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Looking for a fast, effective way to exercise? Researchers have found that great benefits can be obtained from short physical workouts. Even as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day can produce results. And for boosting metabolism and benefiting the heart, some research has shown that brief periods of intense exercise interspersed with short rests can be more effective than a longer, slower workout. 

Of all exercise programs, brisk walking is one of the easiest and most enjoyable. Walking strengthens the heart and increases blood circulation throughout the body, carrying oxygen and nutrients to the organs. It can also increase the efficiency of the lungs, lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels, strengthen legs, and help to reduce body fat. 

If you’re looking for a more complete workout, try squats, pushups, and sit-ups. And consider these two chair exercises for big results in strength, health, and well-being. 

Chair dips: Sit on the edge of a chair with hands beside hips. Holding on to the chair, glide your bottom off the edge, keeping your back close to the chair. Bend elbows to 90 degrees, and then return to sitting position. 

Chair squats: Stand in front of a chair with your back to the seat, feet hip-distance apart. Lean slightly forward and bend knees until your bottom just touches the chair, then stand back up. Keep your weight over your heels. 

After 10 minutes of exercise, stretch, cool down, and relax. Before starting any exercise pro-gram, it’s wise to have a physical checkup. If you are unaccustomed to working out, your doctor may want to determine how much activity your heart can handle.

Sources: 

“10-Minute Workouts,” www.FitnessMagazine.com/workout/express/10-Minute 

“Ask Well: 3 Short Workouts or 1 Long One?” by Gretchen Reynolds, http://well.blogs.NYTimes.com, 7/5/13 

“Easy 10-Minute Workout for Busy Moms,” www.Parenting.com 

“Why Stretching May Not Help Before Exercise” by Alexandra Sifferlin, www.Time.com, 4/8/13

Contributor: 

Martin Hanft