24 Stealthy Ways to Squeeze More Exercise into your Busy Day
Let’s face it. We are busy creatures. Full time jobs, families, full time studies, extra-curricular commitments and appointments galore can really be taxing on the body. We often cannot find time to fit a whole workout in. That shouldn’t mean that we can’t exercise during the day however. Check out some of my favorite tips to keep moving even when your schedule won’t allow it:
- Take the stairs. Whenever possible, opt for the stairs. No say to escalators, elevators and that cool moving ramp at the airport.
- Do calf raises while you brush your teeth. Or while you wait for the kettle, or while you wait for the microwave or… you get the picture. Choose any exercise you want!
- Play with a child or a pet. Have you ever noticed how much kids and dogs move? Join them! You will burn way more energy AND sleep like the baby you were playing with!
- Park your car further away than necessary. It’s simple – the further away you park, the more you have to move!
- Clean your house or your room. Good ol’ housework burns up to 200 calories more per hour!
- Walk it out at lunch. Instead of sitting around at lunch time, go for a walk. Not only will you burn more calories, you will feel more energized to return to work.
- Do chair exercises at work. Ankle pumps, using your arms to lift your bum out of your chair, straightening your knees or tightening your abs or glutes. Any added movements you do while sitting at your desk will help to torch more calories and keep the blood pumping.
- Switch to a standing desk. If this isn’t an option, opt for more micro breaks to stand up and strech
- Hydrate lots at work. More water = more trips to the bathroom!
- Do the core brace. Any time spent waiting is another great opportunity to flex your muscles. The core brace is a simple yet very effective exercise. Flex all the muscles in your stomach as if someone was about to hit you. Hold this for 5-10 seconds and repeat. This motion is not only great for building core strength, but important for protecting your spine and preventing low back pain.
- Do weights while you unpack your bags. Unpacking heavy groceries? Pick up that can of soup and do 10 bicep curls or lateral raises before putting it away.
- Squeeze those glutes. While walking, focus on squeezing your glutes and creating a longer stride.
- Practice good posture. Sitting with good posture is not only important for prevent neck and back pain, but engages more muscles and burns more calories.
- Get off the bus early. Whenever you take public transit, get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way.
- Lunge while you walk through your house. Regular walking is so boring anyway.. spice it up! Lunge to the bathroom.
- Bike to work. Make your commute your workout – bike or walk to work. Keep a bag of extra clothes at work so you can change when you get there.
- Do a gentle stretch when you wake up. When the alarm goes off don’t get out of bed right away. Spend 5-10 minutes stretching out your back, your hips, your shoulder and your legs. Hey – extra time in bed!
- TV time = Moving time. Spend your time in front of the television doing something active, be it stationary cycling, foam rolling, strengthening or whatever! Put your favorite show on your iPad and lug it with you to the gym.
- Choose the bathroom furthest from your desk. Better yet – pick one up a flight of stairs!
- Stand up to take phone calls. Whenever the phone rings, use it as an alarm to stand up.
- Fidget! That anxious foot tap? Its movement! Don’t shy away from fidgety habits, they help burn calories (unless they are loud and obnoxious, then maybe wait until no on is around).
- Use a basket instead of a cart. Opt the carry your groceries at the store instead of pushing them.
- Walk fast whever you are going. Walk like you mean it!
- Set an alarm every hour to move. If you are sitting for the better part of your day, set a timer on your phone to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move! Better yet – spend an entire minute every hour doing one exercise – squats, planks, push ups, lunges, burpees etc. If you do that every hour at work you will chalk up an extra 8 minutes of work out throughout your day!
Do you have any other tricks that you use throughout your day? Add them in the comments below!