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22 tips for 2022: You don't need an intense workout. Small moves make a difference

Illustration of a person standing in front of a pegboard of home exercise equipment including hand weights, a tennis racket, a jump-rope, baseballs and a mat.
Shannon Wright for NPR

Making exercise a daily habit can feel daunting if it feels like it counts only when you go all in. Instead, remember that every small movement counts.

Simple actions like standing up at your desk for part of the day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and throwing out the trash can make a difference for your overall health.

If you want to start building up to a routine, try doing a minute of situps, pushups or squats at the end of each hour — it will add up! "Even one minute — that's all it really takes to get the blood flowing and get you outside of the work frame of mind and feeling good," says Salina Duggan, a Seattle-based personal trainer.

You don't have to be a marathoner or a gym rat to get meaningful health benefits from exercise. Remember, when you go for a 10-minute walk, you're still lapping the version of you that didn't go at all.


Here's more on how to start exercising and how to start a home exercise routine.

22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip comes from episodes of Life Kit hosted by Maria Godoy and produced by Sylvie Douglis and Chloee Weiner.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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