Most of us know how important getting enough exercise is, but with the fast pace of modern life, everyday responsibilities can sometimes get in the way. For those struggling to find the time to fit in a workout, Dr Irvin Sulapas, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, has some expert advice.

“I always tell my patients any time you can get up and move is the best time to work out. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the morning, middle of the day or at night. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends exercising for at least 150 minutes a week, but you can spread that out however you want — 30 minutes five times a week or an hour three times a week.”

To help you hit these targets, Sulapas offers the following tips.

  • Whether at home, work or on the subway, use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • If driving, park your car farther away from your destination, so you get in a few extra steps.
  • If possible, walk or bike to your workplace. You will soon feel a difference in your fitness.
  • During your lunch break, take a walk for 15 to 20 minutes around the block to get in some exercise. 
  • Instead of carrying a big water bottle or thermos, keep your drink in a small mug or glass so you will have to get up from your desk to refill your drink.
  • Exercise at your desk. Good options are leg lifts and knee lifts. You can also stand up and do squats to get your legs pumping, but even something as simple as getting up from your desk and walking around your office for a couple of minutes every hour or two can help.
  • If possible, use a sit/stand desk, which can give you the option of being a little bit more active in your workplace.
  • As well as exercising, eating a nutritious diet is also an important part of a healthy daily lifestyle. Sulapas recommends having small, frequent meals and having healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit and peanuts, which can stave off hunger and improve weight loss.
  • Stay hydrated whenever you exercise to prevent injuries, cramping, early fatigue and the possibility of fainting. — AFPRelaxnews
This article appeared in Issue 799 (Oct 2) of The Edge Singapore.