A trainer says these one-minute workouts can help you live a longer, healthier life

Adding a little movement to your day can make a big difference

A smiling man stands outside, holding the ends of a sweat towel that is looped around his neck. He's wearing a light t-shirt and has earbuds in; he also has a sports watch strapped on his wrist.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Finding the time to exercise can be hard, especially if you work a full-time job and have family commitments. But you don’t need to punish yourself with a grueling workout to improve your health. Regular bursts of movement throughout your day are still beneficial—and much more practical.

"The research suggests that, in and of itself, movement increases your health span—how long you are able to stay functional," says Dilan Gomih, a NASM-qualified trainer.

Rather than embarking on an all-or-nothing exercise regime, Gomih suggests adding 60-second mini-workouts into your day and tagging them onto other habits. Going to the bathroom? Try doing 10 squats before you return to your desk. Got a morning full of meetings? Do a 60-second plank between each one.

"Any time you want to create impactful transformation, you start with the simplest possible tweak," she explains. "And everyone can find one minute, no matter what."

The beauty of these workouts is that they’re super short, and Gomih says they’re the gateway to building healthy long-term habits that can keep your body fit and strong. She says you can do any 60-second movement that you find enjoyable but if you’re stuck for ideas, she suggests the following.

Fitness trainer Dilan Gomih is smiling at the camera in a low lunge position. She has long dark hair and wears a long-sleeved sports top and leggings. Her right knee is on the floor, with the right leg extended behind her, while her left knee is bent at 90 degrees and her left foot is on the floor. Her arms are straight and her hands touch the floor for balance.
Dilan Gomih

Dilan Gomih is a NASM-certified personal trainer and the founder of Dilagence, a company that helps organizations and individuals achieve high performance through well-being. She has previously been featured in outlets such as PopsugarOprah Daily, and The New York Times for her expert tips.

1. Squat with arms overhead

Trainer Dilan Gomih performs a squat with her arms held overhead in an empty room. She is wearing leggings, a sports top and sneakers.

(Image credit: Dilan Gomih)
  • Stand with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your arms overhead.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower. Keep your weight in your heels and stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Push back up to standing.

Check you're not making any common mistakes with our guide to how to squat.

How it helps

Gomih explains that a squat is a movement that we do all the time, for example whenever we pick things up or sit down. Keeping your arms up overhead also mimics the real-life activity of putting things away overhead. Copying everyday movement patterns in our training helps us build our functional strength. "It's not just a great workout move, but it is a functional movement that shows up in so many different areas of our lives," says Gomih.

2. Plank

Fitness trainer Dilan Gomih performs a plank in an empty room. She is close to the ground, with her arms straight and hands flat on the floor. The only other point of contact with the floor is her toes. Her body forms a straight line and her gaze is directed at the floor. She is wearing a long-sleeved sports top, leggings and sneakers.

(Image credit: Dilan Gomih)
  • Lie on your front with your forearms on the floor and your elbows under your shoulders.
  • Lift your body so it forms a straight line from head to heels, with your weight supported on your forearms and toes.
  • Hold this position, making sure your hips don’t dip or rise up and your back doesn’t arch. Aim for 60 seconds, but if you can't maintain the straight line start with 30 seconds.

Get more expert form tips in our guide to how to plank.

How it helps

Planks strengthen your core, which are the mid-body muscles responsible for supporting your spine, bending and rotating. Having a weak core can cause back issues, so it’s a good idea to keep this area strong. Gomih says that planks also strengthen your glutes (the muscles in your butt) and your lower back so it’s an effective multi-muscle builder.

3. Glute bridge

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet close to your butt. Your arms can be relaxed by your sides.
  • Push through your feet and lift your body so that it forms a straight line from your knees to your neck.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds then slowly lower back down and repeat.

How it helps

Glute bridges strengthen your glutes (the clue’s in the name) but Gomih says that’s not their only benefit. When done correctly, this move will also strengthen your pelvic floor—an area she thinks is often overlooked in training."Don't sleep on your pelvic floor!" says Gomih. "We should all be training it because we all have pelvic floors." Here are five pelvic floor exercises for women (and men) to try.

Ruth Gaukrodger
Fitness Editor

Ruth Gaukrodger is the fitness editor for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, responsible for editing articles on everything from fitness trackers to walking shoes. A lot of her time is spent setting up testing protocols for our in-depth buying guides and making sure everything is reviewed to a set standard, so you can be confident we only recommend the best products on the market.

When she's not wrestling with equipment in our dedicated testing centre, you can find her pursuing running PBs around the streets of London or improving her yoga skills from the comfort of her living room. She’s a keen believer in working out for enjoyment first and is always open to hearing about new, fun ways to exercise.