Best 10 minute workout: Fast cardio routine for busy people

Best 10 minute workout: Fast cardio routine for busy peopleSo many people struggle with balancing a busy schedule with staying fit. If you can spare 10 minutes out of your busy day, that’s all the time you’ll need to boost your energy levels with a quick cardio workout. Some exercise is always better than no exercise. Today, I’ll share how you can get the most out of a 10 minute workout.

Is a 10 minute workout worth doing? You bet it is! Adding exercise to your day gets your blood flowing, makes you feel good and raises your energy level to new heights—even if it’s only for a short amount of time. If you can’t find the time for a full 30-60 minute workout, a 10 minute cardio blast makes the most of the minutes you do have. I have a great cardio workout routine that anyone can do, any time of the day. Get ready to feel energized!

The ultimate 10 minute workout

Start by warming up with a dynamic stretch routine, loosening up from your head down to your toes. Your movements should be slow and flowing.
Here we go:

  • Circle your arms while marching on the spot for 30 seconds.
  • March with high knees while swinging your arms for 30 seconds.
  • 10 calf raises by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and rising up onto your toes, holding for a second, then lowering back down.
  • 10 squats by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed forward.  Sit back as if you are going to sit in a chair, hold for a second, then – leading with your hips – come back to standing.
  • 10 shallow lunges. A lunge is simply a step forward and then a step back with one leg. Put your hands on your hips, keep a nice straight back and take an exaggerated step forward, lowering your back knee toward the ground. Hold the lunge for two seconds and then step back. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Jog in place for 30 seconds.

Now it’s time to start your cardio workout. Do each exercise for 30 seconds then move onto the next one. Here we go:

Exercise 1. March in place (as you did in your warm up)

Exercise 2. Shallow squats with front arm raise. As you lower your body, lift both arms in front of you, parallel to the floor and hold. Lead with the hips. Come up and lower your arms down to the side.

Exercise 3. Jog in place (I’m pretty sure you know how to do this one!)

Exercise 4. Slightly deeper squats with shoulder press. Lower your body with your arms folded in toward your chest. As you come up, do a traditional shoulder press and reach up your hands as high as you can above your head.

Exercise 5. Jumping jacks. Arms can come out to shoulder height or overhead.

Exercise 6. Split squat right side with lateral arm raise. Place one foot in front of the other, in lunge position, arms by your side. Come down, keeping both feet in position, lift your arms and come back up. Keep repeating for 30 seconds.

Exercise 7. Jumping or stepping from side to side.

Exercise 8. Split squat left side with shoulder shrug. Putting the opposite foot in front from exercise 6, come down with arms hanging straight down. As you come up, keeping both feet in position, shrug both your shoulders. Keep repeating for 30 seconds.

Repeat this sequence if you can or pair this 10 minute workout with my hamstring workout, followed by a few minutes of cool down stretching.


You don’t have to follow my cardio routine exactly; just have fun and be creative for 10 minutes. If you insist you can’t find even 10 minutes during the day, then I challenge you to jump out of bed and do this in your PJs! Share with me in the comments how much 10 minutes of activity in the morning improves your day.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife

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