Short bouts of exercise better for blood pressure

Frustrated. Disheartened. Less healthy. Soft and mushy. Even a little ashamed. These describe how I feel about not having time to exercise liked I used to, since my son’s toddler-hood hit me like a ton of bricks. An excuse? Maybe sometimes. But the 90-minute hikes I used to take daily with the dog are but a distant memory now.

When he was younger, I could pop Owen into the carrier and hike to my heart’s content, knowing that I’d have a sleeping baby every time. Now that he is nearly two years old, he wants to walk and explore every inch of our hiking trails for himself. His awe and wonder about everything never ceases to amaze me, but my thighs don’t appreciate his curiosity.

I was thrilled to see this recent study that showed that shorter bouts of exercise, say 10 minutes four times a day compared with a forty minute workout, are actually more effective in lowering blood pressure. It has inspired me to look for those ten minute time blocks. Surely Owen can sit still in his stroller for 10 minutes, right? We can dance to his toddler tunes. Kicking a ball around the yard should work. How about sit-ups while he builds with his blocks? At least I know my “found” exercise moments will have a positive effect on my blood pressure. And sometimes, as a busy mom, that fits the bill.

Author by Debra McDuffee