If you think that getting in shape requires lots of time, a gym membership, a trainer, or special equipment, think again. The truth is that brief intervals of activity and a few lifestyle changes can add up to better health.
This is especially important if your job or lifestyle means that you spend a lot of time sitting each day. A recent review of 43 different health studies in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that spending too much time sitting can cause health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
But a few simple tweaks to your usual habits can make you healthier and stronger right now.
Here are some simple ways to make exercise part of your day courtesy of The Mayo Clinic. Each one is a small step that, when done regularly, can reap big results.
Sitting on one of these large, inflatable balls helps build both your balance and your core — the muscles in your stomach, thighs, and lower back.
Who says you have to sit when you're on the phone, eating lunch, or waiting for a web page to load? And when you need to talk to people you work with, walk to their desks instead of calling or e-mailing.
If possible, walk or ride a bike to work. If you take the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk to your destination.
Rather than searching for the closest spot, park your car farther away so you have to walk a bit. Also, skip the elevator and take the stairs.
Store fitness bands or small hand weights in your desk. Then use them to do arm curls or stretches between tasks or while talking on the phone.
Even a 60-second burst of exercise can get your heart beating in the "cardio zone," says Kelli Calabrese, an exercise physiologist from the American Council on Exercise. Over time, this makes your heart stronger and healthier. Of course, the more 60-second bursts you can work into your day the better, but even one or two make a difference. Here are some suggestions. In 60 seconds…
These moves build strength, get your blood moving, and send stress packing.
If you have any health problems or concerns, see your doctor before trying these exercises.
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