This is a guest post written by Mike Collins from WealthyTurtle.com.
Between work, family, traffic, and errands, finding time to squeeze some regular exercise into our hectic schedules is easier said than done.
But skipping exercise is a terrible idea. Inactivity will only lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. I’ve been trying to be more active throughout the day so in this article I’ll share some simple ways you can sneak a little exercise into your daily routine. Make a habit of using them regularly and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
Park and Walk
I have a coworker that I often go to lunch with and whenever he drives we always end up doing multiple laps around the parking lot looking for the closest spot possible. It drives me nuts!
Instead of wasting time and gas cruising around the parking lot at work or the grocery store, park further away and walk the extra distance. I do this all the time and it amazes me that I’ll actually get inside before all the people who are sitting in their cars waiting for a spot to open up.
Take the Stairs
I don’t think I’ve ever taken the elevator at work; I always take the stairs instead. Sure it helps that my desk is only on the second floor, but you’d be surprised how many people I see waiting for the elevator to bring them up one lousy flight of stairs. Get in the habit of taking the stairs whenever possible. If you work or live way up on the 75th floor, you can always walk up a few flights and then hop on an elevator to take you the rest of the way.
Bike or Walk to Work
Obviously this one only applies if you live within a few miles from where you work. Biking 40 miles to work each morning isn’t very practical. But a woman I work with lives about 3 miles from the office and she bikes to work almost every day and she looks fantastic. A neat compromise would be to park a few miles away from the office and then bike the rest of the way.
Take Five Minute Refresher Walks Each Hour
The human body is not designed to spend hour after hour sitting at a desk or on the couch. Sitting for long periods of time just isn’t healthy. So try getting up once every hour and taking a quick, 5 minute stroll. I do that every hour during my 9 hour work day and that adds up to 45 minutes of walking per day! I even set up an email reminder to go off hourly so I don’t forget to take my power walk.
Find a Walking Buddy
Hourly walking breaks are great but it’s too easy to skip them if you’re busy or feeling lazy. Having someone to walk with can be a great motivator. Not only will you be less likely to skip a session but having someone to chat with will make it more enjoyable too. I have a work buddy that also likes to take a quick walk so we usually walk together and vent about our day to release some stress.
Squeeze Some Exercise into Commercial Breaks
Instead of spending your entire night channel surfing or snacking, take advantage of commercial breaks to squeeze in a little mini-workout. You can do a quick set of squats, calf raises, push-ups, or stomach crunches, or even run up and down the stairs a few times until your show comes back on. I can’t say I always do this, but I do try my best to squeeze a little movement in where I can.
Turn Off the TV
If you really want to get active try turning the TV off altogether and finding something else to do with yourself. Spend time with your family, clean the house, fold laundry, work on your garden or find something else that will keep you busy and on your feet. Try to stay off your butt and move around as much as possible. Right now I’m writing this article while standing at the kitchen counter instead of sitting at my desk.
These ideas might not seem like much individually but when you add them up you’ll be surprised at how healthier and more energetic you feel.
Do you have any more suggestions for sneaking some exercise into your daily routine?
Note from Forest: I really enjoyed Mike’s tips and over the year in different situations have made use of almost all of them. I used to bike to and from work 12 miles each way and started in bad shape but got used to it really quickly and it became my main exercise except for a little weights work. These days I tend to squeeze in some productive time during my exercise using my times running to listen to audio books and plan out posts to write and strategies for anything else I am going to do.
Staying active is very important for every aspect of our life and I don’t think it is anything any of us should neglect no matter how busy we are. Tips like these show that it can be worked into a normal schedule.