Finding time to break a sweat at the gym can be daunting when we are already juggling a demanding work schedule and a full social calendar. Studies show, however, that all it takes is 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week to lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease and lengthen your lifespan. With the right planning, you can create a quick and effective workout — and reach your fitness goals in that half-hour.

Here are some tips to help you get the benefits you want, in the time you have.

Have Your Workout Routine Planned

When you step into the gym, you should know exactly what you are going to do in that 30 minutes. You do not want to be person who randomly walks around from one machine to another.

Prepare Yourself

Fully prepared yourself for your gym visit. Untangle your headphones, create a playlist at home, fill your water bottle, etc – all of these things add up and waste precious gym time.

Avoid Peak Hour

Schedule your workouts around peak gym hours when possible. That way, you have your choice of exercise equipment and avoid waiting for a machine.

Utilize High-Intensity Interval

You can maximize your workout with some high-intensity intervals. Alternate one minute of high-intensity activity with two minutes of steady-paced exercise. For example, try sprinting intervals during your treadmill workout or adding bursts of plyometrics to your strength training routine.

Multitask Your Muscles

Another way to maximize your calorie burn is by performing multiple moves that work several muscles at once. For example, do crunches on a stability ball to engage your entire core as well as your arms and legs. The more muscles you can work at once, the less time you’ll spend at the gym.

Create A Shower Strategy

If you shower at the gym after your workout, create a game plan to get you in and out of the locker room. If you take a group exercise class, bring your towel and flip flops to class with you, so you can hit the showers directly once class is over. You’ll avoid stopping by your locker and waiting in line.