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How to Exercise More While Barely Trying

A woman walks down the street
Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com

Between work, family, and other obligations, finding time to exercise can seem impossible. But there are actually many ways you can get more exercise without hitting the gym or going on a jog. By making these simple changes to your daily routine, you can get more exercise without disrupting your busy schedule.

Always Take the Stairs

A woman walks up the stairs
NDAB Creativity/Shutterstock.com

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a simple yet effective way to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine. Climbing stairs is a weight-bearing exercise that helps strengthen and tone your leg muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. It also engages your core muscles, as you balance yourself while climbing up or down the stairs.

In addition to toning your muscles, taking the stairs can also get your heart pumping and increase your cardiovascular endurance. Even going up on flight of stairs can make a difference in your overall health, so try it the next time you get to the office.

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For an extra challenge, strap these on your ankles before going up the stairs.

Park Further From Stores

Someone walks with their child

When you’re running errands, it can be tempting to park as close to the store as possible. But by parking further away, you’re adding some extra steps to your day. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and can easily be incorporated into any daily routine.

The next time you’re heading to the store, park at the back of the parking lot and walk the extra distance. It’s a simple way to get more exercise while barely trying. And bonus points if you have to push a heavy cart back to your car—you’ll get an even better workout.

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Wearing comfortable shoes makes it easier to walk more.

Walk During Phone Calls

A man talks on the phone while walking

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time on the phone during the day? Why not take advantage of that time by walking around while you talk? Walking is an easy way to get your blood flowing and burn some extra calories.

Whether you’re on a work call or chatting with a friend, get up from your seat and get moving. Go for a walk if you’re able to, or just pace around your home if you need to stay inside.

Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) With Lightning Charging Case

AirPods make it easy to walk and talk.

Stretch During Commercials

A woman stretches in front of a TV

If you’re someone who enjoys watching TV, you can still get some exercise in while you’re being entertained. During commercials, take a few minutes to stretch your muscles. Stretching not only helps to prevent injury, but it also improves flexibility and range of motion.

If everything you watch these days is ad-free, make your own commercial breaks by setting a timer for every 15-30 minutes to pause your show and stretch.

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Perfect for stretching on any type of floor.

Take Advantage of Housework

A man vacuums

Believe it or not, housework can be a great form of exercise. Activities such as vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing can increase your heart rate and work up a sweat.

The next time you’re doing chores around the house, do them vigorously to get a good workout. That means vacuuming as fast as you can and scrubbing dishes instead of throwing them in the dishwasher.

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How Much Exercise Do You Need?

A woman stretches with her daughter

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. However, if you’re just starting out, even 10 minutes of exercise at a time can be beneficial.

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WORDS Fitbit's Inspire 2 is a great introduction to keeping track of your health and fitness goals.

How to Increase Your Exercise

A woman on a jog

There are many ways to increase your exercise, and it all starts with making small changes to your daily routine. One way to do this is to find an exercise buddy to work out with. Having a friend or family member to exercise with can help you stay motivated and accountable. You can push each other to reach your goals and make exercise more fun.

Another way to increase your exercise is to set goals. Whether it’s running a 5K or lifting a certain amount of weight, setting specific and achievable goals can help you stay focused and motivated. Having a goal in mind gives you something to work towards, and can help you measure your progress over time.

You can also increase your exercise by trying new activities. Mixing up your exercise routine can keep things interesting and help you avoid boredom. If you usually go for a jog, try a dance class. If you usually lift weights, try yoga or Pilates. Trying new activities keeps things interesting and challenges your body in new ways.

Adding more exercise to your life doesn’t have to be a chore. With a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can easily incorporate physical activity into your day without even realizing it.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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