Easy Exercises to Fit into our Hectic Lives

Northwestern Medicine
Health and Wellness March 26, 2013
With our hectic workdays and busy personal lives, it leaves little time for exercise. Kameswari Maganti, MD, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation at Northwestern’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, says patients frequently ask her how she’s able to fit exercise into her busy schedule. Dr. Maganti tells them she gets up every morning for her 5:15 a.m. spin class at the gym. Now not everyone is as disciplined as Dr. Maganti, but she has some tips on easy exercises to fit into a busy schedule.

If you’re driving to the store, park as far away as you can. You’ll get extra steps in, and experts recommend you take 10,000 steps a day.

When deciding to take the escalator or stairs, choose the stairs. Even if it’s just one or two flights, you’ll get your heart pumping.

Walk whenever you can. If you sit at a desk most of the workday, use a portion of your lunch hour to take a brisk walk. Also, if you need to make a phone call, you can do it while walking.

Many workers have discovered the stability ball. There’s no slouching when sitting on it, which means it helps with posture and building your core.

Take breaks throughout the day to do strengthening exercises, such as squats, lunges or even lift light weights. Strength training has a number of aerobic benefits, and it protects you from osteoporosis and keeps your joints flexible.

Dancing and bowling are two examples of fun, social activities that count as a workout. Rather than sitting in a movie, choose an activity you enjoy and invite your friend or partner to join in.

Studies show that time spent exercising is well worth it. Even 20 to 40 minutes per day can translate to lowered cholesterol, lowered blood pressure and improved sleep. So, let’s get up off the chair and start moving!