No excuses conceptCountless studies have underlined the importance of regular exercise for better health. Benefits include reduced likelihood of chronic health problems, better flexibility, less anxiety, stress and insomnia and even sharper cognitive skills. Even though we know how much exercise can improve quality of life we don’t always know how we will find time to take advantage of its benefits. If a crowded calendar has you thinking there’s no time left to exercise, think again. These five tips will help you find time to get fit in as little as 25 minutes a day.

Add Intervals to Your Workout

Intervals, adding a few short periods of intense exertion to your workout, help you get a better workout in less time. If you have 25 minutes you can get a workout that yields as much benefit as working out for twice as long. For example, try adding some running to your walking or jogging workout to burn more calories and fat, improve your aerobic capacity and build endurance.

Go the Extra Mile

photodune-6474159-go-the-extra-mile--xsExercise doesn’t have to mean suiting up and heading for the gym, just move more all day. If you think you don’t have time to exercise stop thinking of exercise as an activity separate from your regular daily activities. Instead, aim to add steps to your day. Wear a pedometer and increase your total daily steps by ten percent each week. If your goal is weight loss, try to get up to 12,000 to 15,000 steps daily. Just 10,000 steps per day (5 miles) can help you avoid chronic illness. Every step counts so park the car farther, take the stairs; walk at lunchtime and to talk with co-workers rather than sending email.

Add a Spoon Full of Sugar

When it comes right down to it exercise is just movement. Sweeten the deal by making exercise of activities you like and are already doing. Walk your dog a little longer or faster, jog on the treadmill while you watch your favorite show or bike to work.

Break it Down

Look for 10 free morning minutes you can devote to exercise. Start with 30 seconds of stretching, add a few minutes of cardio such as jogging in place, jumping rope or doing jumping jacks, add some lunges, squats, abs work and weight lifting. Take a few weeks to comfortably incorporate this time into your schedule three times each week. Once that has been accomplished, add 5 minutes to your morning routine or add a 10 minute evening workout to your day.

Make it a Date

Turn fun with family and friends into fitness opportunities. Get together over a game of flag football instead of high calorie grub. Gather the kids for a swim instead of settling in for another movie night. When you combine social connections with cardio you create a win-win.

Even the busiest person can find time to workout – including you. With a little creativity the possibilities are endless.