By January 14, 2012

Seven Ways to Sneak Exercise into Your Daily Routine

Dieting is almost useless without some exercise thrown in – even if you’re on a diet that works. You can’t just burn off fat to look good; some fat has to be defined into muscle. Exercise can feel extremely tedious, though. And it’s very difficult for some people to find the time.

One trick a lot of people use rather effectively is to “sneak” exercise into their daily routine. You don’t have to cut several hours out of your day to go to the gym if the time just isn’t there. By changing some of the finer details of your current daily routine you can work some exercise in with your regular routine.

This also helps with the boring factor that goes hand in hand with exercise. For a lot of people, exercise is essentially physical labor that you’re not getting paid for; so it’s easy to run short on motivation really fast. Finding ways to work exercise into things you do anyway, or finding ways to make it fun can make a world of difference. You’ll find yourself making excuses and skipping your workout a lot less often.

Here’s a list of seven examples to help you get started.

1. Park farther away when you go to the store. We often find ourselves circling parking lots over and over again, trying to find the best spot. Why? Especially when there are plenty of open spots just a short distance away. Would that small walk from the car and back kill us? Quite the contrary, actually. The walk back and forth between the store and the car is a good example of a mini-exercise snuck into your day. Some people would argue that it’s a waste of valuable time. Really? More time than circling the parking lot five times and then very slowly squeezing your car into a crowded spot?

2. Take the stairs instead of elevator or an escalator. Elevators and escalators can be very tempting sometimes. But you’ll want to utilize those stairs whenever possible. Lots of people spend thousands of dollars on exercise equipment that replicates stair-walking. Instead of spending a huge chunk of cash to pretend to walk up and down stairs, why not just walk up and down real stairs?

3. Find a game you enjoy such as tennis or racquetball. Keep your workout from being boring. Make it into a hobby. Preferably something more active than bowling or golf, but whatever gets you moving helps on some level. Sports like tennis are great because it gives the entire body a good workout.

4. Mix Business with pleasure. Don’t let yourself watch your favorite television show unless you’re on the treadmill while you watch it. There are all sorts of exercises you can do while watching television or listening to music. Don’t argue that you don’t have time for a workout if you have time for couch sitting and old re-runs.

5. Walk the dog. For those of us who own backyards, we tend to be a bit spoiled when it comes to the family dog and the outdoors. If the dog has to go, we just pop open the back door and then plop ourselves back down on the couch until they want back in. Take your dog on an actual walk now and then. The family pet needs exercise too, and a workout can be a lot easier if you have a buddy with you.

6. Don’t put off chores. Procrastinating is really easy around the house. Instead of doing a light load of laundry, we let it pile up and just do a huge load all at once. Or instead of dusting frequently, we just wait until it gets really bad. Keeping everything in order on a more regular basis will keep you out of your chair and moving around more. Something as simple as moving back and forth in the kitchen while you prepare a meal is much better for you than sitting around waiting for the take-out to arrive.

7. Try to move around at work. Statistics show that some of the unhealthiest people are those with desk jobs. For eight or nine hours a day you just sit there, you don’t even have to walk. Sometimes we get too accustomed to this. Let’s say you have a question for someone who sits on the opposite side of the room from you. Do you typically text or email your question, or do you get out of your chair and go ask them? A lot of office jobs permit small breaks by the hour from the computer screen for the sake of eye-health. When taking your short breaks, do you get up and walk around or do you just sit there? Walking around the office every hour might not count as a workout; but it does at least get you moving.

The first step to a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as …move more, sit less. Increase your activity levels and your energy levels will increase as well – and it’s one of the best ways to lose weight.