Easy activity ideas to do in 5, 10 or 15 minutes

Published January 17, 2017

Life busier than ever? We hear you! When you find yourself in a time crunch use the minutes you have to spare to mix simple activity into your daily life with these ideas from Weight Watchers Magazine’s fitness expert, James Trevorrow, from Virgin Active.

If you’ve got 5 minutes…

Stand up                                                       

  • Get up off the sofa and exercise during the commercial breaks of your favourite TV shows. Do this in all the breaks and you’ll notch up a few minutes workout.
  • Stand up and sit back down again as many times as you can to give your thigh muscles a workout.
  • To get even more out of this, pace around the room before sitting down again when the show is back on.

March around

  • March on the spot while you brush your teeth, for at least two minutes.
  • Raise your heels up and down while brushing. Afterwards, hold your arms out to your sides at shoulder height and circle them forwards then backwards for 30 seconds. This is great for toning.

If you’ve got 10 minutes…

Have an active catch-up

  • Seeing friends for a coffee? Meet in the park first and then head out for a 10-minute walk before your skinny latte.
  • Feeling adventurous? You could also use the park for other exercises together – do some triceps dips against the benches, or some lunges.


  • Get in a full body workout while you give the house a tidy.                    
  • Reach up to high shelves and squat down to reach lower cupboards, to work your arms, legs and glutes.
  • Lifting a few heavy items (without straining!) will help tone up your arms.                                                                                      

If you’ve got 15 minutes…

Wash the car

  • Clean your car by hand instead of taking it to the car wash. Use a bucket and sponge, and put lots of effort into bending and stretching. Polish it all over as fast as you can.

Shop smarter

  • Ditch the car and walk to the shops.                                                                   
  • Make a point of buying some heavy things, like laundry detergent and a large container of milk, so you have to carry some weight on the way home.
  • Move briskly to raise your heart rate.
  • It doesn’t just have to be the weekly big shop – browse local food markets or do daily trips to the butchers or specialty shops, then walk home carrying your wares.