It’s been drilled into our heads over and over… exercise daily, find thirty, move more! Yes, we get it and yes we know how important daily exercise is for our health, wellbeing and waistline. But even so, sometimes finding just half an hour in our busy schedules to workout can be difficult.
Although I don’t believe that “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” is a viable excuse (yes, excuse) for not exercising (check out my previous post here), I get that time isn’t always on our side. Luckily, there is a solution. ‘What is this solution?’ I hear you ask… It’s a little thing called incidental exercise.
By simply making just a few small changes you would be surprised by just how much more activity you can fit into your day… without even noticing! Below are some of my favourite ways to boost your daily movement.
10 ways to sneak more exercise into your day
1. Take the stairs. Swap the escalator for the stairs. Just like an escalator, a staircase will get you to the to where you need to be. Only, instead of you just getting taken along for a ride, YOU have to do the moving. Taking the stairs instead of the escalator or lift is such a simple and effective way to get just a little extra activity into your day.
2. Lace Up, Don’t Buckle Up. Run out of milk? Need to dash to the shops to grab a couple of things? Rather than jumping in your car for a measley 5-minute round trip, lace-up your sneakers and walk there instead. Not only will you be getting an extra bit of exercise, saving petrol and dosing up on some good ole’ Vitamin D, you can also feel good that you are helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions. It’s a win-win!
3. Ditch the Lunch Dates for Exercise Dates. Next time you make plans to catch up with a girlfriend over coffee or lunch, save your pennies (and waistlines) by suggesting an exercise date instead. It could be as simple as going for a leisurely coastal stroll or doing a fitness class together at the gym. This way you can still catch up but you’ll be getting active as well!
4. Get Off the Bus a Stop Early. If you catch public transport to and from work, school or uni (firstly, good work for not driving), why not go that one step better by getting off the bus a stop earlier than usual . This way you will have to walk that little extra distance to get home.
5. Clean and Burn Calories. It might sound silly, but no joke, you can work up a serious sweat while scrubbing the shower or vacuuming the floors. No one likes doing housework (except the crazy ones), but there are ways to make it more enjoyable. Chuck on your ipod, blast your favourite tunes and bust out your Beyoncé moves while dusting away. Burn some calories while you practice your housework induced dance moves.
6. Workout During the Ad Breaks. Reframe from picking up your phone, or checking Facebook next time the ads coming on during your favourite TV show. Use this time to do some quick exercises instead. Smash out some push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges or even use your coffee table to pump out some tricep dips. It’s only 3 minutes, and the best bit is, you get a 10-15 minute break in-between.
7. Make Your Gym Clothes Your Casual Clothes. There is just something about having your active wear on that makes you feel that much more motivated. I don’t know about you, but when I’m sporting my favourite LJ crop and running shorts, I feel like I can accomplish anything! Gym gear is quite possibly the comfiest thing in your wardrobe (after pyjamas of course), so no wonder we feel invincible wearing it. Next time you go to put on your everyday casuals, chuck on some sportswear instead and no doubt you’ll feel like getting active.
8. Purposely Park Far Away. Let’s be honest, how much time do we waste driving around carparks trying to get a spot close to entrance, only to more often than not, end up parking faraway anyway. From now on, actually aim to park in one of the farthest spots so you HAVE to walk that bit further. You’ll probably end up getting in the shop quicker than any of those other hopeful drivers, surveying the two rows close to the doors anyway.
9. Swap the Chair for an Exercise Ball. If you work in an office or sit at a desk for most part of the day, ditch the chair and get a fitball instead. Sitting on an exercise ball is a fantastic way to stabilise your core and perfect your posture.
10. Learn to Multi-task. Use your time standing up behind a counter at work or in the kitchen whilst chopping veggies, to also do some leg and butt workouts. Activate your core, stabilize one leg, and with the other try doing some standing leg raises. People may look at you a little strange but that won’t matter when next time they are walking behind you they are checking out your butt. You can also multi-task when you are talking on the phone, brushing your teeth or checking your instagram feed. Rather than sitting down or laying in bed, walk around, do some squats or do some wall-sits.
So there you go. 10 simple, yet effective ways to incorporate some incidental activity without getting in the way of your day. Some of these tips are so easy to implement that there really is no excuse. But remember, prioritise your priorities aka make time to exercise. Exercise should not be an after-thought, but planned into your day. If you really want something you will make it happen! There will be NO EXCUSES!
Here’s to another happy, healthy, ACTIVE week!
Love Elo xx