How many times have I head the same tired old excuse, “I just don’t have time to exercise”? Plenty. In fact, I even found myself saying it recently! With the busy schedules we impose on ourselves, finding an hour each day to exercise can seem impossible. But by carving out a few minutes here and there each day, we can finally find a way to make daily exercise a priority.

15 minutes: Start by setting your alarm clock just 15 minutes early. Set your workout clothes next to the bed the night before so you don’t waste time looking for something to wear (and then end up off on a tangent reorganizing your closet). Hop on the treadmill or head out the door for a fast-paced power walk to get your heart rate up. If you are like me, the treadmill can get boring, so mix it up and keep it fresh by varying the speed, incline and steps (try hopping, skipping and jumping — just be careful).

4 minutes: It takes two minutes to brush your teeth. While the Sonicare is spinning in the morning, do some calf raises or butt clenches. Repeat in the evening.

15 minutes: On your lunch break, find some stairs to climb, or take a brisk walk around the block. Take a co-worker with you. No excuses: keep a spare pair of comfortable walking shoes in your car or in your desk drawer.

10 minutes: Most of us find ourselves at a computer for at least several minutes, if not several hours, each day. Take a few minutes midday to surf on over to YouTube and search for “office workout” or “desk yoga.” There are quite a number of good stretching and toning exercise video clips that can be performed in even the smallest of workstations.

15 minutes:Vigorous exercise before bedtime is a no-no, so plan on doing yoga or Pilates in the evening. All you need is 15 minutes, a mat, a video and a space that’s all your own with no interruptions. has several videos to choose from, both new and used (just search “15-minute workout”). Many have four programs on one video, so you can vary your workouts each day. Amazon also has a great selection of yoga mats. (Do yourself a favor — splurge and get the thicker mat.)

With little money or effort, you’ve now found a way to exercise an hour a day. While it’s hard to commit to a solid hour, anyone can crawl out of bed 15 minutes early. That’s not only doable, it’s ridiculously easy. Once you’ve done that, working in these other short bursts of exercise throughout the day will quickly become routine and put you on the right path to healthy living.

Always consult a physician before starting a new fitness regimen.

Lisa Snider is a local freelance writer. For more, go to