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15 Ways to Add Activity Into Your Day

By Kim Baldyga
Exercise Physiologist

Busy schedules and every day activities make it easy to skip out on fitness and physical activity.  Although following a structured exercise routine is ideal, there are many ways to ensure you get enough physical activity to benefit your health!  Follow these simple ways to sneak in more movement throughout your day.

Take the stairs more often.  This will increase your heart rate and get you where you need to be, sometimes even faster than waiting for an elevator.  If you are carrying bags that will add weight and make it even more challenging.   If you are at home, clean the house thoroughly.  This means moving furniture, vacuuming and scrubbing!

Stretch in bed before you even do anything else in the morning.  Instead of pressing snooze, use those few extra minutes to get the body awake and alert by doing simple stretches.  This will automatically increase blood flow and mobility.  Another good tip is to start the water for your shower and while you are waiting for it to warm up, challenge yourself to do as many pushups, sit-ups or jumping jacks as possible.  Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be a stationary task either.  Add in body weight squats or a static hold to work the legs. 

If you are able to walk, run or bike to work, these are great ways to start your day off right with a greener commute and a workout!  If you have to drive in, park far away from the entrance to get those extra steps.  Once you are in work, it is easy to get caught up in your day so make it a point to block time off in your calendar to work out.  Even if it is just an alert to get up and take a walk for 5-10 minutes.  Stretch at your desk by doing simple moves like shoulder or neck rolls and raising the arms overhead giving you an instant refresh!  If you have to contact a coworker, try walking to their desk instead of emailing or calling.

Use your lunch break as a time to take a walk or perform a quick workout such as Tabata, a four minute high intensity workout consisting of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.  Breaking up your workout into smaller segments throughout the day will be just as beneficial as one long session.  You can even do Tricep dips in your chair to work those arms! 

Lastly, invest in a pedometer.  This will hold you accountable for your movements and steps each day.  You can get your friends, family or co-workers on board and make it a contest or team building goal.  Don’t let the stress of everyday schedules put your health on the back burner.  There is always a way to add activity and, in the end, you will feel better and more energized.

  1. Take the stairs.
  2. Stretch in bed when you wake up.
  3. Do squats while brushing your teeth
  4. Perform push-ups waiting for the shower to warm up.
  5. Block time off in your calendar.
  6. Walk/bike/run to work if possible.
  7. Park far from the entrance.
  8. Stretch at your desk.
  9. Walk to send messages instead of emails and the phone.
  10. Clean the house.
  11. Walk the dog.
  12. Buy a pedometer, set a goal and track your steps.
  13. Break your workout up.. 3 ten minute intervals throughout the day.
  14. Get a quick workout in during lunch–think Tabata!
  15. Perform triceps dips on your chair.

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