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20-Minute Workouts

Finding the motivation to exercise regularly can be tough...but finding the time can be even more challenging. With jobs, kids and extra commitments, today's world is a busier place than ever before. Sometimes, there really aren't enough hours in the day.

But you may be surprised to learn that with a little bit of creativity and effort, you can squeeze in workouts every day. You may not be able to run 10 miles or take an hour-long kickboxing class each day, but it may be easier than you think to incorporate an effective 20-minute workout.

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Revisit your Childhood. Invest in a jump-rope. Sound like something for the kids? Well, it's more strenuous than you may remember from your days on the playground. Jumping rope is a great cardio workout. Start out with short reps and frequent breaks. Gradually increase the amount of time spent jumping. Jumping rope can be a lot of fun, and it's something that can be done inside or out, any time of the year.
Walk, walk, walk. A 20-minute power walk can be highly effective at burning a few calories. Set your alarm to go off 20 minutes earlier, or make a commitment to walk after work, or even take your sneakers to the office and get moving on your lunch break. If you have a treadmill, hop on it for 20 minutes a day. You will be pleasantly surprised how walking is both relaxing and invigorating at the same time. As a bonus, it's something that can be done anywhere.

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Invite a trainer to your house. DVR a workout show and fast-forward through the commercials. Most half-hour workout shows are really only about 20 minutes long without the commercial breaks, and they include a warm-up and cool down. It's enough to get your heart pumping without taking too much time out of your day. Best of all, you don't even have to leave the house to do this one.

Power clean. Who says cleaning isn't a workout? Not someone who's had a half hour to get their house spic-and-span before guests arrive. Pushing a vacuum or hauling one up stairs is a workout in and of itself. Polishing windows and tables takes some elbow grease. If you need to get some cleaning done and you're pressed for time, try setting the microwave timer for 20 minutes and moving as fast as you can. The upside is you'll also get more cleaning done in a shorter amount of time!
Multitask outside. The outdoor world offers many chances for us to work up a sweat and burn some calories. Each season has its own unique heart rate elevators. If you need to shovel snow off your driveway, consider it your workout for the day. Raking a yard full of leaves can be daunting, so aim for 20 minutes each fall day after work. The digging, watering, hauling and up-and-down aspect of gardening is more than enough to burn a few calories. So be a multitasker and exercise while getting outdoor chores accomplished.

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These are just five simple and inexpensive ways to incorporate a small but effective amount of physical activity into each and every day!