You know you should exercise more. But when? Your days are so jam-packed, how can you possibly fit in 30 minutes of exercise on most days, as recommended?
It takes some creative planning. But there are simple, fun ways to make time for aerobic exercise and strength training each week.
Fit in Fitness
- Many chores count as exercise, including washing windows and scrubbing floors.
- Shorter, intense workouts give you some of the same health benefits as longer, moderate workouts. For example, 15 minutes of climbing stairs at an intense pace offers many of the perks that you get with 30 minutes of brisk walking.
- You don't have to exercise for 30 minutes straight. Three 10-minute brisk walks will earn you the same health benefits.
- Strength training isn't just for body builders! 20 minutes two to three times a week is all it takes to gain many of the benefits of strength training. Perform one set (8 to 12 repetitions) per exercise for each muscle group in your body. Studies show that one set is enough to see many health benefits.
- Many stretching exercises can be done just about anywhere. Try them when you're on the phone, waiting in line, or sitting at your desk.
- Try to block out time in your calendar for a quick workout. Even if something comes up and you can't squeeze in the whole workout, do as much of it as you can. Something is better than nothing!
Look for Exercise Opportunities
- Play actively with your children.
- March in place or do arm circles while watching your favorite TV show.
- Schedule active chores, such as vacuuming, washing windows, or cleaning closets.
- Climb stairs as often as you can.
- Walk the dog.
- Stow a pair of walking shoes in your desk for a lunchtime walk.
- Get off the train or bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way to or from work.
- Make it a family habit to take a walk after dinner.
- The next time you're at the grocery store or library, squat down to look at floor-level items and stretch out toward items on high shelves.
- When traveling, choose a hotel with a fitness center or swimming pool. Or get a map and explore a new city on foot.