Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. We often put other’s needs above our own, even when we recognize the truth of the adage, "If you don’t take care of yourself, you may not be around to take care of others."
But even a small amount of exercise can deliver significant results. Research indicates that 10 minutes of exercise can provide the benefits of a 30-minute walk.
Consider these ways to "sneak" exercise into your busy life. Make these movements a daily ritual, and you’ll quickly feel the difference.
- While showering, do push-ups against the wall.
- Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth. This will both build lower-body strength and improve your balance.
- Perform a squat while loading the dishwasher.
- Run up the stairs, and walk down sideways.
- Stand up after responding to three or four e-mails.
- Send your document to a print station a good distance away from your desk.
- Leave your desk at lunchtime – never eat at your desk!
- At the top of each hour, stretch your spine by reaching around the back of your chair.
- Walk around during conference calls.
- While driving, press your head against the headrest. This will strengthen neck muscles that have been weakened by hours at the computer.
- When you stop for traffic or a red light, press your palms against the steering wheel with your arms extended.
- Time yourself while cleaning up the kitchen, and try to increase your speed the next time.
- While watching TV, do crunches and leg lifts during commercial breaks.
- Do bicycle crunches in bed while watching TV or reading a book.
Andrea Metcalf has been teaching fitness and nutrition and training clients since 1983. She is the author of the book Naked Fitness and has produced a number of fitness DVDs. You can follow her on Twitter at @Andreametcalf.