Let’s face it…exercise is something we all need, but just don’t want to do it. Heck, you may want to, but you just don’t have the time. You could be like me where I went from always moving as a server to the good ol’ 9-5 desk job. Granted, I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off when I’m on-site at an event, but during the in-between planning times I’m literally at my desk for the majority of my 8 hours in the office. Don’t get me wrong, this is perfect for me as I love sitting and can do it for long periods of time (thank you, Netflix, for the training). BUT, I understand how important it is to move as much as you can and keep a healthy fitness routine.
After I get out of the office, working out is that absolute LAST thing I want to do. If I somehow do end up at the gym after work, it was from me giving up after a long hard fight with my brain telling me to go.
But for the days I do win that fight and end up back on my couch, I remind myself that the gym isn’t the only way to get exercise. Of course you may not get as quick of results from these tips as you would going to the gym 5 days a week and doing HIIT, but it’s a great start to a healthier lifestyle and it keeps you moving. Read on for 13 sneaky ways to get more exercise and burn those calories!
1. Park Further Than You Normally Would
Or as they say, “being European.” This forces you to get a few more steps in and on the plus side, you probably won’t have to struggle to find a parking spot!
2. Take the Stairs
Unless you’re on the top floor (we’re talking about buildings with 10+ floors here, people, not like my apartment with only 4!), taking the stairs instead of the elevator this probably isn’t totally realistic to do every single day. But hey, if you’re up for the challenge- go for it!
3. Lunge, don’t walk!
I tend to do this when I’m just going room to room in my house. That way you get where you’re going and your booty will be happy.
You can go ahead and thank me for this one, though your wallet might not. 😉 step away from the online shopping and get to your local mall or shopping center. A 2 hour shopping spree will have you walking miles, carrying piles of clothes to the dressing room, and holding heavy bags in each hand as you go from store to store. Even trying on different outfits has your whole body moving. You may be burning dough, but you’re also burning calories!
Not only is it healthier and cheaper to cook yourself, cooking is a sure way to add a little exercise without even realizing it. You’re constantly moving –walking around the kitchen, bending down, reaching up, and carrying things of varying weights. Not to mention you’re never really sitting, it’s a sure way to burn a few more calories than you would if you just got off the couch to answer the door for delivery.
6. Microwave workouts
Speaking of cooking, the microwave is a perfect alternative timer. Instead of just standing and watching your food cook for 1 minute and 30 seconds, use that as an opportunity for get in a mini workout! I like to use this time for squats, planks, or wall sits.
7. Commercial workouts
Same idea as the microwave workouts: don’t just sit there and wait for it to be done, get up and take advantage of that time! Use that time to do a quick chore, make a snack, or tidy up.
PRO TIP: turn it into a game:
Car commercial: 1 minute plank
Fast food commercial: 30 jumping jacks
Insurance commercial: 10 Burpees
Movie trailer: 15 squats
8. Walk and Talk
I seem to do this out of habit anyway, but pacing while you’re talking on the phone is a good way to get those added steps in. Better yet, if there’s someone you need to call and know it’ll be a lengthy conversation, plan it around an evening walk and get a good 20 minutes of movement in your day.
9. Drink Up
Staying hydrated is another essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. During my work days I always like to keep water readily available. You may be making more trips to the bathroom or going to the sink to fill back up a couple times throughout the day, but those are both opportunities to get up and walk around that you may not have done otherwise.
10. Make Your Bed
By making your bed each morning, you are already warming up your muscles for the day and getting some steps in as you move from one side to the other. Not only that, but there’s something about a made bed that makes the rest of your room look a little more put together (even if it’s not).
11. Have a Cleaning Day
Doing a deep clean of your kitchen, bathroom, or whole house is a sure way to burn calories. Scrubbing, wiping, mopping, sweeping; there’s really no point in time you’re not moving or putting a little muscle into it. Put on some music and dance while you dust. Include laundry and dishes (try doing them by hand every once in a while and get yourself an arm workout) into your day and you’ll have the perfect day of gym-less exercise and a really clean house to come home to!
12. Workout While You’re Getting Ready
Whether it’s getting ready for the day or getting ready for bed, it’s the perfect time to multitask and burn some calories. Do a 2 minute wall sit while you’re brushing your teeth; stand up and/or squat while you dry your hair (drying your hair is a good arm workout in itself!); do jumping jacks while you’re waiting for the bath/shower to heat up; do a mini workout cycle while you’re waiting for your 15 minute facemask or pore strip to do its thing.
13. Pick Up a New Hobby
This could be anything from picking up snowboarding in the winter, participating in an adult kickball or softball league, gardening, or even photography. Finding something you love doing and gets you moving makes burning calories a little more enjoyable.