Exercise. Some of us love it and many of us either hate it or don’t look forward to it. If you’re in the latter camp, you’re not alone if you find excuses for not exercising. You get home from work too late. You have to cook dinner. You have a mountain of laundry to tackle.
Luckily, there are easy ways to get a little exercise in without hitting the gym. Here are some of the simplest ways to exercise without even realizing it.
- Dance While Cooking Dinner
Make cooking a little more exciting by turning on the tunes and dancing around your kitchen, no professional training required. You can burn more than 250 calories from dancing for just half an hour. Dancing is a great way to get your heart rate up and blood pumping. Keep the music energetic so you move at a faster pace.
- Get a Standing Desk
Sitting for hours at a time is one of the worst things you can do for your body. However, when it’s a busy day at work, it’s hard to remember to stand up and stretch every half hour. While you won’t necessarily lose weight by standing, you do burn 50 calories per hour from standing. Plus, it can help you maintain a better posture and encourage you to walk around more often.
- Use a Smaller Water Bottle
At work, it’s tempting to fill up your largest water bottle and buckle down to work. Instead, use a smaller water bottle and fill up more frequently. Walk to the furthest water cooler to get in a quick walk every hour or so during the workday. Not only does it help you add some exercise to your day, but it also lets your mind rest and refresh for your next task.
- Bike or Walk Instead of Driving
Whenever you can bike or walk somewhere instead of driving, just do it, whether it’s the grocery store, the office, the gym or the post office. Bicycling for just half an hour can burn around 350 calories, while a one-mile walk burns up to 160 calories. Bicycling and walking is also a great workout if you don’t want to pay for a gym membership and enjoy getting outdoors.
- Clean the House
Turn your household chores into an exercise challenge. While cleaning the counters, do heel lifts to work your calves. Do lunges while vacuuming for a leg workout and switch arms back and forth when cleaning the windows to get those biceps and triceps burning. Add dancing or leg lifts into your laundry folding routine. There are nearly endless ways to incorporate exercise into everyday chores.
- Visit Your Local Farmers Market
Who doesn’t love the local farmers market? Not only can you buy fresh and locally grown produce, but you can also enjoy a long walk. Try power walking one or two laps around the farmers market to get your heart pumping and then enjoy a more leisurely stroll as you visit the booths. Make it a weekly habit to get in an hour-long walk. And if you purchase anything, get in some arm lifts with your bag for an arm workout.
- Park Further Away from Your Destination
Stop hunting for a parking space near the front of your work or the local mall and park further away. Not only can this save you gas from circling the parking lot, but it also is an easy way to get more walking into your daily routine. Park towards the back of a lot and power walk to your destination to get your heart rate up.
- Take the Stairs
Why take the elevator or escalator when there are stairs to challenge your glutes and thighs? Walking up and down stairs for just 10 minutes can burn more than 100 calories—nearly double that if you run. When possible, walk up and down flights of stairs at work a couple of times a day. At the mall, walk up and down the escalator. If you really want to challenge yourself, wear ankle weights.
- Use a Basket at the Grocery Store
Instead of leaning against a cart and leisurely perusing grocery store aisles, use a basket. It’s a great arm workout and, as you add heavier items, you’ll be more inclined to walk faster and get through your shopping list. This can help you avoid those impulse cookie and chip purchases. Get even more of a workout by adding arm lifts as you hold the basket in one or both hands.
- Play Tourist in Your City
When’s the last time you really explored your city? Too often, many of us never visit some of our hometown’s popular sites because they seem “touristy.” Spend your weekends playing tourist in your city. You’ll walk much further than you’d expect, plus you’ll see some fascinating places you never knew existed. Pick a different neighborhood each time and explore without using your GPS. You may even stumble upon your new favorite restaurant or park.
Exercise doesn’t always require a trip to the gym or an intense, sweat-filled workout. Finding ways to add movement to your day can get your heart rate up and burn a few extra calories.
Go the extra step and consider a DNA test, such as the FIT iQ, which can help you learn about your genetic type, find out if you’re built for endurance or strength and discover how to lose weight faster. This can eliminate some of the frustrating guesswork that comes with trying out different exercises. Plus, it can help you determine which types of exercises will work best for you.