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How to Use Short Exercise Bursts to Stay in the Game

By Sandy Schroeder

The truth is 80 percent of us sit a lot and exercise very little, but new federal guidelines say there is a way to make exercise work in spite of everything.

The new federal guidelines say even a few minutes of exercise helps. Assistant Secretary for Health, Brett Giroir says, "Sit less, move more. Whatever you do, it really all counts."

Dr. Thomas Allison of the Mayo Clinic suggests desk workers get up and move two minutes every half hour.

How to Make the Math Work

Current health guidelines recommend 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity with two days of strength building exercises each week. If you move two minutes for each half hour at work in a typical 8-hour day, five days a week, you will be active 80 minutes. The remaining 70 minutes of moderate activity could be knocked off with a couple 20- or 30-minute walks.

Get Creative to Make It Happen

Most of us figure out ways to accomplish the things we want by being creative. Ask yourself how you could make the federal exercise guidelines really work for you.

WellAndGood recommends fitness bursts to burn calories, lower blood sugar and hang onto one's sanity. A recent study also found just 10 minutes of light exercise improved the brain's memory and function.

Try Short Bursts of Exercise

  • Start the day with push-ups or mountain climbers.
  • Take a brisk 15-minute walk to lunch
  • End the day with an after-dinner walk and squats while brushing your teeth.
  • Walk briskly at 2.5 to 4 miles per hour, rake leaves or play volleyball for a dose of moderate activity
  • Jog, run or tote heavy groceries to do strenuous activity
  • Swim or cycle either moderately or vigorously
  • Expand your options with a high intensity dance or spin class or get some moderate exercise cleaning the house or working in the garden
  • Find a workout buddy and make a pact to do 150 minutes a week, walking, jogging, biking or working out
  • Add more sports as you shoot hoops, play soccer or look for neighborhood volleyball game
  • Look for everyday options as you bike to the park with your kids or help them practice soccer
  • Activate the weekends with a family camp out, hike, or afternoon spent on local bike trails

More Exercise Notes

The new federal guidelines tell us kids ages 6 to 17 should get 60 minutes of vigorous activity every day along with three days of muscle-building activity weekly.

Preschoolers ages 3 to 5 should be physically active every day for normal development and growth.

Seniors should stay active with muscle strengthening, cardio and balance exercises. Daily walking is recommended.

Wherever you are with age and amount of exercise, keep moving and keep expanding your effort for the best health.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wellington, Fla.

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