There's no question that regular exercise is good for you, yet it's one of the hardest habits to commit to. The most common excuse? No time. But the latest research may bring relief for the time-pressed. In the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers proved that even small bouts of exercise (such as a five-minute walk down the block and back) spread throughout the day count as a workout, too. In fact, the researchers determined that these short exercise sessions are just as beneficial to long-term health as longer workouts if they add up to the same amount of time.
The key is consistency. “Start with just five minutes or even 10 minutes, but do it every day,” says fitness instructor and walking coach Michele Stanten. “Then you can increase it if you want.” What matters is that you find some time to move daily. From there, try a few of these strategies to make fitness a reality.
Invest in more than one pair of sneakers.
Keep an extra pair at the office, in your car, or anywhere else you spend a lot of time outside of home, advises Stanten, author of Walk Off Weight and an American Council on Exercise-certified fitness instructor. That way, you can fit in exercise anywhere, anytime. “The easiest way to be active throughout the day is to walk,” she notes. “Plan to get to a doctor's appointment 30 minutes early so you can walk nearby, or put on your sneakers at the shopping plaza and walk to the different stores.” Stashing free weights or resistance bands beside your desk (all the better to use during a long conference call) or in a basket next to the couch (handy when you're between shows) can similarly help you squeeze in some strength training.