Luckily there's a new approach to exercise that's been developed in universities and scientifically proven, which says you have to work hard but only for two and a half minutes at a time to get results.
The ultimate 'go hard then go home' approach to exercise has been proven to work by several research groups.
Called HIIT, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training (also known as High Intensity Intermittent Training) the exercise regime for the time-poor is based on five 30 second intense workouts.More stories from Today Tonight
It's the cycle of 30 second bursts followed by rest, then repeated four more times.
It works out to two and a half minutes of training, which researchers like Dr Nigel Stepto from Victoria University believe is the equivalent to a 90 minute run.
"Basically most people can only manage five of those 30 seconds," Dr Stepto said.
"It's a really adaptable type of training. It's great, high quality - that if you're running out of time, you could certainly use."
Dr Chris Shaw, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Sport Exercise and Active Living at Victoria University, is now analysing the benefits of tweaking the routine, to determine what specific exercises are most beneficial.
"An alternative to HIIT protocol that we're actually looking at now involves a short warmup again - about one minute bouts at 100 per cent of their aerobic capacity, and dispersed with one minute rests," Dr Shaw said.
Exercise tips from Men's Health to add to the end of your workout.Each exercise: perform for 3 minutes
Choose one of these five exercises:
How Place four cones 10 metres apart. At the first, perform 10 biceps curls. Walk to the next for 10 dumbbell squats. At the third, do 10 bent-over rows. Finish with 10 overhead presses.
Perfect form “Try to keep up on your toes,” says personal trainer Dax Moy.
Bonus Improves endurance and builds muscle.WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ANY WEIGHTS
How Drop into a squat, then jump into the air and land in a crouched position. Jump into a push-up position, do a push-up, then jump up. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds.
Perfect form “Jump as high as you can,” says Moy.
Bonus Improves your flexibility, staving off back problems.IF YOU WANT TOTAL-BODY CONDITIONING
How Set the treadmill at the fastest pace you can manage for 30 seconds. Jog lightly for the next 30, then repeat twice. Better for losing weight than a jog three times as long.
Perfect form Place two cones 25m apart and sprint between them 11 times. “Do it in one minute,” says Fallows.
Bonus You’ll shred that 10-kilometre personal best.'''IF YOU WANT EXPLOSIVE SPEED
How Put a 20-kilogram weight plate on a towel so it moves smoothly across the floor. Push the plate for 40m (in a circle if necessary) before resting for 60 seconds. Repeat.
Perfect form “Take long strides to maximise your muscle tension,” says Moy.
Bonus Increases mental toughness. And polishes the floor.IF YOU LOVE CARDIO
How Stand on a step and, one foot at a time, step off to one side then the other as many times as possible in 60 seconds. Rest, repeat.
Perfect form “Step faster but keep your upper body relaxed
and upright,” says fitness trainer Paul Fallows.
Bonus Will increase your on-court mobility for squash. Or at the packed bar for Friday-night beers.
This reporter is on Twitter at @DamienHansen7