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10 Ways to Sneak In a Workout

In a perfect world, we'd all have at least an hour a day to devote to our fitness. But in the real world, 24 hours a day doesn't seem like nearly enough time to fit in work, school, and family. Stop stressing! Here, 10 ways to sneak a workout into your super busy schedule.

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Turn Your Commute into a Workout

On days that Monica Vazquez, 27, a master trainer for New York Sports Clubs in New York City, can't do her usual run, she stuffs her essentials -- keys, cash, credit card, phone, and ID -- into a fanny pack and jogs home from work instead. "Running is a great workout, but it's also great transportation," she says. "Sometimes I get home even earlier than I normally do taking the subway."

Not a runner? Bike to work, get off your bus or train a few stops earlier, or park the car farther away to extend your walking time.

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Set Your Alarm Early

Becoming an A.M. exerciser means you get to cross your workout off your to-do list ASAP. We're not telling you to skip out on sleep in favor of a sweat session, but there are simple steps you can take to reset your sleep schedule and wake up earlier. Can't quite get yourself out of bed that early? Wear your workout clothes to bed and get your sweat on as soon as you wake up.

Find Out How to Become a Morning Person

5 Steps to a Good Night's Sleep

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Sneak In a Lunch Break Workout

At least one FITNESS editor is guaranteed to use this tip on any given day. Make use of your precious 60 minutes by hitting the gym or going for a walk. Not only will it keep your waistline in check, you're also proven to be more productive during the day by logging off for an hour than you would be by eating lunch at your desk.

Tone from Head to Toe in Under 20 Minutes

Why Exercising at Lunch Is Good for You

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Work Out at Work

Get your daily dose of exercise even if you're working all day long. Try this tip from Gregory Florez, personal trainer and CEO of Fitness First Inc.:

"Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses, and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each. This gives you more free time to fit in fun workouts like biking or tennis."

The 10-Minute Workout You Can Do at Your Desk

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Take the Kids with You

Got a young brood? Invest in a jogging stroller to get your miles in without paying big bucks for a sitter. Or strap your bundle of joy into a carrier and do squats for extra resistance and a fun distraction.

More Get-Fit Tips from Moms

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Multitask on the Treadmill

"Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt session: Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a one-minute set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals, and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. It's an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing four-minute sets."

-- Michael George, personal trainer and author of Body Express Makeover: Trim and Sculpt Your Body in Less Than Six Weeks

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Make It a Date

Here's one way you can work out like an Olympic athlete: Go on a fitness date like Olympic figure skater, mom, author, and philanthropist Kristi Yamaguchi. She and husband, NHL player Bret Hedican, set up workout dates to keep themselves fit. Single? Invite your friends to try a new workout instead of hitting happy hour.

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Don't Just Wait in Line

All the time we spend waiting in line adds up, so why not sneak in a workout while you're there? Season 5 Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent recommends doing lunges, toe raises, and squats at the checkout line. "People might look at you like you're silly, but who cares?"

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No More "Couch Potato"

Just because you're catching up on Modern Family doesn't mean you can't do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and squats too. Clear up some space between the couch and the TV so you don't miss anything while breaking a sweat. Need an extra nudge? Move your dumbbells, jump rope, and other fitness tools near the tube to give yourself visible reminders.

The Made-for-TV Workout

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Power Up Your Stair Climbs

"Instead of walking leisurely up a flight of stairs, gradually increase your speed and the number of stairs you take in one minute," says Kari Anderson, owner of ProRobics Conditioning Clubs and Gold's Gyms in Seattle. "Take two steps at once -- if you're able to do it safely -- and you'll target your glutes even more."

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, October 2011.

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8/8/2013 09:35:23 AM Report Abuse
tbennallack wrote:

I have found a great way to work out at home that really works. You purchase a proven at home workout program that incorporates diet because this is the first thing that us moms tend to give up! Then you have a receieve daily support and motivation to keep to your workout and healthy eating at home. The beauty of this is that you can truely do your workout around your schedule. Whatever that may be. If you are interested you can find more details here: www.facebook.com/LivingHappyAndHealthy

5/13/2013 04:33:24 PM Report Abuse
lambrosalexandra wrote:

I bike to work all the time!! It's about 2.5 miles there, and 2.5 miles back = 5 miles total, and I do that like 3 times a week. My calves were crazy!!

9/17/2012 12:07:51 PM Report Abuse
fitwithrandy wrote:

I really like idea. With many peoples busy schedule doing something like this can really save time in the long run. For more fitness workouts, cardio workouts, and nutrition ideas grab this FREE Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/fitnessnewsletter

8/13/2012 11:22:43 AM Report Abuse
sandra_foster1 wrote:

Flavia del Monte's routines work really well and you slim down easily and effectively resulting a perfect body! Copy and paste http://tinyurl.com/flaviadelmonte00

6/18/2012 06:25:00 AM Report Abuse
KEENRecessTeam wrote:

Great suggestions! The KEEN Recess Team is encouraging everyone to make healthy lifestyle choices. Even taking a 10-minute recess break during the day can help reduce your stress and boost your energy level. Our Recess page has more fun suggestions on staying positive and active: http://recess.keenfootwear.com/recess-at-work/

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2/13/2012 07:11:30 AM Report Abuse
notbarbie wrote:

I must have a car at work, so I drive in on Monday with my bike and a week's worth of suits and lunches. Commuting by bike takes an extra hour out of my day, so it helps that I have a very understanding partner.

1/2/2012 12:12:19 PM Report Abuse
butterflyleia_85 wrote:

Oh and I'm a new mom with an 8mth old. I found that working out during his morning nap (usually he sleeps two hrs in morning and two after noon) to be a good time to crunch in a 30 to 45 min workout and still have time to take a shower and do what I want to do. I like the tips here ("couch potato" usually hanging out with family is setting and watching tv, daddy is tired when he comes home). It's nice to find other ways to crunch in a lil workout and still get things done!

11/8/2011 10:29:37 AM Report Abuse
thea7717 wrote:

This idea would work if you actually worked within a couple of miles from your home! I commute 35+ miles each way per day on the Washington DC Capital Beltway!

11/7/2011 02:27:14 PM Report Abuse
GentleNeed wrote:

I really like the idea of combining shopping with exercise, or even doing housework and use the staircase twice up and down.

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ranaznewbury1 wrote:

Seriously? How far from work do you live?

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11/5/2011 03:26:46 AM Report Abuse

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