No time to work out? No excuse! 10 simple ways to squeeze in bursts of exercise.
You know you should exercise more. You want to exercise more. But sometimes it's tough to squeeze a full workout into your busy schedule. The good news: A number of published studies show that you can stay in shape and burn enough calories to maintain or lose weight by doing mini-workouts throughout the day. In fact, research has shown that short bouts of exercise—as few as three 10-minute sessions—are just as effective as long ones, provided the total cumulative workout time and intensity level are comparable. Repeat any of the following exercises for a minute.
1. Jumping jack
Stand with feet together, then jump, separating legs and raising arms overhead. Land with feet hip-width apart, then jump feet back together and lower arms.
2. Stair running
Run up a flight of stairs, pumping your arms, then walk down. Vary by taking two stairs at a time.
3. Jumping rope
Do a basic boxer's shuffle or two-footed jump. Stay on balls of feet, not jumping too high off ground, elbows by your sides.
4. Squat jump
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend knees and lower hips into a squat. Jump in air and straighten legs, lifting arms upward. Land softly, lowering arms.
5. Split jump
Stand in a split stance, one foot a long stride in front of the other, then bend knees and jump, switching legs to land and pumping arms in opposition to legs. Alternate legs.
Step up on a curb, stair, or sturdy bench with one foot, then the other, then down one at a time; repeat.
7. Alternating knee lift
Standing tall, bring one knee toward your chest without collapsing rib cage; twist opposite elbow toward knee. Alternate sides.
8. Hamstring curl
Standing tall, step sideways with right foot, then bring left heel toward buttocks; pull elbows in to sides. Alternate sides.
9. Jog in place
Jog in place, lifting knees up; swing arms naturally in opposition. Land softly, ball of foot to heel.
10. Side-to-side leap
Place any long, thin object (such as a broom) on floor. Leap sideways over object, landing with feet together.