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Simple Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Days

Did you know you could get fit with as little as five to seven hours of activity per week?

The key to getting in shape fast is to train smart, using intensity, according to Fred Methany, senior editor at

Methany offered some tips to help you beat the clock:

Maintain during the week, build on the weekend: Don't expect to see results if you sit on the couch all week and only work out on the weekends. It's unhealthy and doesn't work — what you gain on the weekend vanishes during five days of inactivity. Plan your work week so you can exercise aerobically at least twice, using the other days for short bouts of resistance training and rest — then go harder on the weekends when you have more time.

Intensity is better than distance: Studies show fast running or cycling for short periods of time is far better than slogging it out for hours at a slow pace. That's great news for time-challenged individuals!

Improve while resting: During rest periods the body repairs the damage done during an intense workout like fast running or cycling. The body rebuilds and becomes fit while at rest. Sure, you're busy during the week, but you can use those days when you're tied up at work as much-needed rest breaks from exercise. All it takes is a bit of planning.

Resistance exercise defeats time: Weight training is a quick way to stimulate muscles to get stronger. Several sets of leg exercises, like lunges or step-ups, take far less time than 20 miles of cycling but, because you're using more resistance, they build strength faster.

If you're looking for a simple exercise routine to help you make the most of your time, Methany suggested the following, five hour per week "smart running program":


  • Monday: 15 minutes of resistance exercise: legs (lunges or Step-ups), crunches for your abdominal and upper body pulling exercises (pull ups, etc).
  • Tuesday: 45 minute run: warm up, do three to 10 accelerations of 10 to 30 seconds each, warm down.
  • Wednesday: 15 minutes of resistance exercise: low-back exercises and upper-body pushing exercises (push ups, bench presses).
  • Thursday: 45 minute run: warm up, run hard on three to five short climbs, warm down.
  • Friday: 15 minutes of resistance exercise: crunches and legwork like step-ups or lunges.
  • Saturday: 75 minute run by yourself — run at a steady pace on varied terrain and enjoy the scenery.
  • Sunday: 90 minute run with a group — vary the pace on flat sections and push harder on hills.


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