No Time to Work Out? Get Fit in a Flash

With these fitness shortcuts, you can exercise less and benefit more.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

The idea of working out less and getting more out of it has undeniable appeal. After all, who wouldn't want to spend less time sweating and straining and more time ...well, doing more of whatever it is you like to do?

The good news, experts say, is that not only is this possible, but one key to faster fitness is turning the things you like to do into fitness activities. Walking the dog, playing catch with the kids, or working in your garden can help you reach your fitness goals.

"The goal here is to disguise your exercise," says Barry A. Franklin, PhD, national spokesman for the American Heart Association's Choose to Move program. "We have, as a nation, overemphasized the value of structured exercise and underemphasized the value of lifestyle physical activity as a way to get more fitness into our lives."

Several studies have shown that becoming more active in our daily lives can provide the same benefits -- including improvements in risk factors for heart disease -- as a structured exercise program, says Franklin, director of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.