Lunden Souza: Exercise -- Lack of time no excuse

Even 10-minute workouts help

August 31, 2013 

There are always areas of your life that you can improve when it comes to fitness and health. When time is of the essence and there is so much information out there, how do you know what to do first?

Let's start with working out. If you are new to working out and trying to make time for it, it's unrealistic to think you're going to spend an hour, five to six days a week, when you begin.

Instead, start with short bursts of exercise whenever you see a window of opportunity.

Take 10 minutes to jump rope, practice holding planks or do this 10-minute workout: jumping jacks, push-ups and squats. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with little to no rest in between and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat five times. Everyone, beginner or veteran athlete, can find 10 minutes to get in some exercise.

What about diet? We can all agree that fruits and vegetables are healthy and awesome for our bodies, right? They are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. This week, add one extra serving of a fruit and vegetable every day. By the end of the week, that's at least 10 extra servings of fruits and vegetables (if you do one of each per weekday).

You can add a banana or berries to your cereal, bring an apple or orange to work for a snack with some raw nuts. You can add a handful of spinach to a berry smoothie or add extra vegetables to your morning omelet or pasta sauce. You can even use bell peppers and celery to dip in salsa instead of chips.

Try cutting up all fruits and vegetables when you get home from the store and put them in containers in the refrigerator. Then it's easy to throw them into meals.

Make this a habit every time you get home from the store. It's easy to do and makes a big difference.

Each day, identify windows of opportunity to squeeze in a workout or add more nutritious and fibrous fruits and vegetables to your diet. Make health and fitness a priority and see how it can trickle down and improve the quality of other areas of your life.

Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at

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