Everyone knows how important physical activity is. Regular exercise can help you lose weight, and prevent and manage health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one in every five adults gets the recommended amount of exercise.
Why the disconnect?
The CDC says that adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week — which breaks down to 30 minutes of exercise, five days per week. However, with work, family and social commitments, many of us just don't have time to fit exercise into our busy lives.
Don't let that 150 minute figure intimidate you. There are other ways to break it up besides 5, half hour-long workouts. The American Academy of Sports Medicine says that as long as you're active for 10 continuous minutes at a time, it counts as exercise — and it can help your health.
Everyone can carve out 10 minutes of their day to devote to physical activity. Take 10 minutes and:
Walk your dog every morning before work or in the evening after work. Better yet, do both. This will also benefit your dog’s health – and happiness.
Wake up a few minutes earlier and start your day with a short yoga practice, like sun salutations. The moves and deep breaths will energize you so you're ready to tackle the day.
Get off the train or bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to work, if you take public transportation.
Pace around your office or cubicle when you're on a conference call instead of sitting at your desk, if possible. All of those steps will quickly add up.
Start your lunch break with a brisk walk through the office hallways or around the parking lot.
Traipse up and down the stairs of your office building during breaks. You’ll return to your work feeling refreshed and eager to be productive.
Set a timer and speed clean your home for 10 minutes each evening. Having sparkling floors and clutter-free countertops will be an added bonus.
Find a one-mile route by your house and walk (or walk/run) it a few times per week. Time how long it takes you to cover the mile, and make it your goal to beat the previous day’s time.
Get moving during your favorite TV shows rather than sitting on the couch. Do a sequence of jumping jacks, push-ups, sit ups, lunges and squats.
Want dessert after dinner? Earn it. Crank up your favorite tunes and have a dance party in your living room for 10 minutes before you reach for the cookie jar.
Even if you can't fit 15, 10-minute fitness sessions into your week, remember that some exercise is always better than none at all.