You know that you should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. But somehow the time slips by, and you never seem to find that half-hour block. No worries. People who sprinkle activity regularly throughout their day — even in one-minute increments — may get the same blood pressure, cholesterol and waistline benefits as people who exercise in longer, more structured bouts, one study suggests.
Top trainers Chris Freytag, founder of gethealthyu.com, and Lindsay Hunt, founder of walkonthehealthyside.com, share their tips for being more active all day long.
1. While waiting around
Nobody likes standing in line. Here's a full-body exercise routine to help pass the time. Squeeze your behind 10 times. Tighten your stomach muscles 10 times. Stretch your arms downward behind you and squeeze your triceps 10 times. Rise up on your toes and squeeze your calves 10 times.
2. While sitting around
Improve your grip strength by keeping a tennis ball at your desk at work, and another by your favorite chair at home. At least twice a day, grab a ball and squeeze tightly. Hold for five seconds, then release slowly. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each hand.
3. At the supermarket
Build strength by ditching the cart and using your reusable tote bags instead. Sling one over each shoulder and cruise the aisles grabbing what you need. The additional weight is like walking with a pack on, so it boosts your heart rate and your calorie burn.
4. When working at a desk
Sitting is the new smoking: hazardous to your health. If your day includes a lot of chair time, swap a stability ball for your usual perch for 20- to 30-minute periods throughout the day. (Be sure to stand up and walk around frequently, too.) A stability ball builds core strength and may reduce back pain.