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Experts recommend working out 45 minutes to an hour a day (30 minutes for beginners) for weight loss and fitness. But if you're like most women, you don't always have a block of 30 to 60 minutes a day to devote exclusively to doing your workouts.

Lest you think that short bursts of activity have a negligible effect on your fitness program, think again. One study found that women who split their exercise into 10-minute increments were more likely to exercise consistently, and lost more weight after five months, than women who exercised for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.

Here are simple, practical ways to work exercise into your day even when you're short on time:

1-Around the House

1. When you go outside to pick up your morning newspaper, take a brisk 5-minute power walk up the street in one direction and back in the other.

2. If you're housebound caring for a sick child or grandchild, hop on an exercise bike or do a treadmill workout while your ailing loved one naps.

3. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. (A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.)

4. Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm's length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

5. After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids and their friends.

6. Just before bed or while you're giving yourself a facial at night, do a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises, suggests exercise instructor Sheila Cluff, owner and founder of The Oaks at Ojai and The Palms, in Palm Springs, CA, who keeps a set of free weights on a shelf in front of her bathroom sink.

2-Take Your Dog For A Walk Or Simply Enjoy Some Nature Time With Your Kids

If you have a pet, instead of just letting your dog into the back yard to do his business take him for a walk. This is a great way for both of you to get some exercise and to bond together. Don’t have a pet? Then take the kids on a regular nature hike. And remember, there is nature even in the most urban of jungles. In the city? Look for squirrels and pigeons, and talk about how those animals survive in human dominated areas. Make this a time of family togetherness, appreciation for nature, learning, and fitness.

3-Do Easy Home Based Exercises

You can get exercise for your entire body at home, without spending a penny on any exercise equipment. Sound too tough because you are a world record holding couch potato? Then use the television to your advantage and do push-ups, sit-ups, squats, stretches, planks and other simple exercises on the commercials! If you watch television for 2 hours every night and you exercise on all of the commercials that could equal as much as 40 minutes of exercise every day without taking any time away from any activity that you enjoy!

4-While Traveling

1. Pack your sneakers and a fitness DVD. Call ahead to make sure your room has a DVD player. If it doesn't, ask to rent one from the hotel.

2. If you're traveling by car, stop twice a day for short, brisk walks and some stretching.

3. During layovers at airports, avoid the mechanized "moving carpets" that transport travelers from concourse to concourse. "If you're in between flights, walk around the concourse as much as you can," suggests Cluff.

4. Book a hotel room between the fifth and eighth floors, then ignore the elevator. Better yet, take two stairs at a time. (Check with the hotel first because for security reasons some hotels do not allow guests to use stairs except for emergencies.)

5. Do calf stretches while riding in elevators.

5-Say No To Junk Food

Do your best to stay away from junk food. Yes, candy bars, potato chips and soda pop – we mean you! Avoid even buying processed foods laden with sugar, salt and preservatives; if the food is not even in the house it will be a lot harder for you to eat it. Still need a little treat once in a while? Keep a supply of individually wrapped dark chocolates in a high cupboard; this way, you have to go out of your way to get it but can satisfy your sweet tooth in a way that will give you a few antioxidants as a bonus without derailing your diet. Still afraid that your diet is lacking? Consider bulk supplements such as multi-vitamins and vitamin B to round out your nutritional intake and to give you the extra energy that you need to stick to your new exercise habits.

6-At Work

1. Walk to work if you can. "I walked to work for months, 1½ miles each way," says Mary Dallman, PhD, professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and she really saw results.

2. If you dine out on your lunch hour, walk to a restaurant on a route that takes you a little bit out of your way.

3. If you have a meeting in another building, leave 5 or 10 minutes early (or take some time afterward), and do some extra walking.

4. On breaks, spend 5 to 10 minutes climbing stairs.

5. If you're pressed for time and must wait for an elevator, strengthen your core with ab exercises. Stand with your feet parallel and your knees relaxed. Contract the muscles around your belly button. Then elevate your upper torso, and release. Finally, contract your buttocks for a few seconds.

6. Use a ringing phone as an excuse to stretch your back. Stand with your feet astride. Imagine that you are encased in a plaster cast from your waist to your head. Gently tilt the lower part of your pelvis backward. Contract your abdominal muscles. Then gently tilt your pelvis forward.

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