If the stars align today, we will find an hour to exercise. It’s the weekend, right? So it should happen; it really should. But I also know I have errands to run, groceries to buy, soccer practice to take my son to, laundry to fold, and dinner to make for my in-laws…and that working out is likely not going to happen. On days like these, I remind myself—and you—that a little bit of physical activity here, and a little more there, really can add up over the course of the day. So I can’t get to my exercise class this afternoon; but what I can do is walk instead of drive to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. Or I can drive, but actually do what the experts always say to do: park in the farthest spot. Here are four other easy ways to sneak in exercise—even on those crazy, busy days.
Take the stairs.
Yes, yes, you hear this all the time, too. But did you know you that by climbing just two flights of stairs every day, you could lose six pounds in a year; and six flights a day could help you trim nearly 18 pounds. That little fun fact certainly got my attention.
Don’t just wait in line.
Think about how much time you spend in the line at the supermarket, department store or bank. Instead of getting agitated about it, use those long minutes to do sets of calf raises; maybe flex your abs for 10 seconds, then rest for 10; or if you really don’t care what people think, do a set of squats.
Play instead of supervising.
When you take your kid to soccer practice, kick a ball around beforehand. If you have little ones playing tag in the yard, join in. Playing with the kids can burn more than 100 calories in a half hour.
Do it right now. Standing instead of sitting helps increase energy levels, tone muscles, burn more calories, among other benefits—and it’s just so easy to do. Stand while you prep dinner, stand when you are on the phone or checking Facebook, stand when you’re wrapping a birthday gift or writing a check, and do it as much as you can throughout the day.