“I just don’t have time to go to the gym today.”

I bet this sounds familiar to some. Getting up and going to the gym can be a pain, but the good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym to squeeze in a little exercise!

Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and hitting the treadmill. Taking your dog for a walk, playing basketball with your children, and even dancing in your living room are great (and fun) ways to build a healthy heart without feeling the pain of tedious workouts. Just a few minutes of regular, daily exercise can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, and the payoff is even greater.

Find fun workouts. Working out doesn’t have to be a strain or an inconvenience. Take your favorite activities and turn them into a quick workout. If you love shopping, hit the mall and walk around once or twice. Walking around just one level of the Mall of America will get you .57 miles of exercise! Looking for a longer walk? The Mayo Clinic has hung up signs around the MOA that will lead your through 5 and 10k routes. Do you like music? Turn it up and dance away in your living room! You could also try out classes at one of the Twin Cities many dance studios. Arthur Murrary’s Dance Centers in Edina and Minneapolis offer classes for all ability levels. Any activity can be turned into exercise with the right attitude and a little creativity.

Find a buddy. Getting your exercise requires motivation, and sometimes you need a little push. Ask a friend to join in on the fun! You can cheer each other on while working towards a healthier heart!

Work it out anywhere. You don’t have to pay for a gym membership to work on your fitness. Some exercises can even be done at your desk! Take a look at your surroundings and figure out how you can turn everyday activities into heart-healthy exercises. About to take a ride in the elevator? Opt for the stairs instead! Running to the coffee machine? Take a longer route. This time of year Minnesota weather can make it hard to get outside and take a walk. The Minneapolis Sky Way provides a great alternative! It has over 11 miles of climate controlled indoor walking area. Every little bit counts!

 




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