You know exercise is good for you, but your schedule might not permit a whole hour at a time to get in a workout at the gym. Fortunately, there are ways to get your heart rate up in just a few minutes at a time. Doing a couple of these quick workouts each day or even each week will give your heart health a boost. Be sure to do these workouts at least four hours before bedtime. Their energizing effects will have you feeling and looking good.

Jumping Rope

If you are traveling and need to work out, bring a jump rope. Jumping rope for just a few minutes gives a big boost to your heart rate. Jump ropes are inexpensive and lightweight. Their compact size makes them a great choice for traveling and for people who do not have space for a lot of exercise equipment. If you forget your jump rope, jumping jacks are an excellent alternative.


If you have a pair of athletic shoes, you can start running. If you only have five minutes, a run around the block or up and down the stairs a few times is an intense workout. If you are new to running, it is a good idea to check with your doctor first. Be sure to choose supportive shoes with enough cushioning to absorb the impact of your steps. If you choose to run outside, wear reflective clothing. Stay on the sidewalk or walking path, or head to your local high school and run on their outdoor track.


When you only have a few minutes, consider cycling. You could incorporate cycling into your everyday routine. Instead of driving one mile, ride your bike. It’s possible that you’ll get to your destination in less time, and your vehicle will have less wear and tear. You’ll burn calories, get your heart rate up, reduce traffic and lower your carbon footprint. Be sure to wear a helmet when riding your bike. It’s also wise to install reflectors and head and tail lamps on your bike. If you’re riding your bike at dawn, dusk or night, be sure to wear reflective clothing. 


When time is of the essence, pull up a fun dance song on your phone or MP3 player. Most dance songs are five minutes or less. Get your whole body moving. Dancing to a fast-paced song is a way to engage all of your muscle groups. If you are a parent, try dancing with your kids. When the kids are hyper, put on some music and help them burn their energy in a safe way. You’ll be the parent of the week by putting on some dance music and grooving with your child. Dancing is an ideal way to exercise in short bursts. You don’t need anything special to dance at home, and you won’t have to worry about the weather.