LDS Emergency Preparedness

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Run and Not be Weary; Walk and Not Faint

Posted by Elise on June 23, 2010


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Get Fit in Just a Few Minutes

 Lack of time is a primary reason people give for failing to get the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. Admittedly, it can be tough to find such a big chunk of time in your busy schedule.

What helps: Instead of feeling compelled to cram an entire day’s worth of exercise into a single block of time, commit to fitting in little bursts of physical activity — two minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes — throughout the day. The more these “fitness minutes” add up, the more you reap the benefits of exercise, including improved health, better weight control, increased energy and a sense of well-being.


  • When your alarm clock rings — instead of pressing the snooze button, get up and use those extra minutes to do some gentle yoga poses.
  • While brushing your teeth — do calf raises. Standing, slowly rise onto the balls of your feet… hold for several seconds… return to the starting position. Repeat, continuing for two minutes.
  • In the shower — give your upper back muscles a workout. Squeeze your shoulder blades together… hold for five to 10 seconds… rest for a moment. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  • While you style your hair — squeeze your buttocks muscles as hard as you can for 10 seconds… rest for several seconds… repeat five to 10 times.
  • When going down stairs — turn around at the bottom of the stairs and go back up, making one or more extra up-and-down trips.
  • As the coffee is brewing — hop on your right foot 10 times… then hop on the left foot. Repeat twice.
  • When letting the dog out — go with him for a short walk.


  • At the gas station — walk inside to pay rather than swiping a credit card at the pump. Instead of sitting in your car as the gas flows, clean all your windows, alternating the hand that holds the squeegee.
  • At every red light — do shoulder shrugs and roll your shoulders… repeatedly tighten and release your thigh muscles… rotate one wrist, then the other wrist.
  • When parking — instead of finding a spot close to your destination, get one a few blocks away.
  • Upon entering a store — if all the items you need will fit in a shopping basket, choose a basket instead of a cart.
  • As you shop — if you need a cart, do 10 bicep curls with weightier items — soup cans, juice jugs — before placing them in your cart. (If you feel silly doing this in public, do your bicep curls at home as you put the items in the pantry.)
  • While waiting in line — work your abdominal muscles. Suck in your belly and tighten your abs… hold for 10 seconds… relax. Repeat five to 10 times.
  • On a long car trip — stop every 50 miles or so, and take a walk around a rest stop or scenic area.
  • When traveling by bus, plane or train — walk up and down the aisle for at least five minutes every hour.


  • While on the phone — march in place or pace around your office.
  • As you read e-mail — lift your right foot several inches off the floor… rotate your ankle clockwise several times, then counterclockwise… lower the foot. Repeat on the left side.
  • If you need to talk with a coworker — walk over to her office instead of phoning. When you get back to your own desk, before sitting down, hold your arms out to the side and circle them forward 15 times, then backward.
  • Each time you finish a task — do “chair dips.” With feet flat on the floor, place your hands on the armrests and push your body up (so your rear end hovers above the seat)… hold for several seconds… lower yourself back into the chair. Repeat 10 times. (Skip this if your chair has wheels.)
  • During your lunch break — take a walk through the office complex.
  • In the restroom — stand and reach for the sky for 30 seconds… then do 10 jumping jacks.
  • If you drop a pencil (or at least once a day) — do a variation on toe touches. Stand up, bend down, pick up the pencil, straighten up… drop the pencil again. Repeat 10 times.


  • Before starting dinner — take a quick ride around the neighborhood on your bicycle.
  • At the dinner table — do leg lifts. Sit with feet flat on the floor. Straighten your right leg to hold your right foot out in front of you… lift your right thigh a few inches off the chair and hold for several seconds… lower the foot. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the left leg.
  • Doing laundry — when you grab a basket of clothes, tighten abdominal muscles and, with your back straight, lift the basket from hip height to chest height five times.
  • Listening to the radio or a CD — dance around the room for one entire song. Repeat several times.
  • While watching TV — pop an exercise video or DVD in your player. Every time the TV show cuts to a commercial break, turn on the player and follow along with the workout for several minutes.
  • Climbing the stairs — take the steps two at a time. (Do not do this if you have balance problems.)
  • After washing your face — tilt your head slowly from side to side, feeling a good stretch along your neck… try to touch your chin to your chest to stretch the back of your neck.
  • Before climbing into bed — raise your arms overhead… tilt gently to the right, feeling the stretch along the left side of your torso… then tilt to the left. Repeat five times.
  • When you lie down — do knee hugs. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the mattress. Raise one leg, place your hands behind the thigh and draw the leg toward your chest. Hold for 30 seconds… return to starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Closing your eyes — breathe in and out deeply 10 times, feeling grateful for all that your body was capable of doing during the day.

Joan Price, a certified fitness instructor and motivational speaker based in Sebastopol, California, and author of six books, including The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book (iUniverse). She credits her commitment to exercise for her success in twice regaining the ability to walk and dance after two head-on car crashes.


2 Responses to “Run and Not be Weary; Walk and Not Faint”

  1. Francesca said

    Great tips! I’m going to try some of these.

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