Throughout my years of personal training and coaching I have heard every excuse as to why someone didn’t get to exercise during the week.  We all have busy lives with family, work, travel, or school but we also have choices to make every day.  Bottom line, if it’s important to you then you will make it happen!  It doesn’t even have to take an hour to get health benefits from exercise.  Although 30 minutes of daily activity is ideal – every little bit counts!  In fact, a new study has come out that even shorter amounts can lead to a longer life.

A new study in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that running for as little as five minutes a day could significantly lower a person’s risk of premature death from heart disease and gain about three extra years of life.  This is very encouraging because most people can fit in five minutes a day of running, biking vigorously or even jump rope.

Also, exercising doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.”  There are opportunities throughout the day where you can do something active.

Here are some ways you can incorporate short bouts of physical activity into your day:

• Walk or bike to work. (If this isn’t an option, walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back before you get in your car to head off to work – same on the way home.)

• Take the stairs whenever you can.

• Walk for 10 minutes before sitting down to eat lunch (or dinner) and bring the family too!

• See if a meeting with a co-worker can be taken outside to walk and talk.

• Take a break from staring at your computer with a quick walk around the office for 10 minutes.

• Workout DVDs. Put it on and do part of it for 10 minutes.

• While watching TV, use the commercial time to do squats, lunges and/or crunches.

• Park further away from the entrance of a store.

• Exercise in the morning before you start your busy day (within the first half hour/before breakfast).


Paula Smith, ACE CPT