Too busy to get to the gym? You're not alone! For busy adults, it can be nearly impossible to find extra hours in the day for a workout, much less a round trip to an exercise facility.
The good news is that you don't actually need an hour at a time—or even half an hour—to exercise "right." Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it's just as effective to log activity in a series of 10-minute sessions, as long as they add up to 150 minutes or more each week.
Consider these options to fit simple workouts into 10-minute windows throughout your day. To burn more calories, step up your intensity.
|Grab this 10-minute window:||Use it to:|
|Waiting for pasta to cook||Do three sets of 10 bodyweight exercises (strength training that doesn't require weights). |
Try a wall sit: With your back against a wall, lower your body until your hips and knees bend at a 90-degree angle and then slide back up.
|During commercial breaks||Keep a set of free weights or arm bands next to your sofa and squeeze in some curls during commercial breaks when watching TV.|
|On a phone call||Stand up and move! Walk around the office, climb a flight of stairs, or do laps around the house.|
|Doing the laundry||Take clean laundry up the stairs in multiple loads to maximize climbing time, or try squats while holding a full basket.|
|Picking up at the end of the day||Since you're already moving, step up the intensity—move faster or add 10 jumping jacks in between each task.|
|Taking a bathroom break||Skip the closest bathroom and head (at a brisk pace) for one that's further away. These simple workouts can lead to big gains.|
|Putting away groceries||Before you store that can of beans, use it for a set of triceps extensions and biceps curls, or wear a pair of wrist wrap weights to add resistance as you put groceries away.|
|Paying bills||Do a set of counter push-ups between each payment. Place your hands slightly further apart than shoulder width. Lower your body to the edge of the counter, then push up to your starting position. |
Over time, lower the height of the surface you use. Do push-ups off the coffee table and, eventually, the floor.
|Hanging with the kids||Play! Get everyone in the family to take a 10-minute screen break and play a game of tag, or hold a push-up contest. |
Find out who in your family can hold plank position the longest. Keep the contest going each day!
Put on some music and dance! Shimmy and shake for three songs.
|Running errands||Whenever you can, walk to the store or bank. If you need to drive, park on the far edge of the parking lot to add as many extra steps as possible. |
Wear an activity tracker to keep close count of steps taken and calories burned as you move through your day.
By Nancy Burtis Boudreau
MedlinePlus, Ways to Burn More Calories Every Day
Harvard Heart Letter, Add Strength Training to Your Fitness Plan
WebMD, Spring Cleaning Calorie Burn
American Cancer Society, Exercise Activity Calculator