15 Ways To Sneak In More Exercise
In a perfect world, we'd all have at least an hour a day to devote to our fitness. But in the real world, 24 hours a day doesn't seem like nearly enough time to fit in work, school, and family. Stop stressing! Here are 15 ways to sneak a workout into your super busy schedule.
1. Make your bed every morning.
You'll get your muscles moving first thing after you get up, and you'll appreciate the beautiful, beckoning sight come bedtime.
2. Do 10 push-ups every morning.
Or jumping-jacks, or crunches, etc. This is a small enough number to commit to each day but a regular enough activity to make a difference. Over time, you can add five more, ten more, and so on.
3. Squat while you brush your teeth.
It may sound (and will definitely look) funny, but it's effective for three reasons: you'll have a cleaner smile, a tighter tush, and a small part in saving the planet. Squatting while brushing will make you brush your teeth for longer, turn the water off while brushing, and build stronger glutes in the process.
4. Park farther away than you need to.
Don't stress over trying to get the closest possible spot to your destination. Plan ahead of time to park farther away, and not only will you be more at peace, but you'll also get in some extra walking.
5. Take the stairs.
Assuming you don't need to get to the 20th floor, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stair climbing is a great cardiovascular exercise that may feel difficult if you're not accustomed to it, but over time, your body will adapt and your heart (and thighs!) will thank you. And if you do need to go to the 20th floor, consider taking the elevator part of the way and stepping up the rest.
6. Exercise on the job.
There are exercises you can do right at your desk to help you improve your body's flexibility and strength with nothing but a few minutes and your desk chair. From chair yoga to desk push-ups and tricep dips, spinal stretches and hamstring stretches there no excuse not to get moving.
7. Switch out your office chair for a stability ball.
This may sound bizarre, and it's guaranteed to turn heads, but sitting on a giant exercise ball instead of the typical office chair will cause you to use your core muscles and have better posture all day long. Just try not to fall off (too much).
8. Schedule a daily walk break at work.
Put it on your calendar. This way, you're less likely to get over-absorbed in a project and can't use the excuse that you forgot. Better yet, get a co-worker to join you — both for company and accountability. Even 10 or 15 minutes is better than what you were (not) doing before.
9. Take calls standing up.
If you spend a lot of time on the phone at work, use that time to get off your rump and stretch your legs. The person on the other line won't have a clue how odd you look.
10. Practice isometrics.
If you're stuck suffering through a long meeting, you can still keep your muscles moving by essentially pumping isolated muscles or muscle groups. Try repeatedly flexing and unflexing your abdominal muscles, for instance. The better you get at it, the more you can try to isolate different, specific regions. While you certainly won't bulk up doing this exercise, you can maintain your muscle tone without drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
11. Go on walking/biking errands.
Have a few in-town errands to run? Strap a basket to your bike or throw on a backpack and save some petrol by walking or biking it to the store, post office, bank, etc.
12. Do the grocery shopping.
If you aren't already the designated grocery-shopper in your household, volunteer to take on this task. Walking up and down aisles, pushing a trolley or carrying a basket, and reaching high and low for items on shelves all work and stretch your muscles–plus, this way you can be in control of all the healthy foods you're going to bring home, right?
13. Keep your yoga mat/weights/kettle bell by the TV.
That way, next time you head to the sofa to watch your favourite show, you can instead squeeze in some exercise while indulging in an otherwise guilty pleasure.
14. Play with children.
I'm not advocating stranger-danger here, but if you have children in your life already, take advantage of opportunities to play with them. Kids have so much natural energy, and it's completely infectious! Plus, how often do you have a legitimate excuse to stop acting like an adult?
Whether you're cooking, cleaning, car-washing, or getting ready for a night out, turning up the music and getting your groove on will get rid of calories while simultaneously filling your soul.