Five ways to find ten minutes to exercise

by Ali on September 5, 2008

Do you promise yourself that you’ll fit in three gym sessions every week – and then end up working late every night? Do you have brief enthusiasm for the idea of jogging for an hour every morning – then have second thoughts when your alarm goes off at some unearthly hour? Are you just too busy to find a whole hour or two to exercise?

The good news is that you don’t have to exercise in one long session to see benefits. Some experts even think several short bursts are better, as you can work hard during each. So here’s five ways to sneak just ten minutes’ exercise into your day. If you can manage three of these every day, you’ve met your minimum target.

1. Get off the bus a stop early, or park the car at the far side of the car park

If you walk for five minutes from the bus stop or from your car to the office, then do the same on the way back home, that’s ten minutes’ walking. By itself, not a lot, but it’ll add together with your other exercise over the course of the day…

2. Do squats and lunges whilst waiting for the office urn to boil

Instead of sighing and tapping your foot whilst waiting for the water in the office urn to heat up, do squats and lunges instead. The average kettle takes a little over three minutes to boil, so if you drink three cups of tea a day, that’s ten minutes’ exercise…

3. Take a break to walk around the corridors

When you’re getting stressed out with work, or when you just need to give your eyes a rest from the screen, have a five minute walk around the corridors. (If you run into your boss, just do the “I’m on an urgent mission, can’t stop and chat” face.) Have one “power walk” in the morning and one in the afternoon, and you’ve clocked up another ten minutes’ exercise.

4. Get outside at lunch time

However busy you are, make sure you get out of the building at lunch time. Even if you just head to the sandwich shop and back, you’ll probably get something healthier for lunch than you would in the canteen – and you’ll have managed a good ten minutes’ walking. You’ll be in a better frame of mind for the afternoon, too.

5. Do sit-ups and weight-training in the advert breaks

If you watch television in the evening, get your weights out first (use cans, or plastic bottles filled with water, if you don’t have any weights). Do some simple stretches and weight-training exercises during each advert break – you can easily manage ten minutes’ worth during an average show.

It’s as simple as that: even the busiest of us can squeeze ten minutes of exercise in, three times a day.

(Image above by (eric).)

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