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When you think you have no time, here are 12 things that take 12 minutes to do. Rather than doing just one of these things, you could be doing a 12-minute workout.

When life gets a bit hectic, especially over the holiday period, it is easy to let exercise fall to the wayside. Lack of time is usually the best excuse. However, it is during this busy spell that you should make an effort to fit in regular workouts. We all know exercise is good for us. But did you know that a mere 12 minutes is all you need to fit in a workout that will have you burning calories for hours afterwards?

When you think you have no time, here are 12 things that take 12 minutes to do. Rather than doing just one of these things, you could be doing a 12-minute workout.

  1. Facebook. This doesn’t need much of an explanation. Chances are you spend more than 12 minutes a day on social media. Put down your phone/laptop/iPad. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will still be there when you’ve finished.
  2. Personal grooming. Agreed, personal hygiene is essential but is spending more than 12 minutes blow drying and straightening your hair really necessary? Embrace the “just finished my workout and I feel amazing” look.
  3. Playing games. Hands up who spends hours playing Angry Birds or Candy Crush, or doing any other gaming for that matter?
  4. Watching TV. TV can be a horrendous time waster. In the time it takes to watch one half-hour program you could have completed your 12-minute workout, had a shower and be enjoying that post-exercise endorphin rush.
  5. Lying in bed. The early bird catches the worm. Or in this instance, gets the workout done! Set your alarm to go off a mere 15-minutes earlier.
  6. Drinking coffee. How many cups of coffee, tea, or hot drinks for that matter, do you drink in a day. Could you drop just one of those and substitute a workout instead?
  7. Texting. Scroll through your sent items. How many of the texts you sent yesterday were unnecessary? And how long did it take you to send them?
  8. Emails. See above.
  9. Phone calls. It can be easy to spend superfluous time on the telephone. If you’re meeting up with your friend later, keep the phone call brief and instead save the conversation for when you see one another in person.
  10. Online shopping. Sure you might need to order something online but how often do you get distracted by other products or “other customers also bought” items and suddenly you’ve spent half an hour browsing for items you don’t actually need or want?
  11. YouTube (or other online streaming video sites). First you watch one random video, then another, then another.
  12. Reading the newspaper. If you read the newspaper for 15 minutes each morning, then check the news for 15 minutes during lunch and 15 minutes before you go to bed, then add five minutes here and there when you're at work, then count distraction and refocusing time, you will lose at least half a day every week.

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