Staying active can be a struggle, especially when you’re not feeling motivated (ahem: like at the end of summer). Sometimes, the idea of going on a run or doing a 45-minute Pilates session feels impossible–but, that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a bit of movement. Even if your workout isn’t particularly long or challenging, it still counts. Peloton instructor Jess Sims learned this when she went from twice-a-day basketball practice to working out three times during a six-month period.
“I had this mindset that if I didn’t have an hour or two hours to go to the gym, it wasn’t worth it,” says Sims during an episode of The Well+Good Podcast. “Leaning into the shorter workouts, it’s getting people to actually see how possible it is to move on a daily basis when we remove the thought that you have to work out for 45 minutes a day.”
Whether you spend 15 minutes doing gentle yoga or take 10 minutes for cardio, some movement is better than no movement. And you’d be shocked by how much you can accomplish in a short workout. Even on the days when you don’t feel like moving, getting a little exercise can make a huge difference–because it releases feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that can instantly lift your spirits.
“There are times when we are feeling intense emotions, like stress or frustration or feeling overwhelmed, and use physical exercise as a way to release that,” says Kensa Gunter, PsyD, a licensed clinical and sports psychologist with the Association of Applied Sport Psychology. “This feels good physically, and engaging in some kind of activity can also provide an emotional or mental release.”
If you’re looking for quick and easy workouts to get your blood flowing without having to push to the max, browse the eight videos below.
8 quick and easy workouts to do at home
1. 8-Minute Low-Impact Cardio Workout
In just eight minutes, trainer Liv Mcllkenny will take you through a low-impact cardio workout–no running or jumping required. You’ll move through two rounds of eight movements ranging from curtsy lunges to plank walkouts. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll have worked your entire body.
2. 20-Minute Pilates Workout for Lower Back Pain
During this 20-minute workout, instructor Brian Spencer takes you through a fun, easy-going workout that targets stabilizing muscles in the core and glutes that need strength to fight low-back pain.
3. Full-Body Mobility Workout
Take seven minutes and move through this mobility routine with certified personal trainer Ashley Joi. You’ll move through seven moves, each for 30 seconds. All you need is a mat and, optionally, a chair.
4. Heart-Opening Yoga Flow
This heart-opening flow is instructor Val Verdier‘s go-to when she doesn’t have much time but wants to move around on her mat. Move through bridge pose, lunges, and more to open up through the front of your body.
5. 15-Minute Standing Glutes Series
This standing glue series with Spencer will work your booty while also stretching and strengthening your entire body. And because you’ll do a lot of single-leg work while standing, you’ll also work on your balance and coordination.
6. 17-Minute Dance Cardio
This dance-cardio workout with Sydney Lotuaco is a joyful way to get moving. Hop around to the beat and feel your body heat rise.
7. 20-Minute Flow To Prevent Burnout
8. 8-Minute Core and Back Workout
Grab your mat and two dumbells (or bottles of wine, cans of soup–whatever you’ve got) and get moving. In this video, trainer Charlee Atkins will take you through an eight-minute core and back workout.
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