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8 easy ways to sneak in some exercise

8 easy ways to sneak in some exercise

Got 10 minutes? Put it to good use with an activity break! Research tells us that even very brief periods of physical activity offer health benefits — and they also count towards the minimum 150 minutes of heart-pumping activity adults need each week for health benefits.

Here are 8 simple ways to sneak a little extra exercise into your day:

  1. Power yourself to work. That’s right…leave the car parked and slip on your running shoes or hop on your bike to make getting to and from work more active and more fun.
  2. Walk or bike the kids to day camps, swimming lessons and other seasonal activities. Be an active role model for your kids and help them to get moving too. Only 7% of Canadian kids and teens get enough physical activity. Bike to soccer, skip to swimming lessons, rollerblade to the park, and walk to camp.
  3. Fire the gardener! Do your own gardening (i.e. cutting the grass, pruning the hedge, etc.) and you’ll not only benefit from the extra physical activity each week, you’ll also reap the proven health benefits of time spent outdoors.
  4. Get a dog. Dog owners take more steps and reap the benefits of time in nature in every season. When you have a dog, excuses no longer cut it!
  5. Be active at work. Take the stairs, use coffee breaks to get moving, run errands at lunch, and turn sedentary meetings into walking meetings.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes. Let’s hear it for flats and shoes so comfy they feel like slippers! If your feet are happy, you’ll be happier too — and more likely to walk faster, take the stairs, sprint to the coffee shop, hop off the bus a stop or two early. Parking your car a little further away from where you are going, and walking the rest of the way, won’t present a problem either.
  7. Rethink your ‘down’ time. Find the idle time in your day and re-purpose some of it as active time. Take an exercise class at the community centre while your son or daughter participates in swimming lessons — or walk, jog or bike around the soccer field while still catching them in action.
  8. Take 10 after each meal. Most people find this easy to do — simply take 10 minutes to be active after each meal of the day. After breakfast, walk the dog; after lunch, take walk; after dinner, do some gardening. It may not sound like much, but doing this will add an extra 3.5 hours of activity to your week – all without a gym!

A marketing communications professional with over 25 years of experience and a fitness instructor/trainer of three decades, Catherine has inspired thousands of Canadians to lead active, healthy lives. Catherine lives in Toronto and has two daughters, ages 21 and 18. Visit Catherine's website