Making time for regular exercise can be difficult. It doesn’t matter if you are working or are a stay-at-home parent, our lives are busy, and generally speaking, we take our health for granted.

Use these recommendations to squeeze a little exercise into your everyday life:

  • Move more. Use part of your lunch break to walk. Park farther away from the entrance to your job. When it’s an option, take the stairs.
  • Every 30 minutes or so, do a few stretches at your desk. During commercial breaks on TV, stretch or do a few exercises like squats, jumping jacks, planks or keep hand weights in your living room for a little resistance training.
  • Don’t stress over the numbers on the scale. Weight isn’t the only way to gauge your success. Listen to your body and notice how it feels after a few weeks of regular walking.
  • If you start working out, start slow and try to stretch post workout. Gentle stretching after a workout may help muscles from getting too tight and sore. It’s also a nice way to cool down.
  • Find an accountability partner. It doesn’t matter if it’s your spouse, neighbor or coworker, having a gym/walking buddy helps keep you motivated.
  • Don’t just settle for the treadmill. For some, running on the treadmill is easy and effective. For others, it can look like a boring chore. Take your walks outside or consider cycling. Most gyms offer other cardio-related classes like fitness dancing or kickboxing.
  • Set realistic goals and be mindful of your body. If it’s a walking routine you are starting, try to do it three times a week. Same with the gym — try to focus on a different section of the body each visit.
  • Exercise when the time is right for you. If you’re a morning person, try waking 30 minutes earlier than normal to get in a quick workout. If you are more of a night owl, try to exercise an hour or so before bed.
  • The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise each day. If that’s too daunting, try breaking your exercises down to three 10-minute workouts.
  • Before putting away the groceries, do a couple of curls with the heavier bags.
  • If you are waiting in line, raise up on your toes to help build your calf muscles or try balancing on one foot.