Mini-Exercises, Maximum Results

Simple exercise equipment you can use quickly in the home

Getting enough exercise during the busy holiday season isn’t easy. Family, friends, and seasonal merrymaking can crowd out your normal exercise routine, leaving you feeling guilty about time lost and nervous about getting on the scale.

But there is an answer. Mini-exercises can be done in just minutes and steal hardly any time away from your busy life—even if you do them many times daily.

Because they take up so little time, these exercises can be squeezed into even a full day at the office without raising eyebrows. And if they do, invite your co-workers to join in for a few minutes of stress relief!

Taking time out to perform short bursts of exercise during an otherwise sedentary day will refresh both your mind and body—while improving work performance and minimizing the harmful effects of sitting.

Mini-exercises are so brief that you probably won’t even break a sweat. In fact, it’s best to choose activity levels that don’t cause you to sweat up your clothes. But they will get your blood pumping, your heart rate somewhat elevated, your body temperature raised, and a good number of muscles worked.

Avoid activities that require specialized equipment or much set-up time. Instead, focus on jogging in place, push-ups, jump-rope, jumping jacks, biking, lifting dumbbells, cardio dancing, brisk walks, squats, chair dips, or stair-running. One quick workout might be doing 10 push-ups, 15 squats, and holding a plank position for 60 seconds. Another workout might be 15 chair dips and holding a plank position for two minutes. Be creative in mixing exercises! Your mini-workout is over almost before you’ve begun, but the benefits in stress reduction and well-being can be enormous.

For best results, try to schedule your exercise sessions for several minutes every hour throughout the day. If that’s not possible, squeeze in as many short bursts as you can. Research shows that periods of intense exercise as short as two minutes can make a noticeable improvement in muscle tone, alertness, and calorie consumption, increasing your metabolism for the rest of the day. Over time, other benefits can include lowered blood pressure and reduced body mass index (BMI).

Before starting any exercise program, be sure to consult with your doctor. Then start with a simple exercise routine. Start out slow, and have fun!

Click to See Our Sources


“Mini Body Weight Workout,”, 4/24/17

“Minutes of Hard Exercise Can Lead to All-Day Calorie Burn,” American Physiological Society,, 2017



Martin Hanft

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