Work Out Smarter, Not Harder

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Although exercise has so many excellent physical and mental health benefits, few people enjoy running in place on a treadmill. And unfortunately, even doing that for an hour a day won’t counteract eight or more hours sitting at a desk every day. Aside from incorporating activity into the rest of your life, it can be hard to stay fit. However, any fitness is better than no fitness. And if you have a busy lifestyle, it pays to learn how to maximize the time you have, even if you only have a few minutes each week.

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The good news is that the amount of exercise is less important than getting out there and doing it. Just one hour per week of slow running can lead to health results similar to running 20 hours peHigh-Intensity not able to run even twenty minutes at a time, that’s okay– just use a 5K training program, such as the ultra-enjoyable Zombies, Run! game.

For a more hardcore workout, High-Intensity Interval Training might fit the bill. In HIIT, you work out (run, pedal, etc.) as hard as possible for a predetermined amount of time (usually between 30 seconds and a minute) and then slow down to a recovery pace for several minutes. Although this is a very effective method of working out in a short span of time, you should consult your doctor before starting a routine. People with heart problems could have severe problems with a HIIT workout. For healthy individuals, however, HIIT can be a great way to get in shape with a limited amount of time.

Another way to get fit with minimal time is to focus on weight training. Although you won’t get a great amount of cardio endurance, you’ll gain muscle, burn fat, and look better. You’ll also reduce your risk of osteoporosis and broken bones, which can help keep you active. This is especially important for older exercisers since broken hips and lack of mobility are closely linked to mortality.

Another way to exercise when you’re short on time is to combine work with your workout routine. Whether you use a pedal machine under your desk or you get rid of the office chair in favor of a treadmill desk, there’s no reason you can’t get a decent workout at work! This is especially true for those who work at home, but those in an office setting can usually work out very gently (less than 1.5 mph on a treadmill desk) without breaking a sweat.

If you’re struggling to get enough exercise in your day, an all-or-nothing approach is not the way to go. Get your exercise in wherever you can, and make the most of whatever time you have– even if you have to multitask! You’ll feel better, physically and emotionally, and you may live a longer, happier life.

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