10 Fitness Tips to Fit Your Schedule

  • Work in Some Workouts
    Is your idea of exercise a 30-minute sweatfest? Think again. You don’t need to work hard to be active. You can work physical activity into your day in small batches. Every little bit counts. Start with just 5 to 10 minutes a day and work up to more.

  • Get Clean and Lean
    Housework burns calories. Rake leaves, garden, clean the house, wash the car, or mow the grass with a push mower. Try to do some housework every day for an easy way to burn calories.

  • Go Strollin'
    American adults spend, on average, more than two and a half hours a day watching TV. Turn off the tube for 15 minutes of that time and go for a walk. March in place or lift weights during commercials—or during the whole show, if you can. Instead of watching TV after dinner, stroll around the neighborhood.

  • Hit the Mall
    Window-shop ’til you drop! Go for a walk at a mall—a great option if it’s raining, too cold, or too hot to walk outside. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes!

  • No Weights? No Excuse!
    You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to lift weights. Use canned foods or soup cans. If you can’t lift the can six times in a row, find something lighter. If you can lift it 15 times in a row easily, find something heavier, like a milk jug filled with water—one gallon of water weights 15 pounds.


  • Ditch Driving
    Walk or bike on simple errands, such as going to the corner store. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes with lots of support. If you’re heading to work, just toss your work shoes in a tote bag.

  • Make Work Hours Count
    Don’t feel chained to your desk at the office. Take short breaks to stretch and walk. If you need to talk with someone, walk down the hall instead of using the phone or email. Make a date with a coworker or friend to walk around your building during lunch or at break time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or take the elevator part of the way, get off a few floors early, and then use the stairs the rest of the way.

  • Walk That Talk
    Use a cordless or cell phone and walk around the house while catching up with friends. Even simply standing up while talking on the phone is better than sitting.

  • Indulge Your Inner Child
    Jump rope, ride bikes, play tag, or toss a ball. Even older kids can get involved. Play a game of basketball, softball, or soccer together, or go for a run around the neighborhood.

  • Dance to the Beat
    Can’t get away from home? Dance to your favorite music in your living room. Or check out exercise videos from your local library.

  • Pump Up the Volume
    Once your body is used to exercise, working out harder can save time. Experts recommend that every week adults get two and a half hours of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. So if you work out hard, you can work out for less time.

10 Fitness Tips to Fit Your Schedule
  1. Physical Activity in Your Daily Life. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2155
  2. Tips for Exercise Success. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=801
  3. Overcoming Barriers. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-nutrition-lifestyle/fitness/getting-motivated/overcoming-barriers.jsp
  4. Small Steps for Your Health. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-nutrition-lifestyle/fitness/getting-motivated/small-steps-for-your-heal...
  5. Types of Exercise. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-nutrition-lifestyle/fitness/ideas-for-exercise/types-of-exercise.jsp
  6. Part 1, Getting Started. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/adultguide/part1.aspx
  7. Physical Activity. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001941.htm
  8. Active at Any Size. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/active.htm
  9. Better Health and You: Tips for Adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/better_health.htm
  10. Energize Yourself and Your Family. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/energize.htm
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Last Review Date: 2019 Jun 5
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