Ten ways to get active each day without doing ‘hard core’ exercise

By author photo Kate Merryweather

exercise · 04 Oct 19

Too busy to exercise? Or perhaps the idea of sweating in a gym makes you panic. There are plenty of ways you can get active in your day without pounding the pavement in uncomfortable lycra.

 

Dance 

I’ve been known rock out to 90s anthems (Boom! Shake the Room is a favourite). Whatever music you enjoy, pump up the volume and bust a move. (Maybe ensure no-one’s watching.)

 

Stretch while you sit 

Give your aching muscles a break while sitting at your desk. With your hands on your head, arch your back so you’re looking at the ceiling or check out 5 easy stretches and exercises to do at your desk here. It’s a great way to prevent neck strain.


Play with your kids 

If you have kids, you have your own mini personal trainer. Why not a game of chasey, hide and seek or Twister? You’ll be having fun with your favourite humans and getting active too. For more ideas read our article on ‘Healthy activities to do with kids’.

 

Go shopping 

Shopping centres are huge (and let’s be honest, we all lose track of time in there), so take the long way between your favourite shops and watch your pedometer step count soar.

 

Take a walking meeting or coffee

Suggest a walk and talk, instead of sitting in the boardroom or café. You’ll be surprised how many people are happy to accommodate your request for a light stroll while you catch up.

 

Take the stairs 

Whenever you see stairs, take them, always. Unless you live at the top of a 40-storey building, it won’t take much time and it really gets your heart pumping.

 

Pace while you are on the phone 

Walking makes you more alert, which makes for better conversations (especially at work). You’ll increase your step count without noticing.

 

Fidget 

Studies have found that fidgeting can burn up to 350 calories a day. So go ahead, jiggle your foot while you watch TV, drum your fingers and wave your hands while you talk.

 

Clean 

Cleaning is a great workout. Your arms are getting a boost with all the scrubbing and you’re naturally walking around while you dust, vacuum and wipe benches. Put energising music on while you clean to get yourself in the spirit.

 

Sit on a fitball instead of a chair 

Because the ball is unsteady, your core muscles are forced to work to stabilise you. Even an hour each day will give you extra benefits. If that isn’t an option for you, why not ask for a standing desk?

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