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10 Sneaky Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Day

 

Hi Cristina,

Most of us have heard countless times how exercise is "good for you", and we also know that regular exercise combined with healthy diet is a surefire way to good health. However, with today's busy lifestyle, many people (especially working moms) have trouble finding time to fit regular exercise into their lives.

The good news is you don't have to do vigorous-intensity workouts to achieve weight loss and health benefits. Integrating incidental exercises into your everyday life to keep yourself physical active throughout the day is one of the easiest ways to successful, long term permanent weight loss without realizing you're actually exercising.

I've listed some easy ways to sneak in exercises, at work or at home, to keep your metabolism going and burn those dreadful calories when you're busy. I strongly encourage you to be creative and come up with some fresh ideas of your own.  All you need is to keep active for 150 minutes every week and you'll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. So, no more excuses and get your body moving now!

 

How to Fit in Incidental Exercises for Weight Loss if You Don’t Have Time?

1. When driving to your office or grocery store, park your car at the far end of the parking lot (further away from the entrance) and briskly walk the rest of the way. This will get your heart pumping real good and burn calories while shaping and toning your legs.

Consider wearing a pedometer to track the number of steps and distance you walk each day (aim for 10,000 steps daily). A pedometer also acts as a motivational tool to get you to move around significantly. Alternatively, keep a walking log to note your progress. Are you where you hoped to be? If not, come up with a revised weekly walking plan that will help you achieve weight loss success.

 

 

2. Just once or twice week, leave your car at home and take public transport to work. Get off the bus or train a few stops before your regular stop and walk the remaining distance.

Better yet, walk or cycle at least part way to your workplace. You save money on petrol, help the planet and squeeze in some exercise at the same time.

 

 

3. Replace car travel with walking or cycling if you just want to grab some bread or milk at the corner store. Most people can walk 1-2 km easily and it's a great way to enjoy the fresh air and soak up the warm sunshine on a weekend morning!

 

 

4. Did you know that standing burns about 50 percent more calories than sitting? Even fidgeting and other unconscious movements such as tapping your fingers on a table, fiddling with pens, and hair twirling can burn as many as 350 extra calories per day!

So instead of sitting down for a chat phone with your friend, stand up or move about and do some things around the house at the same time. If your job requires you to sit and work at the computer, get up every half hour or so and move around to get your blood circulating and your heart rate up just a bit. Walk to your co-worker's desk instead of phoning or emailing to break up sitting time. The more you move, the more calories your body will burn.

Reading the morning newspaper while standing, and doing standing leg raises when checking text messages and email on your mobile phone are great opportunities to sneak in exercises at home.

 

 

5. Doing housework chores the old-fashioned way will help you to melt pounds. Mopping the floor, scrubbing the bathroom, cleaning the windows, pulling out the weeds, and washing the car by hand are great full-body workouts, which has nothing to do with treadmills, elliptical trainers, or weights.

Keep active – fold clothes, iron clothes, organize mail, prepare grocery list, do some stretches, abdominal crunches, arm circles – while watching television. Don't forget, even small amounts of incidental exercises are better than none at all.

 

 

6. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I know stair-climbing may be hard for overweight people, but if you climb stairs regularly, you'll be amazed at how easy it gets with practice.

For a start, slowly climb a single set of stairs without gasping for air, and then gradually increase the speed and the number of flights of stairs the next week. Also, make sure to warm up and wear good supportive shoes such as aerobic or cross-training shoes so that you won't slip and fall.

 

 

7. If you really don't have time for a full 30-minute exercise each day, then be flexible and break the exercise into parts. Try to do two 15-minute or three 10-minute segments in which you can engage in moderate to vigorous activities appropriate for your age and fitness level. Multiple short periods of exercise won't seem as daunting but will still offer beneficial health effects.

 

 

8. Instead of heading to your workplace cafeteria on your half hour lunch break, I suggest you spend 15 minutes to eat a healthy lunch and use the remaining 15 minutes to go for short walk and stretch. It's a great chance to get out of the office building and the fresh air will energize you so you're better able to concentrate on your work for the rest of the day.

 

 

9.  If you love shopping and enjoy going to the malls, then walk through the mall (window shopping) and lose those extra pounds. It may not be a vigorous workout, but at least you're doing something that will increase physical activity. Another plus, you're able to check out those little stores tucked around in a quiet corner of the mall.

Some shopping centers open their doors early for mall walkers. Again, wear comfortable walking shoes because those hard concrete surfaces can really take the pep out of your step.

 

 

10.  Turn your time with the kids into exercise. Instead of flopping on the couch and watching your kids play, put on some high-energy music, and do funny dance moves (great aerobic workout) with them in your family room. My 3-year-old son absolutely loves it and he's getting a good workout too! There are many fun indoor activities that you can do with the kids, such as jumping rope, hula-hooping or play hopscotch together.

If the weather is good, run around, pass the ball and throw a Frisbee with your children in your local park. The main idea is to burn more calories through recreational activities that works your whole body. And, if you've a dog, walk your dog around the block after dinner.

 

 

 

 

By Diane Hanson

I'm slightly overweight, about 8 pounds heavier than the healthy weight range for a 5 feet 5 inches woman. I know I need to lose weight and do more exercise, but I don't have time to exercise. I've a crazy busy schedule with working full-time and looking after 3 young children, so going to the gym regularly isn't a viable option for me. Besides, I can't afford to get a gym membership. Please help me out with how to sneak in exercise throughout the day. Thanks! – Cristina, Minneapolis.

i don't have time to exercise

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