“I Don’t Have Time”

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

February 5th, 2013

“I don’t have time” is the number one reason people list for not exercising.

If you can relate, stay tuned… as I have some GREAT news to share!

Lack of time is not a lame excuse for many people. The demands on our time can include any combination of the following: work, children, elderly parents, friends, relatives, our home, place of worship, health needs, shopping, cooking, volunteer work, and the list goes on. It is not surprising that exercise gets pushed to the back burner – usually with no “fuel” left to burn! Yet, exercise actually increases energy levels and is vital to managing stress – both of which are needed to best meet the infinite demands on our time.

As promised, I have GREAT news for the time-crunched crowd. A recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that moderate exercise done in short intervals throughout the day (such as 10 minutes of brisk walking at three separate times) incurred the same health benefits as completing all of a workout at one time (such as 30 straight minutes of brisk walking). Both groups equally decreased blood fat levels, blood pressure, and waist circumference, along with a reduction in almost all the modifiable health indicators of the dreaded metabolic syndrome! How AWESOME is that?

Fitting in exercise is now REALISTICLY ATTAINABLE for even the busiest of the busy! Everyone can find 5-10 minutes here and there to get active. You may need to dust off up your creative thinking cap, but that’s the fun part. Start thinking of ways to fit in 5-10 minutes of exercise. While your elderly mom is getting her check-up, you can hit the stairs in the office building (heck, do that at work too). Do some push-ups, planks or chair dips for five minutes before you get dressed in the morning. Dance to music while heating up dinner. Take a refreshing walk around the school while waiting for your son or daughter to get out of an after-school activity – why burn gas when you can burn calories! The possibilities are endless once you start thinking outside the box of conventional exercise. There’s nothing wrong with gyms, large equipment, and weight machines, but for the person with limited spare time they aren’t always a feasible option.

Some basics to keep in mind for obtaining all the fantastic benefits discussed in the study: keep track of your exercise minutes throughout the day and make sure you meet the recommended TOTAL minutes by day’s end (30 minutes at moderate intensity or 15 minutes at high intensity) at least five days a week.

Finally, be sure to share your ways of “sneaking” in exercise with your UH OptiWeight peers now that you know there is more than one way to skin the exercise cat!

For more exercise tips, visit:

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