Family Health Healthy Living

Bust a move: Mini-workouts for non-athletes

You might be one of those folks who feels that regular workouts or an exercise program is something that will fit into your life later—like when you win the lottery and have tons of free time. But there are small things you can do—either solo or with your family—that can get your heart pumping before you win those millions. After all, you want to be in decent shape when your ship comes in, right?

Start slowly—But start

Guidelines for exercise can seem pretty daunting. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise weekly. The good news is that you don’t have to hit those goals right off the bat. Work your way up to those totals over as many weeks as you need. Moreover, you can break those minutes into 10-minute chunks. Maybe you can walk around your office building during a 10-minute break or leave enough time before an appointment so you can walk around the block.

Family fun

If you have kids or other relatives in the house, find activities that you can do as a group. Pull up dance videos online and try to match the dancers’ moves, or have your mom and dad show the young ones how it was done in their day. You can schedule a session of classic kids’ games like freeze tag, hopscotch or duck, duck, goose—and even if the whole family ends up laughing until they cry, that’s good, too. It’s good for all of us to get away from our screens for a while and teach kids that it’s fun to move on a regular basis.

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Two, three or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net.

Low-intensity workouts

Another way to add movement to your day is through low-intensity activity. Usually, this refers to exercise that makes you breathe a little harder and gets your heart pumping but doesn’t put as much stress on your joints as running does.In fact, many swear by this level of activity because it is believed to keep your muscles in fat-burning mode longer. To get the greatest benefit, do this exercise in longer sessions.(Think of a long, slow simmer instead of a flash in the pan.)

Try: walking, yoga, tai chi, swimming or water aerobics

We’re here for you.
Augusta University Health offers a variety of care centers and practice sites to fit your schedule. Make an appointment at one of our care centers today, visit, or call 706-721-2273 (CARE).

About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.

1 Comment

  • Excellent article. As a newly retired but still active retired guy, I think I may put yoga in my kit bag in the near future. I will not, however, add Pickleball, I draw the line there.