Hate exercising? Or maybe you’re just having an off day and simply can’t face the gym or dragging out the hand weights today?
Whatever the reason, if you can’t handle a workout right now we’ve got great news. You can skip the gym and still stay fit with these fun exercise hacks that transform your everyday activities into effortless “exercise” sessions.
Make the bed:
Slip in a mini sweat session by making the bed (whether it needs it or not).When you are making the bed you’re stretching, lifting and bending without even realizing it. It’s a great way to get your body moving first thing in the morning.
Use line time:
Whenever you’re stuck waiting in line don’t just stand there. Put a hand on the wall to keep your balance and do toe lifts. Or try some hip circles. Shift your weight to one foot while pointing and flexing the other, then swap. Heck, if you’re not shy throw in some knee beds too. Just keep moving.
Take ONE flight of stairs:
Lots of well-intentioned folks insist you should give up elevators and escalators completely, and only ever take the stairs. But for those that live in the real world that’s not always realistic. If you can’t always walk all the way up, don’t. Just take the stairs for a single flight instead. Then grab the elevator from the second floor. Going down? Get off one flight ahead of your final destination and hoof it down the last floor.
Park in the next section:
Many parking lots are broken up into sections. You don’t have to park ALL the way in the back 40 to slip in some extra steps. Just park one section back. Shopping somewhere that doesn’t break up their lot? Park on the other side of the first cart return.
Give up the grocery cart:
Next time you go to the grocery store skip the grocery cart and pick up a hand basket instead. You’ll get in a good arm workout while walking the aisles doing your shopping. And since you can’t carry as much as you can push, you’ll end up shopping again a bit sooner, getting in more steps and another arm workout.
Walk the dog:
Walking the dog is a great way to get in some extra steps without even realizing it. Make sure Fido gets a few spins around the block every morning and every evening and you’ll be taking yourself for a walk too. Don’t have a dog? Doesn’t matter, pretend you do and take the stroll anyway.
Dust your entire house every single day. And yes, that’s whether it really needs it or not. The motions you make while dusting are an effortless way to gently raise your heartbeat without having to head to the gym. Bend, stretch, and reach your way all around the house and not only will you keep the dust at bay you’ll sneak in a low-key workout while you do it.
Sit on an exercise ball:
This one requires a bit of balance, so make sure you’re steady enough. But once you get the all clear from your doc, using a large exercise ball in place of any one chair in the house will give you the benefits of exercising without even trying. Sitting on the ball engages your core muscles, and helps with posture. Need a bit more support? Look for a model with a built in back and legs. You’ll still be working that core.
Bust a move during commercials:
Don’t just sit still when a commercial comes on TV. Stand up and fidget. Do deep knee bends, toe touches or wall push-ups. Walk down the hall and back. Pace circles around the coffee table. It really doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you move for the entire commercial break.
Take a stand during phone calls:
Whenever you’re on the phone make it a habit to stand up and pace. Don’t stop moving until you’re done talking. After all, every step counts.
Who says dancing is just for the kids? Turn up the music and make a move! No need to do the latest dance steps (although you’ll find them on YouTube if you want to try). And don’t worry about being a “good” cancer. The point is to have fun and get your heartbeat up. Pick two of your favorite songs and boogie until the last note fades.
Laughing is by far our favorite effortless “exercise” hack around here. A study out of Vanderbilt University linked laughter to burning 10 to 40 extra calories per day. Sure that’s not much, but you’ll have a heck of a good time burning them. So go ahead and cue up your favorite comedy, or head over to YouTube and watch some hilarious pet videos. And if anyone asks what all the giggling is about tell them you are “working out.”
Go ahead and sneak in some daily exercise without ever working out. You’ll reap the rewards while hardly breaking a sweat.