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February 16, 2012 | 2 minute read

4 Ways to Fit in Fitness

“I don’t have time to exercise.”

Sound familiar? We all know many benefits of physical activity such as helping with weight, stress relief and lowering risk for some cancers, but still we have trouble fitting it in. If you’re one – keep reading for evidence-based ways you can get active without committing to one long block of time.

  1. Break Time. If you spend your days and evenings at a desk, TV or computer – make an effort to get up every so often. Use TV commercial breaks to run in place, do push-ups or put on some music and dance. Set a computer timer to remind you every 30 minutes to stand up & move. Research shows this makes a difference. Check out this video for a great office workout.
  2. Add It Up. Take at least three 10-minute periods every day to do something physically active. For example, walk around the block, sweep the sidewalk, wash your car (with a bucket and rag) or jump rope. You’ll get some exercise and you may also find that you have more energy or improved focus.
  3. Energy Burst. Try interval training so you can do more in less time. Here’s how it works: you’re out for a 10 minute walk, so start with your normal pace for a few minutes, then walk as rapidly as you can for a minute or two so your heart beats faster. Then take a few minutes to recover. Repeat. Adding a bit of vigorous activity to your moderate exercise can help you become more fit and burn a few more calories in the same amount of time. Read this HealthTalk column for more information.
  4. Energy Burst Plus. A New York Times article reports on a high intensity interval training (HIIT) study where sedentary adults (both healthy and with cardiovascular disease) improved their health with short workouts spread over just a few weeks. Their routine was to do one minute of strenuous effort followed by one minute of easy recovery. They did this “1-minute routine” 10 times for a total time of 20 minutes. Many participants said they preferred this routine to longer, moderate activity.

If you’re already doing your 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity – great! If not, try one of these ideas to get started.

And please share – how do you fit in fitness?

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