Who’s not busy nowadays? Tell a self-employed businessperson or professional to set aside 30-45 minutes per day for physical activity and they’ll balk. “Where do I get the time?” they invariably ask. Here’s the good news: exercise is not all or nothing. Five and ten-minute workouts are also splendid, especially if you do them throughout the day.

Still “got no time?”

If you feel that you can’t even set aside 5 or 10 minutes, try this alternative: fit physical activity into your day, burn a few calories and maintain muscle tone without setting aside anytime at all. Here’s how:

1. Stairs Yes, Elevator No

Climbing stairs is one of the best aerobic exercises there is. Minute for minute, you’ll burn 23% more calories than running, 250% more than swimming, 63% more than bicycling and 400% more than walking at a normal pace. Yet, don’t go overboard if you’re just starting. Ask your physician or your health coach about how many stairs you can safely climb. Stair-climbing is fantastic for heart and lung fitness. For muscle tone and a great looking lower body, take to the stair case! Even if your office or apartment is on the 20th floor, climb the first three floors two or three times a day and you’ll already feel better.

2. The Walking Option

Sure, walking doesn’t burn as many calories as climbing stairs, but you can walk for a longer duration. This is a gorgeous time of year in most climates. Leave the car home and walk to school or work. You can really use the time effectively by talking to the Almighty in personal prayer on the way. If you don’t have to buy the weekly or monthly grocery order and just need a few fill-in items, walk to your local store.

So many people get in the car to drive around the block. It doesn’t make sense! Walking saves fuel, saves searching for parking places and saves your life by all the good it does for your body. Even if you do take the car, park further away from your destination at the edge of the parking lot and walk the rest of the way. You’ll feel better and suffer fewer fender benders.

It All Adds Up – the Aerobic Takeaway

A magic number that many trainers and sports physiologist aim for is 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week. By walking for a mere 22 minutes a day total, you’ve hit a fitness milestone! What’s more, if you are Sabbath-observant and you walk to and from the synagogue three times over the weekend, and the synagogue is only 5 minutes form your home, you’ve already accumulated 30 minutes of walking – awesome! Add some stir climbing every day, and you’ll soon be looking and feeling like a new person.

What About Muscle Mass and Tone?

Aerobic activity is great for heart, lungs and weight management, but the body needs more. To maintain and build muscle mass, the body needs “Resistance Training”. This means applying resistance to the muscles by lifting weights of by performing such bodyweight exercises as pushups, pullups and squats.

3. Lifting and Carrying

Grocery shopping at the supermarket is a great opportunity for “no-time” exercises. Before you put that gallon jug or case of mineral water in your cart, lift it a few times. You’ll get another chance by taking it out of the car and bringing it inside the house. Look for opportunities to lift and carry at home and at work, but do it right.

4. Pushing, Pulling and Reaching

It’s leaf-raking season; raking leaves is a great pulling exercise. Mowing the lawn is a superb pushing exercise that will burn a substantial amount of calories by the time you’re finished. Put the money in your pocket and do the job yourself! The same goes for shoveling snow. House-cleaning, especially when you’re moving furniture to clean the floors, requires pushing, pulling and reaching as well. Reaching is great for balance, stability and range of movement.

The Resistance “No Time” Takeaway

Those basic home and office chores accumulate. Seize opportunities to lift, carry, push, pull and reach during the course of your day. By reaching a total of 30 minutes of applied resistance to your muscles, you’ll maintain muscle tone and avoid atrophy. What could be better?!

Combine Resistance with Aerobic

For a big fitness clout in no time, do combination aerobic-resistance activities by walking to work or school with your backpack on your back. Walk home from the supermarket or farmer’s market with a satchel of fruit and veggies in each hand. That’s what trainer’s call the “Farmer’s Carry”. These type of activities really got the fitness job done, especially when the walking and carrying are uphill.

Just imagine, but carrying an elderly person’s groceries to his or her car or upstairs to their second-flooor apartment, you’ll not only gain great fitness from combing resistance and aerobic activity, but you’ll be earning major spiritual merit with every step you take. That’s better than winning the Irish lottery.

Getting it All Together

You’ll hear from me all the time that fitness is 80% eating and 20% exercise. By incorporating the “no-time” exercises and body movements that we spoke about in this article, you can fulfill the body’s requirement for exercise. Eating the right foods must go hand-in-hand with exercise, for the body doesn’t tolerate the refined sugars, empty carbs and trans fats that are so common in fast foods and manufactured foods. Stick with our health advice and G-d willing, your doctor visits will be dramatically less frequent. Blessings for the best of health!

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