When You Only Have 30 Minutes

Not all workouts need to be an hour long. Sometimes you just don’t have the time. Sometimes life gets crazy and you don’t have time to drive to the gym, change your clothes, get in the pool and swim…but you want to do SOMETHING. There are definitely ways to get in a workout without having to sacrifice a ton of time.

This post is about a few things you can do when you only have 30 minutes to get your sweat on!


Kettlebells are by far the #1 option when you need a good work out with a giant calorie burn in a very short period of time. If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership, or won’t have the opportunity to GO to a gym, owning a few kettlebells of various weights can make getting fit at home easy. Trust me! Michael has invested in about 6 different kettlebells and his workouts at home are either running, kettlebells or biking to work. He’s been working really hard the last few months preparing for our little guy’s arrival by getting fit and his kettlebell workouts rarely last longer than 30 minutes. It’s doable.

I definitely miss going to the Warrior Room. It was a cool community and a fantastic workout. I am looking forward to returning after the baby is here! Here are a few posts that included some kettlebell workouts you can try:

Warrior Room Part 2

Two Classes


I definitely recommend taking a class or two somewhere, or hiring a personal trainer, to teach you the proper form. There’s a bit of a learning curve but once you get the form down, you can do it on your own and you don’t need a class. You can find videos online for different routines and it’s easy to do it at home by yourself.


Using kettlebells is pretty easy and it’s such a good calorie burn! Trust me when I say you’ll burn those calories in 30 minutes.

Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes are FUN and hard. So hard. Your shoulders will burn. You will burn so many calories. You’ll be drenched in sweat and it really doesn’t take more than a few minutes to get to that point! What I love about doing this exercise is that it’s fun and different.


There’s a podcast I listen to that was pretty eye-opening when it came to fitness. Joe Rogan’s podcast is really diverse–he talks about everything. Psychedelics, politics, feminism, sports, comedy, history…But fitness is a big part of it. I remember one episode where he described something called “functional strength” and he said he preferred that kind of workout to your typical weight lifting routine. Basically, doing something “functional” like flipping giant tires, pulling and pushing heavy loads, and doing things like the Battle Ropes made him stronger in a more functional way. Instead of being a big meat head with no neck, his muscles WORKED for him, instead of being “pretty.”


An article I read,Β Getting Outside the Box: The Definition of Functional Strength,Β says:

Functional strength is the strength that gets us through life and daily survival.Β Manual labor typically involved walking, running, pushing, pulling, and grasping.”

I really liked the idea of that and then I got the exposure when I was going to the Warrior Room. They had battle ropes and giant tires and it was SO hard and challenging but I noticed immediate differences in my strength levels and core strength after only a few weeks of doing functional exercises like this! I am a big fan! And these types of workouts don’t take a big chunk of your time.


Body Weight Exercises

Similar to the above functional exercises you can do. These don’t require equipment. These are simple things that can get your heart pumping, burn a lot of calories and you can do them in your living room if you need to!

Squat Jumps

We did squat jumps a lot at the Warrior Room and they ALWAYS got me. I loved doing them because I saw results, but dang I’d be sore. It didn’t take much to get my heart pounding. This is a great thing to do when you are short on time.


Burpees and Mountain ClimbersΒ 

Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with burpees. They are efficient and effective but damn they kind of suck! πŸ™‚Β burpee

Mountain Climbers:


An example:

Sometimes if I had limited time and needed to get in and get out in terms of the gym, I would do something like this:

quick warm up

jumping jacks


squat jumps



mountain climbers

Effective calorie burn without taking a long time.


Running is a really efficient way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Obviously you should have a base of some running before just going outside and doing an epic 5 miles. That would hurt. So if you are already a runner, or a sometimes runner, running is a GREAT way to get in a workout when you only have 3o minutes.

When I used to run at lunch time at work I had 1 hour. That meant I had to change, run, then take a quickie shower, get dressed and be back at my desk within that hour. It was definitely a challenge, but a good one. One of the things I miss most about doing that was having my evenings free. Instead of my work day beingΒ really long and not getting home until after 7pm because of gym time, I got off work and had my evening free to do things with friends, go out for happy hour, basically enjoy some downtime! Plus, it got me out of the office, improved my mood and broke up the long day.

Repost: Why I Run the Waterfront

What a Great Workout!

Finding a Workout Buddy

I got pretty good at running during my lunch hour. I got good at changing quickly, then I’d run for about 40-45 minutes, and it would take me 10 minutes to shower and get dressed, grab my food and be back at my desk.

If you only have 30 minutes to workout, go for a run. Sprints and intervals would be your best bet for maximum calorie burn, but just running works too.

I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think once I am back running after the baby is here and after maternity leave is done, I will try and go back to running during my lunch hour. I don’t foresee a ton of extra time in my future to go to the gym after work and some things are going to have to change. I think running during my lunch hour might be the best way to do that!

What are your favorite ways to workout in the shortest amount of time?

A Week of Sweating

I recently did a “week’s worth of dinners” post and I realized I’ve never done one about my workouts. My workout schedule is pretty set in stone after so many years of doing it. I keep track of my workouts on my Google Calendar to keep myself accountable, but I’m at a stage in my maintenance journey where I really don’t need to.

Keeping track of fitness is a great motivator for losing weight. Recording your workouts, or calories burned, or mileage run, is a huge NSV! Don’t sell yourself short by thinking the time you put into it doesn’t count. It all counts.

The following is not necessarily what I do each week, but it’s a pretty accurate representation of my fitness. In the coming months this will change drastically because I’ll be moving my workouts outside. I’m really looking forward to resuming my biking to work on a routine basis now that the weather is better!

A Week of Sweats


A lovely recovery swim from the previous days’ weight workout. This particular Sunday I did 52 minutes in the pool. Here is that workout:

50 lengths freestyle

10 lengths breaststroke

10 lengths freestyle with buoy and hand paddles

10 lengths with kickboard

8 lengths freestyle

6 lengths breaststroke

Total: 94 lenghts, about 1.25 miles.Β 

Calories Burned: about 350



Rest Day! Mondays aren’t alwaysΒ a rest day but I try to schedule it that way if I can to “recover” from the more intense weekend workouts I do. Also, who wants to workout on a Monday after a long day at work? Not me. Mondays are also pretty crowded at the gym (I think people are trying to burn off their weekend indulging).


This is my “long strength training” day. I try to get in a run as well, but not always. I listen to my body. This particular day was not the best workouts I’ve had. First, I got to the gym and discovered I’d forgotten my running shorts at home. I had my compression tights but they are really hot and uncomfortable to wear in warmer weather. Second, I also forgot a sports bra. That was not good! I ended up having to just use my regular bra, which did not work that well.

I started with a run and it also wasn’t great. My right knee hurt, my left shin hurt, half way through my right foot got a bad cramp. It was just not fated to be an awesome workout.Β After running I hit the weights the best I could despite my sour mood. I’ve increased the weights on some machines and it’s a great motivator!

Yep! That says 75 pounds. Go me. All in all, not the best evening, but I was glad I worked out.

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:25
Calories Burned: Β 664


Spin class!

I tried a bunch of different classes at a few different gyms and found one that worked the best for me and that’s the one I try to go to each week. All winter I’ve been going to this class because I really like the teacher a lot. Her music selection is different and a lot of the stuff I like (not the “norm”) so it’s refreshing. Her classes are challenging.

Sometimes I’m sore from Tuesday’s weight session and I wish Tuesday and Wednesday could be swapped, but with a class it doesn’t work that way.

This particular spin class was difficult but fun. It was a different instructor and she’s very challenging. She said “You came to work tonight, so work!” And she was right! It was a lot of speed intervals mixed in with some very very difficult hill climbs that were killing me! It was good though.

Time: 1:34
Calories Burned: 686
Mileage: 20.2 miles!

I went back to spin because it had been pouring out for a week. I didn’t mind going back to spin once in awhile because it’s definitely a challenge.


Rest Day! I’m resting up for the weekend activities!



Oh, my Friday night swims…I love thee. It’s the perfect way to decompress after a long, stressful week. It’s relaxing and energizing at the same time. This time my swim routine was as follows:

30 lengths freestyle

10 lengths breaststroke

10 lengths freestyle with buoy and hand paddles

10 lengths with paddleboard

10 lengths freestyle with leg buoy

10 lengths freestyle

10 lengths breaststroke

Total: 90 lengths, about 1.25 miles

Calories Burned: around 350


Saturday mornings are my most intense workouts. It used to be the “long” workout of the week, but ever since I reduced my cardio and increased the weight lifting, I haven’t had to spend as much time in the gym to get the same results.

This particular Saturday I ramped up my mileage to 3 miles total and it felt fantastic. No issues! I think all the strength training and lower body exercises I’ve been working on all winter have really improved my stability and lower body function.

After my 3 miles I spent the bulk of my workout lifting weights and stretching. I was really happy with my number.

QUESTION: What does a typical week of fitness look like for you?