15 Easy Ways to Sneak Physical Activity Into Your Day

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Are You on the Struggle Bus When it Comes to Being Active?

If you've been so busy you haven't been able to "do wellness" or you're having a hard time starting or keeping up with your new year's resolution to just be healthier, these 15 rather sneaky ways to integrate physical activity into your routine will help you set the stage for something more. Trying one or preferably a few of these tips on for size each day will have you getting your active on in no time.

See, by integrating these little spurts of fitness into stuff you're already doing on the daily, you're turning 'being active' into a healthy habit. Healthy habits done consistently mean that you can create a whole new lifestyle for yourself without really trying. #winning

P.S. I recorded a little video on this, so if you'd rather watch and learn than read and learn, skip to the bottom of the post. Even if you laugh at the fact that I'm wearing a Magnum PI t-shirt, I won't be offended.

Woman in headband on running track

Let's Get Physical!

No, not quite like Olivia Newton-John did in the early 80s, but close. Legwarmers and headband are optional.

  1. 20-Somethings: pick an exercise and do it for 20 reps, 3 times a day. Spread out the times. Try to piggyback your 20 reps onto something you already do. For example, do 20 body weight squats right before breakfast, 20 right before lunch, and 20 right before dinner.

  2. Stairs: take them instead of the elevator as much as possible. Don' t even look at the elevator if you have 4 flights or less to travel. Our condo elevators are always broken anyway so I'm pretty much forced into this one on the daily. Bonus points if you are carrying stuff.

  3. Stretch When You Can't "Skip Ad": even better, just don't skip the ad anymore. Let it play and do your stretching. Or an elbow plank. Or jumping jacks. You get the idea. Make watching videos an actual ACTIVE-ity.

  4. Walking Meetings: instead of sitting to meet, walk. You can do this inside or out. Not only does it get you moving and rev up your energy, it can actually improve your problem-solving skills and creativity. #winning

  5. Don't "Skip the Intro": instead of running straight through to the start of the episode on Netflix (or whatever service you use to watch your shows) just, like, skip. Or run on the spot, do high knees, arm circles, whatever. Also applicable to "Skip Recap" and that 15-second delay between episodes.

  6. Walk Vs. Tech: rather than calling, instant messaging, or emailing someone a simple question that doesn't need to be recorded for posterity reasons, go see them. This works well in both offices and houses, where we've developed an interesting habit of avoiding face-to-face conversations for the sake of convenience. Bonus: you strengthen your relationships. #winningagain

  7. Play the Fitness "Drinking Game": it's not really a drinking game but the idea is similar. Take your favourite TV show or movie franchise and come up with a list of about 7-8 things that regularly happen or characters often do. Attach a # of reps of a particular exercise to each thing. Watch the show or movie and when the thing happens, do the reps of the exercise as prescribed.

  8. Park Far Away: or get out of the bus/train/cab further away than you need to. Walk the rest of the way. You're not Dr. Who, Harry Potter, or a crew member of the Starship Enterprise. You don't always need to land IN your destination.

  9. Resistance Band Computer Workout: buy a resistance band (a half-decent set of 3 will run you less than $15 on Amazon) and do a few sets of abduction exercises while you compute or watch the TV. Or just squeeze your butt cheeks on the regular. That helps too.

  10. Stretch in Bed: gently, ok, you just woke up! Knees to chest, supine twits, forward bend, arms overhead, that kind of thing.

  11. Waiting Game: while you wait for your coffee to brew, water to boil, tea to steep, lunch to heat up, whatever, do some standing exercises like leg lifts, plié squats, or calf raises.

  12. Stability Ball Sits: use one to instead of chair at your desk or while watching TV. It helps to improve your posture and strengthens your core muscles. Who needs sit-ups when you can just SIT?!

  13. Dance It Out: put on one of your favourite songs and get your groove on. Just pick something upbeat. Dancing will also improve your mood and creative thinking. My current #1 dance-it-out choice is this gem by Brave Shores.

  14. 10 Minutes of TV Sweat: get sweaty in front of the TV/computer for 10 minutes. Pick 5 exercises and do them each for 30 seconds. Take a short rest. Repeat the set 3 more times (total of 4 sets). Collapse. This is an AMAZING way to make big gains with only a 10-minute time commitment per day. And if you're watching something while doing it the time flies by.

  15. Sex: need I say more? If so, fine. Birds do it, bees do it, science says it's awesome for you. Enjoy!

Get Sneaky!

Give a bunch of these tips a go and you'll be pleasantly surprised how active you can be without really trying that hard - and without going to the gym or giving up TV time. Yay! And if you want to watch me explain them in person, well, here you go: