Can you really shape up in just minutes a day? A quick workout routine - or simple lifestyle changes -- may fit your goals.
Get Fit the Sneaky Way
So what should you do if you want to improve your fitness and
your health, but can't spare any more time or energy for a workout routine? Try
sneaking in some exercise, suggest some experts. Research has shown that
working activity into your daily life can be as effective as a structured
exercise program in improving long-term cardio-respiratory fitness and blood
Alan Muney, MD, chief medical officer of the Trumbull,
Conn.-based Oxford Health Plans Inc., offers these tips:
- Instead of taking the car for short trips, walk. Walking is a
weight-bearing exercise that strengthens the bones and burns substantial
- Combine a shopping trip with a brisk walk around the mall.
- Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, use the stairs.
- Listen to upbeat music while cleaning the house, and sweep to the
- When traveling for business or pleasure, look for hotels with a gym or a
pool. Pack a resistance band in your suitcase to keep arms and legs toned, and
bring along an exercise tape if the hotel has a VCR.
- When you're traveling by car, stop periodically to stretch or take a short
- Work your neck muscles, shoulders, and back with simple exercises done at
- Do abdominal crunches, push-ups, or leg lifts while lying on the floor
Keep in mind that adding exercise to your schedule, in any way,
in any amount, can also improve other aspects of your life.
"Exercise lifts your mood, boosts your self-esteem, and
reduces your stress," says Calabrese. "If you can manage to make
exercising a priority, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much better you
will be at managing life's tasks.
"In the long run, the time you invest in exercise, even in
small amounts, will come back to you."