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No time for excuses: An effective 15-minute workout

Woman doing plank twists

This time of year, the excuses for not exercising regularly might  have piled up faster than the mashed potatoes on your plate at Thanksgiving (was it really over three months ago already?).  After the holidays and the social engagements that came with them, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think that you don’t have an hour to spare for your usual spin class.   Falling into this trap is probably all too familiar for most of us; one missed workout becomes a dozen, and then the next thing you know, you wake up in a post-holiday food coma with a few extra pounds to spare.

The good news is, you can banish those “no time to work out” excuses for good and beat the last of that leftover holiday weight gain with a workout that will take you just 15 minutes! Research shows that, while most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise per day, getting an even shorter sweat session in can not only help to burn off some of that pumpkin pie, but it can also still help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even prolong your life expectancy.[1] That’s worth making the time for, right?

Here’s a 15-minute total-body workout that you can do in your home, without any equipment whatsoever (eliminating yet another common excuse!).  For this workout, you’ll need to set a timer for 15 minutes, and then perform each of the exercises below in order.  As soon as you’re finished with one round, do the entire circuit again – try to fit in as many rounds as possible before the time’s up.  Since it is such a short workout, you’ve got to make every second count – keep the intensity high, resting briefly only as needed.

Oh, and if you want to up the ante, write down how many rounds you complete during the workout, and then try to beat your score every time!


–       20 Jumping Jacks

–       20 Squats or Jump Squats

–       10 Push-ups

–       20 Speed Skaters

–       20 Plank Twists

–       10 Burpees

*Please include a short warm-up before starting the timer (think: jogging or marching in place, arm circles and cross-body toe touches), and don’t forget to stretch at the end.


There you have it!  A workout that can whip you into shape faster than you can make gravy.  Speaking of which, if you are stuck in the kitchen this holiday season and have more time to spare, feel free to set your timer for 20 or 30 minutes, or do the 15-minute version twice a day.


[1] WebMD.  “15 Minutes of Exercise Every Day Reduces Risk of Death.”

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing