Short Bouts of Exercise Can Make a Big Difference

Short Bouts of Exercise Can Make a Big Difference

Short Bouts of Exercise

Short bouts of exercise can be extremely effective!

Too busy to exercise? Can’t face that long grueling workout at the gym? Studies show that short bouts of exercise several times a day can help you fulfill, and even go beyond the federal guidelines for physical activity—provided it all adds up to 30 minutes a day.

This is great news for busy people who have a hard time carving out a big chunk of time for exercise. Not only can short bouts of exercise improve your health, they also help you offset that inclination toward a sedentary lifestyle—that is, sitting at a desk all day and coming home to watch TV on the couch. Instead, when you structure your exercise into easy 10-minute sessions three times day, you’re more bound to get it done. Think: a wake-up dance in the morning, a brisk walk at lunch, and a short run at night!

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If you’re just starting out, short bouts of exercise might feel less daunting than facing a trainer and heavy weights. The trick is to find what you love and do it three times a day, or mix ‘n match your favorites. You can even refashion normal household chores in a more active way to exploit their exercise potential. Just remember, every movement you do during the day counts.

Here are 7 ways to incorporate short bouts of exercise into your day:

Walk your talk. Take a brisk 10-minute walk around the block. To raise your heart rate, strap on a backpack or carry a toddler around. If you keep your brisk rate going, you could even use a headset to return phone calls.

Work the house. Schedule a vigorous household chore in 10-minute bouts and give it your all. Shoveling snow, raking leaves, and vacuuming can all get your heart rate up.

Park and walk. For active life-stylers, good parking places aren’t the ones closest to the front door. They’re the ones in the back of the parking lot that give you the opportunity to walk to the entrance!

Park and cycle. Rethink the way you use your car. Park a few miles from your destination, take out your bike, and cycle the rest of the way there.

Take the stairs. Don’t be daunted by nine flights. Start with one and add a flight each week. Ten minutes is a long time to climb stairs but each flight will improve your heart and strengthen your bones.

Get off the train. If you regularly take the subway or bus, get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. Skipping to your destination is a fun way to push your heart rate even more.

What do you do to add exercise to your day? Tell us your tips on Twitter!


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