day. If you are any where near that you will need to work on your diet as well. That level of caloric intake will require more steps to be taken – literally and figuratively.

Purchasing a pedometer would be your first step. Once you have that you will want to track the number of steps you take in a day. If you are about 6′ tall your average stride would be somewhere around 2′ 4″. If you take 7,000 steps in a day you will walk a little over 3 miles. That would be a great goal.

Here is a simple way you can increase the amount you walk. First, begin parking in the furththest parking spot at the mall, grocery store, and at work. Then three or four times during the day take a 10 minute walk break and simply walk out to your car and back or up and down a couple flights of stairs. Begin doing that every day and you will see a difference in no time.

A great walking program is Nordic walking. Nordic walking involves the use of poles (ski poles), which causes you to use 90% of your body while walking. If you were do a minimum of 15 minutes during your lunch time or during the day that would be of great benefit to you. As you get more fit you could just increase the pace of the walk.

Skipping rope is a great workout.

Jumping rope not only works the heart and lungs, but it works your entire body. Another benefit is that for the time expended it burns lots of calories. Ten minutes of jumping rope at 120 jumps per second (yes, that is fairly rapid) will burn as many calories as walking an 18-hole golf course. Most people will find more time to jump rope for 10 minutes than they will to regularly golf 18 holes.

There are many different routines you can do while jumping rope that you can work on your coordination, strength, and balance all with one exercise program. Jump rope is fun, which is why children love to do it.

Get a top quality jump rope and take it with you everywhere. You can easily find 5 to 10 minutes while you wait for you child’s practice to end, or at home, or even at work where you could jump rope and get your aerobic workout done.

Strength workout routine

Most people simply need and want functional strength. They want to be more productive on the job or improve their ability to compete in recreational sports. Regardless of the reason, physical strength training should be part of your workout routines.

Here you want to work your core muscles. Your abs and back are very important to have strong. Your legs, arms, and shoulders would be next.

A good strength building program can rely on your own body-weight. There really are not many exercises you have to do either.

The Nordic walking and skipping rope will provide some benefit. Using a heavy rope to jump can improve the strength building aspect of the exercise. Those exercises will help tone your muscles.

The three key exercises that make up the strength portion of our routine are push-ups, planks, and stability ball exercises. Do the “sun salutation” stretching exercise first thing in the morning and include push-ups and you will have knocked off one good portion of the routine in the first 10 to 20 minutes of the day. Later in the day you can easily find time to work in the planks and a few stability ball exercises.

Planks can be done on the ground or on a stability exercise ball. Planks will replace doing the crunches. If you do them on an exercise ball you can add a circular motion with your arms moving both clockwise and counter-clock wise.

One last exercise to add would be hindu squats. This exercise will work your legs and your heart.

To see how to do these exercises go to the workouts page at

Stretching is a must.

We now need to figure out where the time to stretch will come from. We have shown you how to get these workout routines into your day, but we included the sun salutation as the only stretching routine. Stretching can be painful and can take a fair amount of time, so how do you find the time for that?

Besides doing the sun salutation I have found that more people will do some simple stretches if they think about doing a series of stretches while watching television in the evening or even while listening to some music in a quiet spot. They don’t need to do many to get the benefits.

There are a number of simple stretching exercises you can do while sitting or lying on the floor. If you check out the stretching exercises page at you can find resources to choose some stretches you can do, and vary from day to day, while watching television, helping your kids with their homework, or waiting to pick them up at some activity.

Here is a sample schedule.

What might a typical day look like with this workout routine in mind. Well, my day would look something like this.

6:30 am Wake-up and wake your body up. Do the sun salutation with push-ups. If you can build up to doing 5 push-ups each cycle and do 10 cycles in 10 minutes you can have done 50 push-ups.

6:40 – 7:30 am shower, eat, read the paper, see the kids off to school.

8:00 – 5:00 Work. Take at least two 10 minute walk breaks during the day. Take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During 60 minute lunch take 30 minutes to do Nordic walk.

5:00 – 9:00 Family stuff. Do your errands, get dinner, be with children…Take 15 – 20 minutes to do planks, skip rope, and stability ball exercises. Can’t skip planks or rope skipping.

After 9:00 Whatever you do, do it, and take 15 minutes to stretch your body.

Do this everyday and your workout routine will become routine.

Looking to find information on health and fitness? Learn about workouts, as well as workout routines and other health and fitness topics at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *