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Exercise: Fitting it in Your Life

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Recent studies show that several short activity breaks during the day can add up to better health. You don’t have to fit your life around activity. Instead, you can fit activity into your daily life. As long as you exercise for 10 minutes at a time, you can add up all those minutes at the end of the day. In other words, three 10-minute sessions have the health benefits as one 30-minute session.

Getting Started

Take a minute to look at your day. From start to finish, there are bits of time that could add up to a gold mine of activity. You just have to find them. It may be in between classes or before lunch. All you need is a total of 30 minutes of movement on most days to improve your health. You can do whichever movement suits you. Examples are walking, jogging in place or climbing up and down stairs. Choose anything that works best for you.

Just Move

Build bits of movement into what you already do. Let’s look at some examples of ways you can start:

Instead of: sending an e-mail or voicemail to your friend a few doors away,
Try to: walk to your friend to talk in person.

Instead of: just sitting while watching TV,
Try to: do some abdominal or other strengthening exercises, or stretch your legs, shoulders or neck.

Instead of: taking an elevator or escalator,
Try to: find stairs to use.

Instead of: driving or catching a ride to class,
Try to: walk or cycle to get around.

Instead of: Studying or doing homework for endless hours,
Try to: get up, move around and take a fitness break every once in a while.

Exercise Tips

Ease into your routine. Set small goals. Then build on them as you get more comfortable with the activities.

Exercise briskly each day. You get the most benefit from doing activities for at least 30 minutes daily.

Step up your daily activity level. Along with your exercise program, try being more active throughout the day.

Choose one or more activities you enjoy. Walking is one of the easiest things you can do. You can also try swimming, riding a bike, taking an exercise class or joining a sports team. Be willing to try new activities — you won’t know whether or not you like it until you try it. Also, try to vary your routine with different activities to prevent monotony and boredom.

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