You've already heard the "park further away" and "take the stairs, not the elevator" mantras from fitness gurus, but these small changes aren't always enough to get your daily dose of exercise. If you can't seem to fit a gym workout into your schedule, there are some other ways to sneak a bout of exercise into your daily routine. Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day can be enough to deliver some results. Planning ahead can help you stick with a routine that fits in your schedule, and soon exercise will just become a part of your day.
Here are five ways to add exercise to your daily routine:
1. Go for a brisk walk first thing in the morning
Before you do almost anything else - including checking emails, showering, and other morning activities - head outdoors for some fresh air and a quick walk around the neighborhood. Just fifteen minutes of speed-walking can boost your metabolism and can be a refreshing way to start your day. Bonus if you can bring the dog, a partner or your children!
2. Make the most of your lunch break
Take an extended lunch if you can to hit the gym, or just use that 30 minutes for a walk. Doing a quick workout in the middle of the day can be a great way to help boost your metabolism and keep it running in high gear throughout the entire day.
3. Bike to nearby errands
On weekends, make it a rule to bicycle anywhere that's less than two miles from your house. Whether you're headed to the farmer's market, meeting a friend for coffee, or returning a movie to the rental box, pedal there and back for a quick burst of exercise.
4. Do stretches and exercises in your office
Do chair dips using the arms of a sturdy office chair. Do a series of leg lifts while sitting up in your chair - lift your legs out and hold for a few seconds, lower, then repeat. Even a ten-minute sequence can be enough to get blood flowing and help you burn a few extra calories in the middle of the workday. If you're at a computer all day long, try and break away for at least five minutes each hour for a quick stretching session.
5. Take a class right after work
Before you head home after a busy day, make a pit stop at your local fitness center to take a group class. Whether it's yoga, kickboxing or circuit training, this break in your day can be a great way to relieve stress after a busy workday.