The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day, five days per week. Whether you’re into it or not, you cannot deny the benefits of exercise in maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. However, you also must admit the fact that contemporary lifestyle choices often leave you unable to commit to a regular workout schedule. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of 10 simple but effective ways of incorporating fitness into your daily routine.
1. Trade Elevators for Stairs
Simple, isn’t it? Well, it isn’t if procrastination is overwhelming your life, but yes, it doesn’t take much to begin with this trade-off. As they say, it’s more about the first step. Once you take the first step in the right direction, you will end up at your destination sooner or later.
2. Park Farther Away from Your Regular Spot
Again, simple but effective. A few yards of walking followed by climbing up a few stairs to your doorstep every day can start to make the difference once you are willing to commit to something as simple as this on a daily basis.
3. Walk or Bike to School or Work
It might seem like a herculean task if you are into living a sedentary lifestyle, but believe me, it can be one of the best things you can do for your own good. You’ll be amazed to see how all those little steps can contribute so big in transforming your life. You can also start off by walking to the next train station or bus stop instead of the one closest to your home if you live too far to walk or bike all the way to your destination.
4. Improvise Your Lunch Breaks
Come on, don’t tell me that you don’t even have lunch breaks! Most of us do have daily lunch breaks and they can be a great way to start working on your health and fitness. For instance, you can spare 10-15 minutes walking around the block, even if you don’t have a park nearby. Smartphones such as the iPhone have built-in activity trackers that count the number of steps you take and calories burned throughout the day. After you see how much progress you are making, you will want to keep it up.
5. Dance to Your Favorite Songs
Make a playlist of songs you can’t resist moving to, and play it while getting ready for work in the morning, cooking dinner, taking a shower, or cleaning to sneak in some extra exercise (and fun!) during your everyday routines. Not only does dancing help improve your mood, dancing along to a few songs is a great way to get in shape.
6. Exercise at Your Desk
Yes, you can even do that – one of the many small steps aimed at setting your pace in the right direction. Nothing fancy though, something as simple as leg raises and knee raises will suffice in the beginning. Once you get going well with the idea, you can also move forward to getting up from your desk and squeezing in a few quick squats or pushups. If you sit at your desk a lot, get a DeskCycle. Or, you can always count on standing up from your desk and walking around for a couple of minutes every hour or so, the least you can do to improve your health and wellness.
7. Use a Stand Up Desk
A stand up desk is another potentially beneficial idea to kick-start your fitness journey right at your work station. This is especially helpful for those who are unable to move away from their desks even for short intervals of time. Simply standing burns more calories than sitting down. If you must sit, use a wobble stool which is an easy way to strengthen your core and lower back muscles, improve your posture, and even burn a few extra calories during your workday.
8. Double Up Your Leisure Time
Whether you like to admit it or not, almost all of us are spending too much time glued to our TV screens. So, what about a little improvisation, especially one that doesn’t bar you from enjoying your favorite shows or games? If you have a treadmill or stationary bike, set it up in front of the TV and pedal moderately during the show and vigorously during the commercials. No equipment? Alternate jumping jacks, running-in-place, lunges, situps, pushups and squats during those annoying commercial breaks!
9. Treat it Like a Meeting
We all live and die by our calendars these days, so why not make exercise an appointment you absolutely can’t miss! Trying to squeeze in a workout on an already-packed day can seem like a chore, but planning your workout ahead of time and blocking out the time on your schedule will make your workout seem like just another part of your busy day. Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t forget.
10. Home Gym
You don’t have to pay for an expensive gym membership, especially since you can get hands on quality home gym equipment nowadays quite easily. Jump ropes, exercise bands, and dumbbells are cheap and barely take up any space. There are plenty of workout videos that you can watch, too, with no equipment needed. Now you have no excuse, since you don’t even have to leave the house!
And this concludes our list of 10 ways to incorporate working out in your daily routine! Just three 10-minute exercise sessions or six 5-minute sessions will still get you to the recommended daily goal of 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
In summary, you don’t have to wait for the ideal time and space to start exercising. You can do it anytime, anywhere, once you’ve made up your mind and that’s the best way to go about it. 🙂