One of the biggest complaints that I hear from people that are trying to get healthy, or even people who are trying to maintain their healthy lifestyle, is the lack of time to go to the gym. I would be lying if I stood here and told you that I don’t struggle with this very problem too. Adding in a regular work-out routine can feel absolutely impossible when you already have a full schedule. Here are 12 ways to sneak fitness into your life without greatly impacting your schedule.
I know, I know, this one seems too easy to be true!! That’s why we’re here though, to show you simple ways to add exercise to your day. Stretching helps improve blood flow, increases your range of motion, and can help prevent future injuries. This can be done by anyone, at any age, in fact my kids and I used to stretch in the morning before they went to daycare. Now they are in school, and sleep until the absolute last minute to wake up.
Change your Commute:
This one may not be for everyone, especially during the colder months. No matter how you get there, the daily commute is unavoidable, why not use it to your advantage. Biking to work is a great way to add exercise into your routine, and still get you to work. Even if you only biked every Tuesday, it still adds movement into your weekly routine.
Go on a Mini-Hike:
This is one my kids and I throw into our routine weekly during the warmer months. We pick a spot based on reviews online, and go on a new adventure. Even a small hike adds steps to my tracker, and gets my heartbeat elevated. Our family also makes a list of all the potential places that we would like to hike, and then we make sure to make time for them. A hike that lasts 30 minutes can burn around 250 calories.
Download an App:
There are many Apps that are available for fitness, and many of them are free. The main benefit of a fitness App is that it gives you accountability. Many of the free fitness Apps will even track your steps, if you have your phone with you. Apps can also help with calories, and healthy food choices. They are limited though, they will not run behind you with a megaphone telling you to run, or knock the unhealthy food out of your hand.
Buy a Jogging Stroller:
Back when I was a first-time Mom, I always felt as though I had to schedule a babysitter to go to the gym. By the time my twins were born, we had a jogger and I learned to take them with me everywhere, or never leave the house. I loved our jogger, and used it often to take them for walks. This is also a great way to introduce an active lifestyle to your children by showing them that the whole family can be active together.
Take the Dog for a Walk:
The same rule applies if you have a dog versus children, or if you’re like me, both. Take your beloved fur baby out to enjoy the fresh air. This has a dual purpose, it helps you become more active, as well as your fur baby. Dogs are typically happy to jog along, and will help motivate you on your walk/jog. A 30 minute walk can burn around 220 calories. Even simply adding 15 additional minutes to your walk can burn an additional 100 calories.
Change How You Work:
There are stands that can be bought for your work desk that allow you to stand while you are at your computer. I’ve read somewhere that office jobs are the next big health threat. Due to many jobs becoming mostly computer based, more and more jobs are requiring their employees to spend long hours stuck at a desk. Just by standing while you work, you are improving blood flow and burning more calories.
Another change to the way you work would be to add in 5 minutes of a simple workout activity to your schedule every hour or two if you can. For an example on Leg Day you can do squats for 5 minutes every hour, and if you’re feeling extra ambitious you can add 10 minutes at lunch. Just 5 minutes every hour adds 40 minutes total to your day!
Take Walking Breaks:
In between all the standing at your desk, and plugging away at your computer, you may need a break every now and then. I know that in some states, it is even mandatory to have so many breaks based on the amount of hours you work. Instead of swiping away on your phone, take those breaks and make them work for you. Go for a walk around your building, or take a lap around the office.
Clean Around the House:
I swear I’m not saying your house is dirty, or that you must keep it clean. Have you ever broken a sweat cleaning, you know what I mean, the night before a family gathering that you were volunteered to host. Or even the Friday nights that you’ve decided that you can’t live like this, enter the dramatic music, so you clean all night. Is it just me? Am I alone in this? Anyways, cleaning your house can burn around 300 calories an hour depending on the intensity of the person cleaning. Not sure about you, but that made me jump for joy a little.
Take the Stairs:Instead of taking the elevator for two stories, find the stairs in the building and opt for them instead. Taking the stairs can burn around 100 calories for just 10 minutes! Now if you are headed up to the 14th floor, maybe opt to take the elevator to floor 10 and take the stairs for the rest of the 4 floors.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt:This option is not much different than the hike option, it just makes it even more fun if you plan to take children with you on your hike. Even if my kids are in a funk and don’t want to adventure, I can print out a free scavenger hunt online and get them excited for our new adventure. I am able to walk around and hunt with them, and they run from place to place searching for everything on the list. During our last Scavenger Hunt I logged 5k steps, and burned over 250 calories.
Park Further Away:
This is something I think we all hear, but it can be easily forgotten when you’re in a rush to be done with all the errands of the day. Every step counts when it comes to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Parking at the back of the lot can add additional steps to your day, as well as lower your risk of door dings from other cars.
Exercise While you Read:
There are many ways to incorporate your workout with other things that you love. If what you love is reading, there are many ways in which you can read while you work out. Doing a wall-sit for the duration of a chapter is a clever way to workout your legs, while growing your mind. Listening to an Audiobook while working out on a treadmill is also a productive way to combine two things that are enjoyable.
Recruit a Friend:
There is power in numbers when you are trying to change your habits. Having someone hold you accountable, and to cheer you on well you’re both making healthy choices for your life is a great motivator for making time in your schedule for working out. Knowing someone is waiting for you at the gym, or the park, or Zumba class, can make it more of a priority.
Adding more exercise to your day doesn’t have to be daunting, or overwhelming. Typically it is the little changes that make the biggest impacts in our lives. For someone beginning in their journey it can seem absolutely overwhelming to go to a gym every day and to stick with the routine. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, or we have the mentality that we have more important things to take care of. What I am learning more and more each day is that by taking the time to take care of myself, and making me a priority, everything else is starting to fall into place. By changing small details in your life, by parking further, standing at your desk, and going for walks around the block, you are more likely to stick to your long-term goals.