Thursday, April 23, 2009

No Time To Exercise? Try 10-Minute Exercise Bursts

High angle view of businessman stretching on a purple mat in office setting

The recommended amount of exercise determined by fitness
gurus and physicians is 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. This
may be more than you have time for, especially if your job
is demanding or you have children.

Identify New Opportunities

Exercising is always possible provided you just squeeze it
into your schedules in a more resourceful manner. Get off
your couch and start moving around, advises fitness guru Ann
Grandjean. Every bit of chore inside your house is an
opportunity to get fit. The trick is to get yourself moving
- clear out the attic, do some gardening, walk to the
grocery store. Any activity that expends energy also burns
up calories.

Don't Waste Your Mini-breaks on Coffee

If you are thinking that short spurts of exercise wouldn't
affect your fitness level, you're in for a surprise. One
recent study showed that participants who spread out their
exercise throughout the day into 10-minute blocks are
disposed to exercise regularly, and shed more pounds in 5
months, compared to most women who'd rather work out
straight for an hour.

What the Professionals Have to Say

In Virginia, exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser recently
conducted a study in which subjects exercised for 10 minutes
at a time. He determined that 15 sets of 10-minute workouts
caused those who did them to essentially turn back time.
Participants who followed this regimen were rewarded after
one month when Gaesser found that their levels of fitness
matched those of men and women 20 years their junior.

Splitting exercise into smaller blocks during your busy days
can build your confidence, says time management consultant
Harold Taylor. Missing out on regular gym sessions shoots
down your momentum and motivation. You may surmise that
fitness training isn't worth pursuing anymore because you
just don't have the time for it. However, if you can manage
to squeeze in some exercise opportunity any way you find it,
however small it is, it somehow encourages you to hang in
there and stay on.

Not a Replacement

Remember, however, that short exercise blocks are intended
to make use of available free time; it should not take the
place of your existing fitness program. Here are some
practical tips to squeeze exercise in your daily routine
even if you "don't have the time." Don't tackle all of them
in one day; simply choose the ones that work for you.

* When you pick up the morning paper, take a quick 5-minute
walk up the street and back again.

* If you're stuck at home to care for a sick child, work on
the exercise bike or Stair walker while your "patient" is

* Set aside a few minutes to do jumping jacks. You can burn
90 calories in just 10 minutes this way.

* Do a few sets of upright push-ups while standing at the
kitchen counter. This works your arms and shoulders.

* Go outside and shoot some baskets or play tag with your
children after dinner.

* Take a moment to do a few dumbbell exercises before going
to bed each night. Sheila Cluff, a professional exercise
instructor at The Palms in Palm Springs, CA, leaves a set of
dumbbells in her bathroom.

* Join your kid at baseball or football practice and walk
laps around the field.

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