[IMGCAP(1)]It’s that time again—busy season is fast approaching, workloads are beginning to increase, and the words “personal time” are beginning to sound like a foreign language to you. Realistically, the time available to work out and stay in shape will be minimal at best, so the strategy that you implement for your workout routine must be both time-efficient and effective. Otherwise, the accounting industry’s version of every college student’s “Freshman 15” will be a harsh reality.

Here are some exercise substitutions that will make your workout more challenging and create more calorie burn, providing you with just the right formula to get through busy season.

Substitute the leg extension, leg curl, and leg press machines with squats
Movements that require our legs to function optimally include walking, running, jumping, lifting and sprinting. Yet, when in the gym, many gym goers opt for leg exercises that place you in a seated position. Though applicable in some cases, these exercise selections do not make your legs function in the manner in which Mother Nature intended. So instead, escape your comfort zone of sitting and start squatting. This exercise will work all of the musculature of legs and require that you keep your core stable, with the added benefit of some abdominal training.

Substitute biceps curls with rows
One of the most popular exercises in modern-day gyms is the biceps curl. With limited time during busy season, it would be unwise to focus on such a small muscle group, taking precious workout time away from other more important body parts. Try switching out biceps curls with row exercises like the cable row or inverted row. These exercises will not only work your biceps, but also strengthen the muscles in your back, making it especially important for maintaining proper posture throughout your seated workday.

Substitute triceps extensions with push ups
Similar to biceps curls, triceps extensions only work a small muscle group. One of the oldest exercises available to you is the push-up. Even though push-ups are considered a pectoral exercise, they also work your core and triceps, making it a perfect candidate for your time-efficient workout.

Substitute 60 minutes of treadmill/elliptical with 15 minutes of intervals
This change will easily decrease your workout time by 50 percent or more. Instead of jumping on a treadmill and trudging for 60 long minutes, challenge yourself with anaerobic intervals that have a much more significant impact on your health and wellness. The rules are simple. Run/sprint for 30 seconds and then walk/jog 60 seconds to allow your body to recover from the intensity of the sprinting. You can also do this on the elliptical trainer or outdoors if running on a treadmill sounds like a hazard to you. Repeat this pattern until the 15 minutes are over. Believe me, 15 minutes will never feel so long. Enjoy!

Luke Sniewski currently works as a CPA as well as a Fitness Consultant. He works by weaving the health and wellness world with the business professional world. Working with companies and business professionals, his organization, LEAF, teaches the PAIN CPE course series that aims to improve the overall quality of life through the implementation of proactive lifestyles. Visit www.leaflifestyle.com for more details.