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What are easy ways to add exercise to my day?

OK, you've all heard this one before: Take the stairs at work or park farther away from the store. But what about even simpler changes you can make at home? Try getting up during each commercial break and clean up clutter, go through mail and what-nots before your favorite show comes back on. The commercial breaks in a two hour-long show equal an extra 20 minutes of exercise you didn't even think you had! Go even further by listening to upbeat music while loading the dryer, emptying the dishwasher or wiping the counters. Housekeeping never felt -- or sounded -- so good! Before you know it, you'll be moving to the groove and getting more done as the music plays.
Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
One easy way to bump up your activity is to seek ways to slip exercise into your day. Start noticing downtime during your day—while holding on the phone, during TV commercials—and fill these minutes with simple activities, such as marching or jogging in place, a few strength exercises, jumping jacks, and so on. This can be a time-saver, too. You'll build stamina while reaping some health rewards, particularly if the activities you choose last 10 minutes or more.

Here are additional ways to fit exercise into your daily routine:
  • Walk, rollerblade, or bike to work or while doing errands, rather than hopping in your car.
  • If you take public transportation, get off a few stops early and walk to your destination.
  • If you need the car to run errands, park in one spot and walk to several shops.
  • At the mall, choose parking spots that are farther away from the stores.
  • Take stairs, not elevators.
  • Rather than watching your kids play, challenge them to an active game, on or off the computer: Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution, Frisbee, a hula hoop contest, hopscotch, basketball.
  • While on the phone, pace or do simple exercises like lunges, squats, and heel raises.
  • Walk your dog instead of just letting him out in the backyard.
  • Rake leaves and shovel snow instead of using leaf blowers or snow blowers. Use a push-reel lawn mower rather than a riding mower.
  • Try a walk with a friend instead of meeting at a coffee shop.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.