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SALEM — Finding the time to work out is a challenge for many women, but there are ways to fit exercise into a busy day.

“Getting exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym,” said Brian Rafferty, director of physical therapy at Salem Regional Medical Center (SRMC). “Adding more movement to your day with activities like walking, stretching and balancing can help improve your fitness and overall health.”

In recognition of National Women’s Health and Fitness Day Sept. 28, SRMC is encouraging women to prioritize their health by incorporating physical activity into their daily routines.

Ways to Exercise If You’re Busy

For the most benefit, Rafferty suggests including a combination of the following types of activities:

– Aerobic Activities: Something as simple as a brisk walk can help improve your overall fitness. Sneak more steps into your day by parking farther away from a building than usual or walking to your destination whenever possible.

– Stretching Exercises: Movements such as raising your arms over your head and rolling your shoulders forward and backward can help increase your range of motion and posture.

– Strengthening Activities: There are opportunities to increase muscle strength in everyday activities like climbing the stairs and carrying groceries. Strengthening exercises like calf raises (lifting heels off of the ground) can be done just about anywhere – from standing in line to brushing your teeth.

– Balance Training: Performing movements like walking backwards or standing on one foot can help improve balance, especially for those who are at risk of falling or have trouble walking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that most adults strive for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

“If you’re short on time, you can spread out your exercise during the course of a week and break it up into smaller chunks throughout the day,” Rafferty noted. “For example, try taking 10 minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening to do some form of activity on most days. All of the movements you do during the day can add up to make a difference in your health.”

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