Don't despair if you can't fit in the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise. Growing evidence suggests that even half that much can help. A study by the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan found those who exercised just 15 minutes a day — or 90 minutes a week — cut their risk of death by 14 percent and extended their life expectancy by three years compared with those who did no exercise. Here are some tips for fitting even small amounts of exercise in your day.
- When you go outside to pick up your morning newspaper, take a brisk 5-minute walk up the street in one direction and back in the other.
- Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. (A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.)
- Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups or squats while you wait for a pot to boil.
- After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids and their friends.
- Walk around the block several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson. As your fitness level improves, add 1-minute bursts of jogging to your walks.
- While your son or daughter plays a soccer game, walk around the field.
- If you have a meeting in another building, leave 5 or 10 minutes early (or take some time afterward), and do some extra walking.
- On breaks, spend 5 to 10 minutes climbing stairs.
- If you're pressed for time and must wait for an elevator, do heel lifts or balance on one foot and then the other.
- Use a ringing phone as an excuse to do some stretches.
- During commercials, jog or march in place. A 150-pound woman can burn up to 45 calories in 5 minutes.
- Do leg lifts with small weights while you watch The Weather Channel, cooking shows, movies, or the news.
Have any tips for fitting in exercise? Share below!