It seems there is never enough time to fit all that you’d like to do into a day. But scanning headlines to get your current events isn’t the only time saving hack available. If the minimum recommended amount of exercise (30 minutes, five days a week) seems tricky to nail down, realize that it doesn’t have to be done consecutively! In fact, incorporating short 10-minute bouts or “mini workouts,” among your regular activities, might even be more effective than a sustained session, according to a study from Arizona State University.
Check out these five ways to seamlessly fit exercise into your busy day.
1. Meetings on the move
Don’t think that a lunchtime spin class is the only way to incorporate some exercise into your work day. If your days are long and chock full of meetings, consider taking those meetings outside. If no visual aids or presentations are required, you can have the discussion en route to/from the closest coffee shop instead. Even doing laps around the building while you strategize can be an effective use of time.
2. Turn your errands into exercise
The mall is a great place to quickly cover lots of ground, and accumulate your 10-minute exercise bout in no time! Make sure to park far away, so the parking lot trek can count toward your steps. If you have appointments located close enough together that you can walk, plan accordingly and leave the car at home (enjoy the added bonus of not needing to hunt for parking!) And when faced with an escalator, ALWAYS take the stairs.
3. Commercial break crunches
Kick the couch potato time up a notch by doing a short circuit of callisthenics such as lunges, push-ups, and crunches for full-body toning, during commercial breaks. If streaming your shows commercial free, you can do this during the slow parts instead, or make your own timed breaks.
4. Socialize outside
Exercising lightly while catching up with a friend makes the activity more enjoyable, plus is an efficient use of time. Swap your next post-work cocktails for a stroll in the park with coffees. Your liver will thank you, you’ll get your steps in, and you’ll likely sleep more soundly. It’s a win-win all around.
5. Meditate before bed
If meditation seems impossible – and it is much harder than you might think to silence your thoughts! – you can light some candles and try some easy yoga stretches to calm your body and mind before bed. And for the ultimate relaxation experience, slip into the hot tub right afterwards to drain the stress of the day and ease any muscle tension.