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Exercise: Making the Most of Your Time

Your exercise goal is 30 minutes on most days. Aim for a total of 150 or more minutes a week. Not sure you can fit one 30-minute block of exercise time into your day? Split it up into shorter 10- and 15-minute blocks. Do this 2 to 3 times a day. You'll still get all of the benefits of exercise.

Use your whole body

Aerobic exercise works your heart and lungs. Some examples are walking, running, and cycling. Try adding a few other activities, too. This can help you strengthen and stretch many different muscles in your body.

Woman doing stretching exercise.

Strengthen your:

  • Lower legs. Go up and down slowly on your toes while you’re filing papers or washing dishes.

  • Upper legs. Lower yourself slowly into a chair without using your arms.

Stretch your:

  • Back. After you get up from a chair, place your palms on your low back and lean your upper body back.

  • Shoulders and chest. Lift your arms overhead and reach tall while waiting for your computer to warm up.

  • Lower legs. Raise your toes and press them against a wall (with your heel on the ground).

Find a few extra minutes

Try these tips to add some extra exercise and activity to your day:

  • At work. Pick a lunch spot a few blocks away and walk there and back. Take a brisk walk on your break.

  • At home. Ride bikes with your kids. Use an exercise bike in the living room while you watch TV.

  • On errands. Park a few blocks away from where you need to go and walk there. Power-walk in malls by doing a fast lap or two before shopping.

  • At play. Go hiking with friends instead of sitting on a bench. Walk through a street fair instead of sitting in a movie.

Tips for finding exercise time

  • Plan your activity by writing it on a calendar.

  • Find a buddy at work to walk with during a lunch break.

  • Take your kids with you on a short walk after dinner.

  • Post a reminder list of the benefits of being active where you can see it.

  • Set an alarm to tell you when it’s time for an activity break.

Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Trina Bellendir PT
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2021
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