February Fit Tip #5: Do anything (except nothing)!

Many medical experts will tell you that 30 minutes is where the exercise threshold begins. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests that at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity is required to reduce the risk of chronic diseases in adulthood. But don’t sweat it if you only have 10 or 20 minutes to exercise. Not only does physical activity of any duration burn calories, but it keeps exercise habits in check. And sometimes, that’s half the battle of reaching a fitness goal.

The way I see it: anything is better than nothing. It’s about making exercise a habit and fitness a way of life. Better to start somewhere than go nowhere. And if you don’t have a dedicated slot in the schedule for a workout, get creative to fit in fitness throughout the day. We’ve all heard of taking the stairs instead of the elevator, but here are a few other exercise ideas to squeeze in as time allows.

  • Dare your children to a push-up challenge.
  • Do stretches and/or yoga poses while you’re watching TV at night.
  • Sit on an exercise ball or even stand while you’re working on the computer.
  • Sit at a 90 degree angle with the exercise ball at your back (after three reps at one minute, you’ll feel the burn!).
  • Run errands on foot (if your city allows).
  • Walk or bike to work if the weather permits.
  • Conduct business meetings on a walk.
  • Make sure you walk your dog at least 10 minutes/day, regardless of the weather.
  • Park far away from stores when you shop.
  • Stand on a foam roller when you’re on the phone (make sure a wall is nearby in case you stumble).
  • Jump rope (it’s not as easy as you might remember).
  • Play basketball or ping pong, if you have a goal or table.
  • Do balance exercises on a bosu ball or cheaper imitation.

Move #5: The next time you have time to spare, reach down and touch your toes, do some push-ups or go for a walk. Or try one of my ideas above, according to your daily schedule. Did a little extra movement get the blood flowing?

P.S. I’m up to 25 push-ups after starting out at one. Luke still has me beat at 30.

Melinda Hinson