Multiple studies have shown that, although humans need to exercise for a moderate amount of time every day, there's no need to do it in one big chunk. The benefits are the same whether you hit the gym or pavement every morning, or incorporate short bursts of activity throughout the day. This is good news for most people, because who has time for a long, formal workout every single day? If you're ready to start exercising in short periods that fit into your day, here's your beginner's guide.
1. 10-Minute Walk Break
Who doesn't have 10 minutes at some point on an average day? Chances are, you have several potential 10-minute walk breaks, just waiting to be discovered in your busy schedule. Take a 10-minute stroll before or after lunch and dinner, when you first wake up in the morning, or when you need a mental break from whatever you're working on. If you have a dog, they will love you even more for starting this new habit. The best part about breaking down walking into 10-minute increments is that you can do this inside your house if you need to.
2. Calf Raises on a Step
Stand on a step with just the balls of your feet, holding onto a railing or wall for support. Let your heels hang down below the step, and you'll feel a stretch. Next, raise yourself up on the balls of your feet, and feel a stretch in the opposite direction. Repeat 10 times, rest, and do two more sets of 10. This is a fantastic exercise for strengthening not only your calf muscles but also your ankles. It may improve your balance somewhat and also help prevent injuries. The best part about it is that you can do it on your front porch or anywhere you have a step.
3. Squats or Wall Sits
Squats sometimes feel like torture, but they are so good for your lower body and can even help improve your posture. If you're not quite ready to do a set of squats, try wall sits. All you do is pretend like you're sitting in a chair, but the wall is the back of your imaginary chair. You get the same benefit for your quads that you would get doing squats, but you have the wall there for support. This is a perfect exercise to do twice a day while brushing your teeth. For only two minutes of work, twice a day, you get significant benefits.
When deciding which exercises to add to your day, start where you're comfortable. Don't jump into some complicated position you've never tried before. The secret to sticking to an exercise regimen is creating healthy habits and linking new workouts with existing routines. So don't worry about working every muscle at first; just get into the habit of moving your body every day and mixing in a little bit of cardio and a little bit of weight-bearing work. Before you know it, exercising throughout the day will be second nature, and you'll be feeling more energized every day.