You don’t need to spend hours at the gym every day to get and stay in shape. In just 30 minutes a day, you reap the health benefits of regular exercise. And a recent study by Oregon State University showed that you don’t have to do all of it at once. Three 10-minute bursts of exercise like these can add up to the same gains for you.
Three 10-minute bursts of exercise like these can add up to the same gains as one 30-minute workout.
A watched pot never boils. While you’re waiting for dinner to heat up, lean against a counter or wall in your kitchen with your arms and feet placed shoulder-width apart. Do push-ups, making sure you engage your core to hold your torso stable. The push should come from your arms and shoulders, not your back or legs. Be sure to wear shoes that won’t slip on the kitchen floor.
Take a break from answering emails and place your fist (thumbside up) under your desk and push up firmly for a count of 10. Relax and repeat, doing five to 10 times for each arm. Now place your fist (thumbside up) on top of the desk and push down for the same count and same reps. Focus on a strong bicep and tricep contraction each time.
As you listen to others speak on a conference call, squeeze your glutes (the muscles you sit on) as hard as you can. Hold for a count of 10, then release. Be sure you’re out of sight of any co-workers – you never know how the funny faces you’re making will be interpreted.
Put a smile on your face while you raise your heart rate by getting your groove on to a couple of high-energy songs. Grab your loved one and the kids so the whole family will get a fun exercise break.
You hate to watch the ads on TV, but rather than channel-surf when the commercials come on, hit the floor for a quick set of crunches, planks and squats.
You don’t need an expensive machine to get the core-building benefits of climbing stairs. Every building has a set of stairs (usually near the elevator) that you can use to get a brief burst of activity into your day. If you have to go up too many flights to go all the way on the stairs, climb a couple of flights before getting on the elevator.
We do it every day, we just need to do more of it. Park at the farthest end of the lot when you run an errand to add few extra steps of exercise to the day. And why not walk to your co-worker’s office as opposed to picking up the phone or firing off an email?
A popular new approach to exercise emphasizes high-intensity interval training (HITT). The goal is to expend maximum effort in short bursts, boosting your heart rate and metabolism to peak levels before recovery. HITT sessions feature rapid-fire circuits of strength builders like kettle bell squats and cardio exercises like jumping rope. There’s time in every day for a quick session like that.