We all know exercising is important, if not crucial, to living your best life. But finding the TIME to make it all happen is the difficult part. We’ve done a little research and come up with a handful of exercises that are effective yet won’t take up a whole lot of time in your busy schedule (these are as much for me as for everyone else)! As always, consult a doctor if you have any prior injuries before trying a new exercise.

With any of these exercises, it’s important to maintain mindfulness. We love these simple reminders from Ace Fitness, which encourage you to concentrate on your breathing, to incorporate meditation techniques into your workout, as well as balance training. Peaceful music helps, too!

Bodyweight Squat

Photo credit: Spartan

As you’ll see in the video from Spartan, this exercise is one you can do in your living room pretty easily! First, stand as tall as you can with your feet spread slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Arms should be straight out in front of your body at shoulder level and parallel to the floor. Torso should be as upright as you can, with lower back slightly arched. Brace your abs, and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Take a small break, then push yourself back to the starting position. Try and do 15 to 20 repetitions (if you’re able)!

Hip Raise

Photo credit: FitnessGoals.com

Here’s another one that you can do easily on a comfy rug or yoga mat. Lie on your back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat. Arms should be out to your sides at a 45-degree angle, palms facing up. Now try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold —this gives you a tight core—while breathing normally. Next, keeping your core tight, squeeze glutes and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to knees. Hold for five seconds—squeezing your glutes tightly—then lower body back to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions (or as many as you can).

Side Plank

Photo credit: Pop Sugar Photography

The side plank is good for anyone suffering from lower back issues (me!). First, lie on your right side with knees straight. Prop your upper body on your right elbow and forearm, which should be below your right shoulder. Next, put your left hand on your left hip. Make that tummy as skinny as possible and hold it that way, giving you a tight core, while breathing normally. Then raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from ankles to shoulders. With your core tight, hold this position for 30 seconds (or as long as you can). Roll onto your other side and repeat.