5 Exercises You Can Do Right Now to Feel Fit and Energized

5 Exercises in 5 Minutes

A woman in exercise gear planks on concrete
Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

A five-minute routine to feel better

Nodding off at your desk? Feeling guilty and slothful as you lie on your couch to watch the telly? Feeling too overwhelmed or too busy to commit to a longer workout? Take five minutes right now to rev up your metabolism, wake up your body and mind and (maybe) justify sitting down for another hour or two.

Equipment needed:

A timer on your watch or phone. (This is my favourite timer app.) If you’re fancy, you can grab a yoga mat and a 5-lb hand weight, but it’s not necessary at all.

A screenshot of a timer app with work and rest intervals
Tabata Timer by Eugene Sharafan

How to do it:

Set a timer for five minutes in one-minute intervals (or just watch your watch).

Start with the first exercise and perform it correctly for as many good reps as you can do, then rest for the remainder of the minute. When the timer goes off, start the next exercise. (As you get stronger and fitter, you’ll be able to do more (perfect) repetitions and get shorter rest intervals, which is great for progressive overload training.)

The five exercises:

1. Rainbows

Start from an upright, wide stance (feet twice as wide as your shoulders), knees and toes turned out about 45 degrees. Keeping your right leg straight, bend your left leg and lunge over to touch the ground on the outside of your left foot with both hands, sitting back into your heels. Pushing through your heel, come up to standing, drawing the biggest arc possible with your arms until they are stretched above your head. Continue the arc as you lunge down to the right (this time with your left leg straight) to touch the ground beside your right foot. (Dial it up: hold a 5-lb dumbbell)

2. Pushups

Make sure that your body is a straight line from your shoulders to your toes (or knees) – do this by pushing your hips forward and squeezing your glutes. Look about a foot in front of your hands (don’t tuck in your chin). Your hands should be a little wider than your shoulders, so that at the bottom, you have a 90-degree bend in your elbows and your neck is straight. Dial it down: drop to your knees to finish the set, as needed. If you’re struggling, but still up for of a challenge, keep your legs extended for the lowering phase of the movement, and only drop your knees down for the pushing UP part.

3. Burpees

Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down (hips back) and place your hands flat on the ground, between your feet. Brace your core and jump your feet back to that you’re in a strong plank position. Jump your feet back in to the outside of your hands, keeping your hips low. Stand up and jump with your arms up. That’s one. Keep your head up, looking forward the whole time. (Option: walking burpees.)

4. Mountain Climbers

Start with a strong high plank, with your core tight and braced, and jog your knees in and out. Left in, right in – that counts as one rep.

5. Bicycles

Lie on your back, pushing your lower back into the mat, drawing in your bellybutton, and lift up your knees to a tabletop position (knees and hips bent 90 degrees, thighs perpendicular/shins parallel to the floor. Place your fingers at your temples. Twist through the torso, bringing your elbow to the opposite knee, extending the other leg out straight. Switch. Keep this movement controlled.

Video of moves here

And in five minutes, you’re done!

Just five exercises for five minutes will have your heart pumping and your muscles activated again; you’ll feel fitter and energized for whatever comes next.

Related Articles:
Does Snacking on Exercise Really Work?
KISS workout

Try it! How do you feel?

1 thought on “5 Exercises You Can Do Right Now to Feel Fit and Energized

Leave a Reply

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