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September 2018

10 Expert Tips on Sneaking Exercise into Your Day

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness

Let’s be honest, nobody really wants to exercise.

Okay, some people do. Some people enjoy the rush of spending two hours lifting heavy at the gym, finding the most advanced hike they can and huffing it up a mountain, or going hard on their daily 5am run. However, for the rest of us – those of us who after a long work day just want to order in and collapse on the sofa, or feel like chasing your kids around is enough exercise for the day – there are fortunately plenty of things you can do to sneak in some extra calorie burn.

In the age of convenience, we don’t need to be nearly as active as we used to be. You can order anything from your sofa, from groceries to toilet paper. This results in a lot of bad habits that significantly cut out a huge chunk of exercise we could be easily getting throughout our day. Some of these tips may seem like they won’t amount to much, but a few daily changes will add up over a week! Movement and exercise also release endorphins and other chemicals in our brain that make us feel energized, alert, and more positive. If you are a mostly sedentary person and are often tired, have trouble concentrating, or just want to shed a few pounds, these tips may be for you!

1. Wake Up and Stretch

If you’re groggy in the morning and struggle to get out of bed, try standing up and taking just a few minutes to stretch out before starting your day. Stretching is great for your muscles and circulation, and can leave you feeling less stiff. It’ll also wake you up a little so you’re not feeling sluggish for your morning routine. Waking up with a full body stretch and making your bed will burn a few extra calories and give you a positive, fresh start to your day!

2. Walk Your Dog (or Your Kids) (or Your Friend)

It might be easy to just open your back door and let your dog romp around in your backyard with the kids for a bit while you stay inside and watch the news. However, you could be joining in and getting some of that quality calorie burn! Take your dog or kids for a walk, or take them to a park and play with them instead of just sitting and watching. Don’t have a dog or kids? Ask a friend to go on a walk with you instead of catching up on the phone. There’s probably a local cafe or shop you’ve been meaning to venture to; maybe ask a date out on a walk to go check it out!

3. Make TV Time Active

Bingeing time doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. If you have a gym, or a treadmill at home, try walking while you catch up on your favorite series. No treadmill? No problem! Keep a yoga mat or kettlebell by the TV and instead of plopping on the couch, try doing some yoga or simple weight training exercises while you watch. Doing a little workout will also keep you from mindless snacking while you watch (we all do it).

4. Stand Up More

If you’re in a waiting room, taking a call, or waiting on a bus, try to break the habit of sitting down when you don’t really need to be. Many people get into this habit, having sedentary jobs and waiting in traffic for an hour a day. Opting to stand instead of sit will not only burn more calories, it’ll keep you feeling more alert throughout the day. You can also try speaking with your manager to see if you can get a standing desk. Many workplaces will try their best to accommodate this request.

5. Sit Smarter

If you have a desk job and have to sit for most of the day, don’t get discouraged! There are subtle, simple exercises you can do even while you sit. Try flexing your ab muscles and holding it for as long as you can, and then releasing. Do a few stretches in your seat every few hours. Get creative – listen to some of your favorite music and tap your legs and feet. If you have a home office, swap out your office chair for an exercise ball! Balancing on one engages your core muscles, and burns calories.

6. Cook Yourself a Meal

Instead of ordering take-out or stopping at a fast-food joint on your way home, stop at the grocery store and get some ingredients to cook your own meal. Not only can you make a much healthier, lower calorie option than standard take-out, but cooking yourself is more of a workout than people realize. Working up a sweat in the kitchen, where you might be on your feet over a hot stove for an hour, is a great way to get in some distracted exercise. It can also be fun, if you’re cooking with a friend or partner! Put on some music, or a show in the background and get cookin’!

7. Park Farther Away

A super easy and simple way to add a few more steps to your day is to simply park farther away! Unintentional rhymes aside, this habit may seem inconsequential, but its really the small daily changes that add up over time. Instead of spending an extra ten minutes sharking around a busy parking lot waiting for that perfect spot right in front of the entrance, just park in the back and walk. You’ll not only burn more calories, you’ll get more of that vitamin D your body is probably craving!

8. Take the Stairs

Going off that last point, taking the stairs is a super easy but often bypassed way to get around that gives you a little extra boost. It’s usually faster than waiting for the elevator anyway. It really is the small steps that will make the big differences when you’re making lifestyle changes, so remember that next time you’re thinking of skipping the stairs.

9. Clean the House

Cleaning your home or apartment is a great way to kill two birds with one stone – it’s actually a great workout, and you always feel so good when you’re done and can enjoy a spotless house. You can make cleaning more of a workout and more fun by playing some music and “dance-cleaning.”…Don’t pretend you don’t know what that means.

10. Take More Breaks

Desk jobs can really make it difficult to get your exercise in for the day. Apps can help you make sure you’re reaching your goals, even while at work. Try setting alarms every hour or so to remind you to get up and stretch or take a small walk. Bring a water bottle to work and try to meet your water consumption goals so you have more reasons to get up for refills and bathroom breaks. Having a FitBit or other kind of pedometer can help you set and reach daily step goals.

Getting more exercise doesn’t have to mean starting a one-hour gym routine where you are lifting heavy or huffing it on the treadmill. Some of the best exercise you can possibly get is simply walking more. The great thing about most of these tips is that many of them take no or very little extra time out of your day! It’s more about making smarter choices than drastically changing your life. Anyone can do it, and you don’t have to wait until the new year to set new goals. Try some of them today!