In an increasingly hectic society getting enough daily exercise can seem like a chore. When you’re already barely keeping on top of your schedule as it is, you wonder how to add thirty minutes of exercise. But, it can be done. The trick—change the way you think about physical activity. Exercise doesn’t have to be thirty minutes on the elliptical or a fitness class at the gym. Studies have shown that short bouts of physical activity throughout the day can be just as beneficial as spending thirty to forty-five minutes exercising.
1. Morning Five
Many people have a hard time waking up in the morning but taking five minutes to wake body with physical activity can help get your circadian clock set for the day. Roll out of bed and stretch for five minutes. It will wake up stiff muscles and create better body awareness throughout the day. If stretching isn’t your thing, do a wall squat while you brush your teeth and take an extra trip up the stairs for a short burst of cardio.
2. Park with Purpose
Park far from the entrance of the grocery store or your office building. Skip the elevator and escalator and take the stairs. The extra steps you take as you do your everyday activities will add up. These quick five-minute bursts get your heart pumping enough for long-term health benefits.
3. Cut Lunchtime Short
Take a short walk around the block at lunchtime. If you only have thirty minutes for lunch, leave the last five for a stroll with a colleague. For those with a longer lunchtime, a ten to fifteen-minute walk can help your digestion, clear your mind, and rejuvenate you for the rest of the day.
4. Strategic Family Time
Use your after-dinner family time wisely. While it’s easy to sit down together and watch a movie, why not walk through your neighborhood. For parents, taking the kids to the park can be fun exercise for everyone. Play soccer with your kids or push them in the swing to get your blood flowing. For those without kids, explore the local area. Try nature trails or parks for a change of scenery. Invite along friends or family to make it a social event too.
It Adds Up
As you change your mind set, these few extra minutes of exercise throughout the day begin to add up. Before you know it, you will have created a new set of healthy habits that will change the way you look and feel.