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At GO Health we are always trying to encourage our members to stay as active as possible, and to include as much movement and routine exercise as one can. Though, the stress of our busy lives can make this a difficult task to attain. Studies show that we should complete a minimum of 45 minutes of physical activity daily, and the vast majority of us find that solid block of time tough to fit into our busy schedules.

There is a way! You can sneak in small chunks of exercise throughout the day to reach your quota; consider them stolen minutes that all add up, giving you the time you deserve for exercise and you will feel great for it.  The trick is to remove the mindset that you need incorporate a 30-60minute run in your day to get the best benefit of a session, and start considering short, fast bursts. In fact, short higher intensity training (HIIT) has been shown to be more beneficial and you attain results in a shorter period of time. One thing we would encourage that you incorporate into your mini-workouts is weight training. And no, you don’t need to be a bodybuilder to see the benefits of weight training, free weight or body weight lifting for 5-10 minutes throughout the day helps to increase muscle mass, burn fat and it has a longer lasting effect of your metabolism over time. Here are a few exercises you can do if you are hard pressed for time and want to steal a few minutes for yourself every now and then.

Body Weight Training

Using your body weight is a great way to increase your muscle mass. Since it does not involve you having to carry any large bulky equipment, it can be done anywhere from your office cubicle to the privacy of your own home. Exercises such as a lunge, squat or tricep dips on a chair are easy to do and can take 2-5 minutes, depending on how many you want to do or have time for. You can sneak in a few lunges in your office while on the phone, or tricep dips in between doing paperwork at your desk. You could even do a few lunges in the elevator on the way to your next meeting. You will feel the burn, and all those stolen minutes and actions add up at the end.

Raising Your Heart Rate

Getting in the odd bit of cardio during the week for long periods of time can be daunting. However, breaking it up throughout your day can make it a lot easier. There are a few ways that you can rapidly increase your heart rate to get your metabolism going without going for a 45minute run or cycle. If you need to get onto the 4th floor, rather take the stairs at a faster pace than normal, or take two steps at a time. If you avoid using the lift or escalator you can sneak in a few extra minutes per day and possibly increase your leg strength while doing it. If you are in your office or empty space, you could do 20-30 jumping jacks to help increase blood flow in your quick work breaks. If you want to go one step further, Investing in a skipping rope can do wonders for your fitness. Just 30-60 seconds of skipping in one spot can elevate your heart rate to the fat-burning zone and can only have positive influences on your health and body.

General Daily Tasks

We all love to park as close to the shopping center as possible, and once in, we generally make a beeline for our store of choice. Next time you need to visit the store, try parking further away from the entrance (you will no doubt also get a parking far more easily) and make sure your walking speed is at a higher tempo. This could be a very brisk walk and it will take you just as long to have to wait for a parking close to the entrance.

Internet Videos or DVD’s

When you are rushed for time, and you literally have 5 or 10 minutes to yourself in the morning, any Internet videos or DVD’s can be a life saver as well as a workout time saver. Going online at any point gives you a large array of home workout videos and 5-10 minute workout sessions. The DVD can be packed into your laptop bag if you are traveling, which adds to its convenience.  By giving yourself those 10 minutes in the morning, you are setting yourself up for a positive and healthy day ahead, not to mention you will feel great, and it’s 10 minutes down in your total daily exercise goal. So go ahead, start searching for tomorrow’s fast session.

Whether you have time to give to your training regime or not, there are many ways in which you can go about your daily life and still include the odd body weight session, or even if you chose the more active option like stairs or walking. By making the healthy choices you will be adding a little bit more strength and fitness to your daily routine and ultimately will feel much better about your health and overall wellness.

Tips:

  1. If you don’t have time for a long session of training, try to include short, higher intensity sessions into your day. It all adds up in the end.
  2. Did you know that shorter and more intense sessions can be more beneficial to muscle growth and fat loss than long, slower sessions?
  3. Pull out that skipping rope or take the stairs; there are ways that you can get your cardio into your daily routine even when you are pressed for time.
  4. Why not wake up a little earlier and give yourself a quick 10-minute strength session before work; you will be amazed at how beneficial those 10 minutes can be.