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Exercise: Making the Most of Your Time

Your exercise goal is 30 minutes on most days. Aim for a total of 150 or more minutes a week. Not sure you can fit a 30-minute block of exercise time into your day? Split it up into shorter 10- and 15-minute blocks. Do this 2 to 3 times a day. You'll still get all of the benefits of exercise.

Use your whole body

Aerobic exercise works your heart and lungs. Some examples are walking, running,  and cycling. You can also try swimming. Try adding a few other activities, too. This can help you strengthen and stretch many different muscles in your body.

Woman doing stretching exercise.

Strengthen your:

  • Lower legs. Go up and down slowly on your toes while you’re filing papers or washing dishes.

  • Upper legs. Lower yourself slowly into a chair without using your arms.

Stretch your:

  • Back. After you get up from a chair, place your palms on your low back and lean your upper body back.

  • Shoulders and chest. Lift your arms overhead and reach tall while waiting for your computer to warm up.

  • Lower legs. Raise your toes and press them against a wall (with your heel on the ground).

Find a few extra minutes

Try these tips to add some extra exercise and activity to your day:

  • At work. Pick a lunch spot a few blocks away and walk there and back. Take a brisk walk on your break.

  • At home. Ride bikes with your kids. Use an exercise bike in the living room while you watch TV.

  • On errands. Park a few blocks away from where you need to go and walk there. Power-walk in malls by doing a fast lap or two before shopping.

  • At play. Go hiking with friends instead of sitting on a bench. Walk through a street fair instead of sitting in a movie.

Tips for finding exercise time

  • Plan your activity by writing it on a calendar.

  • Find a buddy at work to walk with during a lunch break.

  • Take your kids with you on a short walk after dinner.

  • Post a reminder list of the benefits of being active where you can see it.

  • Set an alarm to tell you when it’s time for an activity break.

Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Trina Bellendir PT
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2023
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