We're at the end of National Women's Health Week and to celebrate, we're sharing some of our favorite -- and fun -- ways to get in your 30 minutes a day of fitness, as recommended by the Office on Women's Health and many leading health experts around the country. Even though 30 minutes is a small amount of time in the span of 24 hours, it can be difficult to fit in purposeful exercise. But the benefits of doing so are well worth the effort! If your schedule and commitments have you stretched thin, consider these ways of fitting in short bursts of activity throughout the day.
1. Play - anything. With your dog, your older kids -- whoever will play along with you. Almost any kind of active play will work, like a pick up game of basketball, tag, or a good old-fashioned round of roughhousing.
2. Run, skip, or hop instead of walking. If you're walking to get the mail, consider running, skipping, or hopping your way there. The extra effort will turn an ordinary task into an extra-active one.
3. Dance. Whether you're cooking a meal or folding laundry, crank up some tunes and get your body moving! It doesn't matter if you "can't dance" -- move to your own beat!
4. Power lunch. If you have a short lunch break, get your lunch to go and take it on the go. Pick up something that's easy to eat on a brisk walk, like a protein, veggie, and fruit-packed smoothie, and walk for as long as your lunch break will take you.
5. Join a team. Find out about adult sports leagues that play for fun in your area. Many cities offer adult kickball leagues that are loads of fun!
6. Work out with a friend. Working out with someone whose company you enjoy not only makes it more fun, but it also helps hold you accountable!
7. Make good use of commercial breaks. Like watching TV at night? Don't let the commercial breaks go to waste! While your show is breaking, you can get to work. Do jumping jacks, toe touches, squats -- whatever you can do to break a sweat in a few minutes!
8. Get frisky. Yep, that kind of frisky. Having sex is like exercise with an added bonus!
9. Play video games. Not just any video games of course, play the games that get you up and moving, like Wii Fit and Xbox Kinect.
10. Skip the elevator -- walk the stairs. Ok, so this may not be too "fun," but you can make it more appealing by timing yourself (see how fast you can get, or on the reverse, how much slower you get as your pregnancy goes along!) or listening to your favorite music. Not only will you benefit from the exercise, but your brain will thank you as you begin your next mental activity (increased oxygen helps brain power!).