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Experts agree: Staying active is one of the best things you can do for your health. Healthy adults ages 18 to 65 should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) five days a week. Not enough time to fit in 30 minutes at a time? Researchers say three 10-minute intervals of aerobic exercise a day can be just as beneficial as one 30-minute stretch. Fit it in with some of these ideas for activity.
Exercise around the house
Walk around while talking on the phone. You burn more calories when you add movement.
Clean up! Wash windows, mop and scrub the tub to burn calories and beautify your home.
If your home has more than one level, use the bathroom on the floor above or below you to incorporate stair-climbing into your day.
Exercise while running errands
If you have errands to run near your home, walk or bike instead of driving. You’ll burn calories instead of gas money.
Skip the drive-through at banks, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, etc. Park your car and walk inside.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You may even get to your floor faster when you don’t have to wait for the elevator to arrive.
Track your exercise
Start an exercise journal. Write down when you exercise and what workouts you do.
Get out your calendar and schedule exercise time for the next week. Reward yourself when you complete all scheduled sessions.
Put exercise reminders around the house. Move them around and change the messages occasionally so you don’t overlook them.
Exercise while socializing
Exercise with a buddy. When someone holds you accountable, you’re more likely to stay motivated to keep moving.
Stay active and, at the same time, support your favorite causes by participating in charity walks or races.
Instead of meeting a friend for dinner or coffee, meet for a game of golf, a round of tennis or a walk through the park.
Play with the kids. Whether it’s your children, grandkids or nieces and nephews, spend time running around with them and try to keep up.
Exercise by walking
Wear a pedometer and strive for 10,000 steps a day. Start the morning with a short walk to get several hundred steps in early.
Keep a pair of sneakers in your car or at work so you’re always ready for activity.
Explore trails or streets in a new neighborhood. A change in scenery helps keep your routine fresh.
Walk while listening to an audiobook. You’ll walk farther to hear more of the story, and you’ll look forward to tomorrow’s walk.
Mix up your exercise routine
Take advantage of the seasons. Start a garden in the spring, wash your car in your driveway in the summer, take a nature hike in the fall and build a snowman in the winter.
Do push-ups against a wall for muscle strengthening. As you get stronger, add sets or make the push-ups more challenging by doing them on an incline, such as against a kitchen counter.
Try something new or something you’ve always wanted to do. Sign up for a yoga class, go kayaking or canoeing or take a ballroom dance class.
If bad weather is keeping you inside, look for a yoga class you can stream or download.
(Better Homes and Gardens is a magazine and website devoted to ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden, plus recipes and entertaining ideas. Online at www.bhg.com.)