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Sneaking in Exercise

Tips for getting in exercise when you are short on time

by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN  |  10040 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

It isn't new information that exercise is important for our health and weight management. The problem for so many of us is finding the time for formalized exercise programs. Getting to the gym isn't consistent for most of us, and often weeks can go by without much movement. Studies show that people obtain more health benefits and maintain their weight when engaging in physical activity throughout the week as opposed to the weekend warriors who work hard one to two days a week. Experts recommend walking for 30 minutes each day. This can feel like an impossible task to try to fit in each and every day. The good news is it doesn't necessarily have to be all at the same time.

You can still get many of the same health benefits by piecing together 30 minutes of walking during the day. Take a few minutes and write out a blueprint of your typical day. Look for areas where you can add more walking until you piece together 30 minutes a day. You can keep a stop watch with you or use a pedometer to measure your progress each day. Here are some tips to sneak in your walking during your regular routine.

• Park further away. We all are always aiming for that prime parking space up front, but in reality the prime parking space is the one furthest away because it allows you to get in some walking time.

• Take the stairs. Getting into the habit of taking the stairs anywhere you go will help you to add some extra steps and is also a good way to use new muscle groups and get your heart rate up.

• Walk to do errands. This is entirely dependent on where you live. If you live in an area where there are stores nearby, walk instead of driving as much as you can.

• Take the kids on an outing. For working moms, the weekends are prime family time. Take the kids on outings to the zoo, parks, or beach and get in some walking time.

Keep looking for different ways to sneak in walking to add up to your 30 minutes a day. Once you start looking for ways to incorporate it, you will be amazed how many creative ways you will find to work it in during your regular routine.

Things to have on hand:

Walking shoes


Stop watch

Bottled water

Do you have a health-related question you'd like Meri to address in her future columns? Click here to send her a message through her Work It, Mom! profile.

Meri is a Contributing Columnist for Work It, Mom! and the founder of Real Living Nutrition Services, an online weight loss program that empower people to make small changes so they can receive lasting results. To learn more, go to

About the Author

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian, and a columnist for Work It, Mom! and the founder of Real Living Nutrition Services, an online weight loss program that empowers people to make small changes s

Read more by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN

1 comment so far...

  • Okay... I know I should take the stairs, etc. I've heard all about these sneak exercise moments, and I get it. But I don't do it. At all.

    I don't want to be sweaty when I start work--six flights up!
    I love beautiful shoes. They aren't usually the sort of thing I want to walk a mile in, however.
    Bring sneakers? Do I shower too? Do I do the hair and makeup thing all over again too?
    It just doesn't seem realistic...

    I don't want to be one of "those women" who lets it all go when she becomes a mom. Either with my weight or with my dressed appearance. So it seems to be a dilemma!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by spacegeek on 2nd November 2007