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Fitting in fitness: Finding time for physical activity
Work out at work
To fit in more physical activity while you're on the job:
- Make the most of your commute. Walk or bike to work. If you ride the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way.
- Take the stairs whenever you can. If you have a meeting on another floor, get off the elevator a few floors early and use the stairs. Better yet, skip the elevator entirely.
- Take fitness breaks. Rather than hanging out in the lounge with coffee or a snack, take a short walk.
- Start a lunchtime walking group. The regular routine and the support of your co-workers may help you stick with the program.
- Put it on the calendar. Schedule physical activity as you would any other appointment during the day. Don't change your exercise plans for every interruption that comes along.
- Take it on the road. If you travel for work, plan ahead. Bring your jump-rope or choose a hotel that has fitness facilities. If you're stuck in an airport waiting for a plane, grab your bags and take a walk.
More tips for fitting in fitness
Here are a few more ways you can add more activity to your routine:
- Get more out of errands. When you go to the mall or grocery store, park toward the back of the lot and walk the extra distance. If you have a little extra time, walk inside for a lap or two before you start shopping. Keep a pair of walking shoes in your car so that you're ready when you find a few minutes for exercise.
- Plan active outings. Make a date with a friend to hike in a local park, or take a family trip to the zoo.
- Get social. Try a dance club, hiking group or golf league. Encouragement from others can help you stay with a new activity.
- Join a team. Sign up for a softball, soccer or volleyball team through your local parks and recreation department. Making a commitment to a team is a great motivator.
- Join a fitness club. Sign up for a group exercise class at a nearby fitness club. The cost may be an added incentive to stick with it.
There's no single best way to fit physical activity into your day. Your lifestyle, job and family responsibilities will point to the most convenient time and place for fitness. Do what works for you — and make daily physical activity a habit you keep.Previous page
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- Dahm D, et al. Mayo Clinic Fitness for EveryBody. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2005:196.
- Physical activity in your daily life. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2155. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.
- Tips for exercise success. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=801. Accessed Aug. 6, 2010.