BODY WATCH : Your Excuses Just Ran Out : No time to hit the gym? Put the time you waste stuck in traffic, flying or waiting on hold to good use by toning up.


You're sitting at your desk, stuck in your car in traffic or are on a long flight and can just feel those annoying fat cells accumulating around your waist, hips and thighs.

With no time--or place--to exercise, what can you do?

Although experts agree that aerobic exercise provides the best cardiovascular workout, even moderate exercise has been found to yield some health benefits. But in these over-scheduled and over-stressed times, where and when can the overweight among us find the time to add even moderate exercises to already busy days?

Try incorporating activities into your daily routine.

For example, we've all seen those depressingly healthy joggers doing stretches in the park as we rush by in our car on the way to yet another soccer game or dance recital. There they are, leaning against a tree, stretching out those calf muscles, limbering up in anticipation of a long-distance run.

Similar stretches can be just as easily accomplished at your desk. Calf stretches can be done to the accompaniment of Muzak while you're on hold for the umpteenth time.

You can work out some of that co-worker-induced stress by lifting the stapler-cum-barbell up and down a few times and tone your biceps in the bargain. But please resist the urge to toss it at said co-worker. Javelin throwing is not part of this program.

Your car can be transformed into a motoring health club during that ultimate Southern California experience: the traffic jam.

Larry Reynolds, a Huntington Beach businessman with a degree in physical education, developed a commuter's exercise program called "Autorobics." Neatly packaged in a 50-page spiral-bound book, the exercises can be done in the comfort and privacy of your own auto.

"These are all isometric exercises designed to firm and tone the body, not to develop your cardiovascular system," Reynolds says.

He calls commuting "total dead time" and maintains that exercising while you drive can help alleviate the boredom and even possibly prevent accidents by keeping drivers more alert.

Passengers on long-distance flights can also avoid boredom by exercising while they fly.

Lufthansa Airlines offers "Flyrobics," which can be done while sitting.

"Flyrobics is a 15-minute video which involves stretching and relaxation exercises that can be performed while seated on long-distance flights," says Dan Lewis, a Lufthansa spokesman.

"Lufthansa was one of the first to introduce the concept," because they fly such long distances, Lewis says. The Los Angeles to Frankfurt flight, for example, averages about 10 hours.

The video may be shown several times on monitors throughout the cabin in coach, or on the in-seat video monitor in business and first class. Passengers can tune in whenever the program is scheduled on one of the airline's 12 channels.

Even couch potatoes can get some exercising done while watching their favorite TV shows.

Instead of jumping up to grab some ice cream or cheese puffs from the kitchen, TV watchers can do a few "tummy tighteners" during those commercial breaks.

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