Sure, you’re well aware that you should exercise, but if it’s a struggle to make time in your busy life for fitness, rest assured you’re not alone. While the CDC recommends aiming for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking each week, plenty of people find it difficult to cram those pockets of “free time” into their already jam-packed schedules.
Instead, take a new approach and sneak “microbursts” of activity into your day. Research shows that even brief amounts of exercise can help you fortify your heart and lung health, manage your weight, and simply boost your overall well-being. The best part is that you may be more likely to stick with your fitness plan because it’s easier to fit into your hectic day.
Your fitness mission—and we hope that you’ll accept it—is to take a stealthy approach to fitting in more fitness with these sly (and simple) techniques:
Schedule physical activity just like you would any other appointment. Set a timer or reminder on your calendar so you remember to get up from your chair and stretch or go for a walk.
While watching TV, resist the urge to morph into a couch potato. Get up on your feet to walk or jog in place, practice yoga, lift weights, or walk on a treadmill.
Take a few minutes to pull weeds or do other yardwork. You’ll increase your heart rate and at the same time boost your home’s curb appeal.
Tackle that to-do list. Paint the bathroom, organize your closet, or clean out your garage. You’ll be amazed at how much physical energy these tasks require.
Toss a Frisbee or softball outside for a few minutes with your kids or a friend.
Walk or bike ride through a park or neighborhood you’ve never explored before.
Take as many opportunities as possible to travel by foot, such as walking to restaurants or local attractions.