We know we should exercise, but trying to fit it in your day can be challenging. If you are really going to do it, you probably have to schedule it, or it just won’t happen. I know for me, I have to take the approach of “how can I fit my day into my exercise,” rather than “can I fit exercise into my day.” But whether you already move daily, are just ‘don’t have the time,’ there is plenty you can do to increase your overall daily activity level.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator to add some good daily activity
If you have a pulse, you’ve heard this one before, but there’s a reason. It’s a good one. Taking the stairs increases your heart rate by requiring increased muscle activity. The more flights the better because walking stairs can strengthen your heart, your muscles, and your overall balance. If you want to make it even more beneficial, walk the stairs extra fast, raise your calves more than necessary, jump up the steps or skip stairs.
Increase your daily activity by having ‘walking meetings’
Many of us work from home now, which makes daily activity even less likely than before. Not only are we still busy overall, but now we can roll out of bed and into the office. To combat this, do at least one of your meetings while you are out on a walk. That way you’re not actually taking time out of your workday, but you are also accomplishing something. Furthermore, you can use your phone for work purposes, such as making calls, while you are out walking.
If you do ‘go’ to work at a physical location other than your home, have walking meetings with the other person. They will also reap the health benefits and you’ll be getting things done. In fact, research shows that walkers are more creative and more mentally acuit.1,2,3
Constantly move daily.
If you’re busy like most people and have limited time to exercise, multi-task. This might mean doing lunges down the supermarket aisle while shopping or powerwalking from the parking lot to your kid’s school. You might look a little silly, but who really cares if that fat guy is thinking about how weird you look.
Get on the ball!
Most people sit on a nice comfy chair while working. Others get the idea and stand, at least some of the time. The truly enlightened sit on a big ball. Doing so helps improve your posture and balance but also can help relieve pain. In terms of exercise, you can do any sorts of motions while sitting and improve strength, especially around your core.
Force yourself to get more daily activity; park far away
If it’s reasonable, park your car as far from where you’re going as possible. Now I’m not suggesting you should park in a dark, secluded area of a parking lot just because it is far away. But park as far away as it is safe to do so. This of course will force you to get more daily activity in while you’re already getting groceries, picking up kids or just going to work. Some companies have even purposely put their parking lot some distance from their offices so that employees are required to make a daily walk, that many of them would not get otherwise.
How men love to move daily; get it on
Guys suddenly love exercise when this one is brought up. Now I’m not a big fan of talking about sex with, well, anyone but my wife, but here are the facts. Women burn off some 3.1 calories per minute during this activity while men burn 4.2.4 Of course this is quite lower than an intense run (11.4-17 calories per minute) but significantly more than watching Netflix.
Ideally, you should be dedicating some time to exercise every day. The more intense, the better. But we don’t always have time in our busy schedules, but we can incorporate exercise into our schedules and move daily. And even if you exercise regularly, you can still include these ideas (and more) to get even better results.