Crunching the Numbers: Staying Fit when Time is Tight

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We’re all busy–but making time to work out should be a priority. Not only does exercise help keep you at a healthy weight and give you more energy, it can also prevent many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ┬árecommends that healthy adults exercise at moderate aerobic intensity for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes per week, AND perform muscle strengthening activities on at least two days. Read on for strategies to fit enough physical activity into your already crowded life.

1. Ditch Your Car Commute
Instead of driving to work every day, trade in your keys for your bike or running sneakers. Work too far away? Get off your train or bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way, or park your car at the furthest reaches of the lot. When you get inside, take the stairs instead of the elevator. It may not seem like much, but the extra steps add up. Check out Fitness Magazine for other suggestions .

2. Couch Potato No More
Love TV? Exercise during the commercials. A 30 minute sitcom will get you about nine minutes of workout time. Alternatively, save your favorite show on a DVR or streaming service and only allow yourself to watch it while you’re on the treadmill.

3. Take a Workout Lunch
Skip your normal wolf down a sandwich at your computer working lunch and take a true lunch break. Use the time to hit the gym or take a brisk walk. Not only is it an ideal way to get your exercise in, you’ll also be more productive if you step away from the screen.

4. Stick to a Schedule
Most busy professionals live and die by the calendar. Use that instinct to your advantage by programming workout time into your daily schedule. Then, treat it as your most urgent meetings and resist the urge to cancel on yourself.

5. Aim for an Active Social Life
When you get time alone with your partner, make it count. Choose an activity that you both love and get your hearts pumping together, whether it’s hiking, biking, or a fun exercise class. And when you make plans with your friends, skip the fattening restaurant and plan to head to the gym for a group workout session.

While the amount of exercise you need may sound daunting, the trick is to break it into manageable chunks. And remember that any amount of workout time is better than no physical activity at all.