Let’s be real: An hour-long workout sounds so much more intimidating than a sequence that takes just half an hour to complete. If you’re struggling to find motivation to work out during the day, the best advice is to start small. By committing to a 30-minute full-body workout during your lunch break, you can maximize your time and still get in an effective workout.
Niki Klasnic, better known to her followers as Niki SugarySixPack, loves quick and effective workouts that are designed to help you reach your goals. Niki became a full-time trainer in 2014 after realizing she missed the athletic training she did in college as a D1 track and cross country runner. Today, she shares her SugarySixPack workouts in her fitness app, and has amassed a nearly 300K follower community on Instagram. Her fitness programs are known for being easy to start, easy to commit to, and fun to participate in. So why does Niki love 30-minute workouts so much?
“Over time, I’ve found that it’s the sweet spot where ‘I’m too busy’ and ‘effective, feel good workout’ meet,” she explains. “When the 30 minutes is used efficiently, it can be something that really gets you to your goals, gets you stronger and helps you feel your best.”
Although Niki specializes in pre- and post-natal training, she has diverse workouts that anyone can do, even if you’re just starting your fitness journey. Niki’s curated workouts are “a mix of cardio and strength,” but she’s quick to note that you shouldn’t be intimidated by the words “strength training.” Her routines are not about “heavy gym strengthening or Olympic lifting, but more about finding ways to build strength and endurance at home while hopefully making it fun,” she says.
Having fun is key to finding a workout routine that you enjoy, and one you’ll stick with.
“Enjoying what you’re doing is such a big part of staying consistent for most of us,” she says. “I love to utilize different circuit styles and ways to make the 10- to 50-pound weights at home really do the job.”
If you’re struggling to find time and motivation, Niki has been there herself, and understands what it’s like. That’s why she built programs to squeeze into busy days.
“I definitely understand the feeling of too much to do, no time, and being tired. [As the mom of a 1-year-old and 3-year-old], there’s never a dull moment, and I treasure when there’s a stretch of nights no one wakes me up,” says Niki. “It can sound harsh, but when we make it a top priority, it can happen. Most of us have 30 minutes that we use for something else, whether it’s catching up on Instagram or TV. Taking that 30 minutes and making it a workout that gives you energy, clears your mind, and makes you feel accomplished seems like the worst choice at the moment, but doing it makes you feel so much better, especially over time! It can be a huge mood and energy boost that most of us need,” she says.
In Niki’s app, she recommends jumping straight into her “30-Minute Fit” programs, where each workout is under 32 minutes. Each workout includes both a warm-up and a cool-down, which accounts for the extra two minutes. Niki even has tailored workouts by body part that are also just 30 minutes long, like her upper body strengthening routine.
A total body workout flow that’s just 24 to 30 minutes long is a great workout to try if you find yourself with a quick lunch break and time to fit in a workout.
Additional “30-Minute Fit” full-body workouts in Niki’s app include:
If you have a little bit less time on your hands but still want to sweat, try:
About the author
Brittany Leitner is an award winning poet and journalist who specializes in health, wellness, beauty, and travel writing. She previously held editorial positions as the senior lifestyle editor of Elite Daily and the managing editor of DoctorOz.com. She's currently based in Brooklyn, New York.