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Use These Hacks to Sneak Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

By Brian Acton

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of health problems, improve sleep, increase energy, and even provide psychological benefits. But people with jobs, families, and other obligations may have difficulty finding the time to exercise while simultaneously meeting their commitments. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If you can’t carve out an hour to go for a run or hit the gym, you might want to sneak exercise into your daily routine. Here are seven hacks to work exercise into your busy life: 1. Exercise When You Wake Up If you’re really ambitious, you can get up early to walk the dog or go for a long morning run. But even a short workout can help you get a good start to your day. Before you hop in the shower, you can take a few minutes to stretch, walk, or do some light exercises like pushups and sit-ups. 2. Add Some Steps to Your Commute No matter how you commute, you can probably extend the time you spend walking. If you drive to work, you can park at the far end of the parking lot. If you take the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way. Finding ways to walk a little further will contribute to your daily exercise. 3. Take the Stairs Stairs can help you squeeze exercise into your routine. Climbing stairs is a cardio workout that gets your heart and lungs pumping, builds bones and muscles, and could even reduce your mortality rate. Next time you have a choice between the elevator and stairs, take the stairs. 4. Stand Up and Walk If you have a desk job, you should be taking regular breaks to get some exercise. Long periods of inactivity have been linked to a number of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Breaking up your time at your desk can help counteract this effect. Getting up to talk to a coworker rather than send an email or make a phone call can give you an excuse to leave your desk. You can set a periodic calendar or phone reminder to get up and walk on a consistent schedule. 5. Exercise While You Watch TV If you set up a treadmill, stationary bike, or other exercise machine in your house, you can catch up on your shows while breaking a sweat. If that’s too expensive or you don’t have the space, you can do body weight exercises, lift weights, or stretch while you watch TV. 6. Perform House Maintenance If you’re paying someone to mow your lawn or clean your house, you might be missing out on a prime opportunity for burning calories. Most chores require light to moderate activity, and some tasks like mowing the lawn or raking leaves can really make you break a sweat. 7. Make Exercise Social When people get together with friends and family, the default activity is often dinner and drinks. While you may not want to replace this ritual, you could start mixing in activities ranging such as tennis, hiking, golf, yoga, or even walking around a museum. Exercising with a friend can make it much less of a chore. Sources http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389 http://www.livestrong.com/article/464931-what-does-stair-climbing-do-for-your-body/ http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WTlb2GjyuUk
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