Easy Ways to Exercise at Home or Work
Can fitting extra movement into your day really help you get fit?
You know you should do it: Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk the
rest of the way to the office, or park your car at the far edge of the mall
parking lot. But can this kind of everyday activity really be considered
exercise? Can taking the stairs instead of the elevator really make you
healthier and more fit?
"Absolutely," says exercise physiotherapist Geralyn Coopersmith,
senior manager of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute in New York and the
author of Fit and Female: The Perfect Fitness and Nutrition Game Plan for
Your Unique Body Type.
"You can get in shape and reduce your risk of developing
heart disease or type 2 diabetes with everyday activities such as taking the
stairs, walking more, and lifting your children," she tells WebMD.
"Will it prepare you for a marathon? Probably not," she quips.
"But will it keep from dropping dead of a heart attack? Quite
Exercise: Every Little Bit Helps
The good news is there are lots of simple ways to sneak some easy exercise
into your daily routine at home or work, she says.
"We are such an all-or-nothing society, but at the end of the day you
are better suited to spend five minutes walking in place then to say 'I can't
train for the marathon, so I am not going to do anything,'" Coopersmith
"Nothing is a problem, something is good, and more is better up to a
point," adds exercise physiologist Robyn Stuhr, executive vice president of
the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in San Diego, Calif. "I think people
hesitate when they think they have blown a big workout opportunity, but you
don't always need to do a whole routine. Anything you can do to increase
activity over the course of the day is good."
Define anything? "Just walking, as opposed to taking a car, is
significant and can make a difference in your weight and heart health,"
If you really want to burn some calories? Climbing the stairs is a great
weight loss exercise. "You can't beat them," she says. "Take every
other step so you are really working your legs more. This can really make it a