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Exercise, Weight Loss

How To Squeeze Exercise Into Your Life

There have been phases in my life when I had plenty of time for exercise. Now is not one of those phases. Between work and taking care of my two young kids, exercise goes right to the bottom of the priority list.

We’ve all received the memo about the many benefits of exercise: longer life, more energy, improved sleep, better rear-view in my jeans…and, yes, I want those things. Just like you do. But is it ever difficult to find the time.

So a while ago I went on a mission to discover: just how little can I get away with, and still get the benefits?

And I found some good news.

First, though–I wanna say, if you’re a person who loves going to the gym, or you’ve got the time to get your butt down to a yoga studio several times a week, or you’re a runner–awesome! Go for it, and keep it up. For the rest of us mortals, here’s the plan.

Research shows that you need to aim for about 2 1/2 hours per week of moderate activity. So that might be 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. But the best part? That total time can be accumulated, say in 10 minute bits and pieces spread throughout the day. Well, heck–anybody can exercise for 10 minutes, right?

Both the official Canadian guidelines and American guidelines agree on these general recommendations.

So here are some ideas for 10 minute mini-workouts:

  • turn on music & dance in your living room
  • run up & down the stairs for 10 minutes
  • walk briskly to the store
  • do an online yoga class (many have quickie 10 minute classes)
  • pull weeds in your garden for 10 minutes
  • ride your bike around the neighborhood
  • clean something in your house, and go really hard for 10 mins

Even as I write this stuff, I know I’d like to do more. I’d like to do a longer, better workout. I’d like to do more than the bare minimum. Because the health benefit to exercise shows a dose-response relationship. (meaning: the more workout minutes you clock, the more your health improves) And I’ll get there. When life isn’t quite so crazy. But for now, while my kids are little, this is what I’ll aim for. This is what I can do.

And I think you can too.

Anyone have any other ideas for quick 10 minute mini-workouts?

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About Kim Foster

Dr. Kim Foster is a writer, family doctor, and mom.

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Dr. Kim Foster, MD. (photo credit: Tamea Burd Photography)

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The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat disease. It is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or counseling. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. You should seek medical attention before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health program described on this website.
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