5 ways to sneak in a workout

5 ways to sneak in a workout

Many people have days where it seems impossible to fit in one more thing. So that trip to the gym often goes by the wayside. But a busy schedule doesn’t give you a free pass from the need to exercise. The key is to find the time or sneak exercise into your day.

One way to do that is by falling back on humblest of exercises: Walking.

Walking briskly can lower your risk of high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure just as much as running, according to one study from the American Heart Association (AHA).

“There are several ways to sneak walking into your routine without it feeling like exercise,” says Dr. Dory Jarzabkowski, a cardiologist with Advocate Medical Group in Normal, Ill.

Dr. Jarzabkowski and the AHA offer these five tips:

  1. Add more steps to your workday. Take the long way to the office copier or the cafeteria. Walk over to see a coworker, instead of calling or emailing. And, if possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  2. Next time you make a date to catch up with an old friend, forget the coffee bar. Go for a walk together instead.  You’ll have fewer food temptations, and chances are you’ll be so involved in your conversation that you’ll walk farther than you intended.
  3. Take a 10 to 15 minute walk around the neighborhood when you get home from work, before mealtime and other demands get the best of you. “A quick walk around the block is a wonderful way to exercise,” Dr. Jarzabkowski says.
  4. On early evenings or weekends, don’t spend your “family time” in front of the TV.  Take a family walk instead. If the kids want to visit a friend or go to the park, walk there as a family.
  5. Quit wasting time and gas driving around looking for that perfect parking place. Instead, park as far away as you can and walk briskly to your destination.

The AHA notes that if you can fit in two 10-minute walking sessions each day, it can benefit you almost as much as one 20-minute session. Just adding 2.5 hours a week of walking to your schedule can make a big difference to your heart health, the AHA says.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.