When life gets busy, what tends to get the boot? Exercise. Usually workouts are at the bottom of the totem pole for women and when some spare time arrives, rest is the only option that comes to mind.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, half of American women pass on exercise when their schedules get hectic (only 20 percent cut-down their load at work). The problem is that most women see exercise as an all-or-nothing phenomenon. If you can't complete an hour-long workout at the gym, then why bother?
New research suggests a different approach. A recent Canadian study shows that short bouts of exercise can offer the same health and fitness benefits as working out in one continuous stretch. If it isn't practical to block-out an hour in your day for your workout regimen, don't throw in the sweat towel altogether. Aim to complete at least three 10-minute exercise sessions at various points in your day.
Try these six 10-minute activities to get you moving.
Jump RopeThat's right. A jump rope costs less than $5 at the store and the workout will burn 114 calories in just 10 minutes of action. Close your office door and relive those childhood memories of skipping rope.
Run LapsWho says you have to go to a track to run laps? Just run–or even walk–around the perimeter of your office building for 10 minutes. If the weather is poor, try walking through the hallways, being sure that you don't stop to chit-chat with your co-workers until your 10 minutes is complete.
Wall Push-UpsIf you have a moment between meetings, take some time to build your upper body strength. Stand about one foot away from the wall, place your palms on the wall as wide as your shoulders, and do some push-ups.
Exercise DVDsQuite a few exercise DVDs now offer 10-minute segments. If you can't find one that fits the bill, then try completing just part of the DVD at a time. Work on the arm exercises in the morning and the leg exercises at night.
Use Line TimeThe next time that you're standing in line at the grocery store–or anywhere, for that matter–use the time for a little fitness. Try some calf raises, lifting up onto the balls of your feet, then returning to flat feet. Contract your abdominals by gently drawing your navel towards your spine.
DanceTurn on your favorite tunes and jam to the beat. Ease your workday stress and burn a few calories in the meantime.
Gain more energy throughout the day and keep fit with these simple activities. And don't forget to have fun.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. Today the program boasts more than 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. For more information go to jazzercise.com or call (800) FIT-IS-IT.