What Are the Best Ways to Exercise When You Have Little Time?

What Are the Best Ways to Exercise When You Have Little Time?

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Your job is a good place to squeeze in exercise.

Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

If your busy schedule doesn't include a lot of time for exercise, don't be discouraged. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercising for just 30 minutes a day meets the physical activity guidelines. And if you struggle to find 30-minute chunks of time each day, three 10-minute intervals or two 15-minute intervals a day will still meet the 30-minute recommendation. If you're wondering what you can do to have an impact in such short spurts of time, these are some of the best ways to exercise when time is limited.

Lunch Break

If you have an hour-long lunch break, bring your meal from home, so you can spend 20 to 30 minutes exercising and the remaining time freshening up and eating your lunch. If the building has stairs, walk up and down them, or you can walk around the parking lot or around the building itself. According to Harvard's School of Public Health, you should walk briskly - as though you were late meeting a friend for lunch. In addition, if there's space in your office to store a bicycle, consider riding your bike through the parking lot or the surrounding vicinity.

Other Work Opportunities

If you drive to work, park in the farthest space away from your building and walk briskly when you're arriving and leaving. If you use public transportation, get off one or two stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. You burn more calories when walking than when sitting, so instead of calling or emailing your coworkers, walk around to their offices to speak with them. Also, when you're on the phone, stand up or walk around if possible. In addition, when you're brainstorming with a coworker, suggest that you walk and talk.

At Home

If you pay someone to cut your grass, the American Heart Association recommends cutting it yourself - and don't use a riding lawn mower. In addition, raking leaves, pruning weeds and digging dirt all count as exercising. Instead of just opening the door to let the dog out, take your pet for a walk. Even without a pet, you can walk briskly up and down your street for five to 10 minutes. When you're watching TV, sit up instead of lying down, and instead of using your remote control, manually change the TV channels.

Other Considerations

When you're running errands, park as far away from your intended location as possible and walk the rest of the way. If it's close enough, consider walking or biking to the location. If you travel frequently, buy a jump rope to use in your hotel room. If your travels involve flying, take advantage of long departure times by walking around the airport after you've checked in.