Exercise is one of the best things we can do for our bodies and minds. Doctors recommend that all of us exercise 30 minutes a day, for a minimum of 150 minutes per week. If you feel like you cannot devote 30 minutes at a time to exercise, you can still make great strides towards your physical health exercising just a few minutes at a time. Researchers are discovering that short bursts of moderate to high-intensity exercise throughout the day create net positive effects on our health, sometimes even more than a steady 30 minutes of exercise. Try a combination of these exercise “snacks” during your day to improve your health.
1. Stair Climbing
Stair climbing is one activity most of us can do for short bursts of time during the day. The key is to do it for 1 to 2 minutes at a time, so you may need to walk down and back up to achieve the duration. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that people who walked stairs for one minute at a time daily showed a 5 to 10% increase in cardiorespiratory fitness.
2. Walking in Place
Walking in place or taking short walks for 5 minutes at a gentle to moderate pace repeatedly throughout the day can create greater gains than walking consistently for the same amount of time. Walking improves circulation and affects the production of hormones that can help you feel more energetic.
3. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a moderate to high-intensity exercise that you can do almost anywhere. Doing one or two minutes of jumping jacks every hour increases your cardiovascular fitness and makes you feel more alert. If the jumping is hard on your joints, try modified jumping jacks.
4. Squats and Lunges
Squats and lunges are other exercises that can ramp up your heart rate very quickly. If doing a full 90-degree squat is too hard on your knees, place a pillow on a chair and squat to that. If you want to increase the intensity, hold weights while you squat or lunge. Start by doing 30-second bursts of these exercises multiple times throughout the day.
Push-ups are another exercise you can do anywhere and they are easily modified for any fitness level. If you don’t want to lay on the floor at work, try wall push-ups or push-ups off the side of a desk or table. The further your feet are from the wall, the greater the intensity of the push-up.
6. Air Punches
Air punches are another exercise you can do almost anywhere that will increase your heart rate and reduce some stress. You can increase the intensity by punching more quickly or punching straight up. Punching for 1-2 minutes at a time works as effectively as other moderate activities and can help tone your arms and shoulders.
7. Combinations of Activities
Combinations of activities are another great way to improve your fitness. You can do short combinations of aerobic and weight-lifting activities such as marching in place for 1-2 minutes, squatting for 30 seconds, and doing modified pushups for 30 seconds. Aim to repeat the circuits throughout the day so that they add up to 30 minutes.
If you want to add exercise to your life, try a combination of these 7 techniques to begin your fitness journey. Don’t forget: Aronia berries have been shown to reduce inflammation and speed up post-exercise recovery. Including Superberries Aronia berry Concentrate in your post-workout smoothie or other beverages can help you enjoy the benefits of your exercise gains.