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10 Unexpected Ways to Incorporate Exercise Every Day

Amber Brandt  |  October 19, 2020

2020 has impacted our lives in countless ways, including when, where, and how often we exercise. During quarantine, many people found it exceptionally more difficult to exercise given that gyms and public health centers were closed, while others established new walking or hiking habits in the great outdoors.

With school in session and work rhythms returning for many Americans, perhaps you find it challenging to squeeze in exercise simply because life has gotten so busy again. No matter where you find yourself, there are a few simple ways you can incorporate physical activity into your day without sacrificing too much time.

  1. Move while you listen. Taking more calls at home? Get up and move around the house or meander along the sidewalk while you chat. If you have a webinar or TV show to watch, try actively shifting your weight, incorporating squats, or even doing pushups while you watch.
  2. Jump in doorways. Have you ever noticed how high school boys seem to universally like jumping up to tap the doorframe when they walk through a doorway? Try incorporating the practice for a day or two and see if your calves notice the effort.
  3. Take the stairs. Whether you’re working in an office or at home, make an effort to hike up and down the stairs whenever you have a free moment. Those little steps can really add up.
  4. Throw a frisbee or football. The simple act of tossing a ball back and forth in the yard can help boost your heart rate, lower stress, and help you engage in play with a loved one.
  5. Clean. It’s a necessary evil, but if you focus on isolating muscles and working quickly, even cleaning the bathroom can be a stand-in for a workout.
  6. Play video games that require movement. Remember how excited your kids were when you got Wii Fit? Pull it out again and have some fun together.
  7. Play a musical instrument. It’s true, playing an instrument burns calories.
  8. Park at the far end of the parking lot. Everyone’s always looking for the spot closest to the door, but why not pull into one of the last spots and make a little walk (or jog) of it?
  9. Dance party. Never underestimate the power of a good, old-fashioned dance party in the living room to work up a good sweat.
  10. Add it on. After a long day of work or school, we’re often ready to cook dinner, sit, and relax – and that’s fine. You can still incorporate calf raises or squats while chopping vegetables or brushing your teeth! Don’t overlook the opportunity to add small movements in throughout your day.

As a final reminder, you already know exercise is good for you, but did you know it can also help you sleep better and be more productive at work? Exercise also helps to:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Release mood-boosting chemicals in your body
  • Sharpen your memory
  • Boost your mood, creativity, confidence, relaxation, and productivity

Just because you can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits of moving your body. It doesn’t take much and the dividends really pile up – in your body, heart, and mind.