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Ways to sneak exercise into the day

Incline push-ups at a desk or kitchen counter are one way to sneak in some exercise during busy days. Take a quick break between meetings or use the time while the coffee is brewing to get the heart pumping and engage muscles.

The little things do add up when it comes to daily physical activity. Parking farther away from an entrance and taking the stairs are two common ways to increase daily steps and get a quick cardio boost. Here are some other creative ways to get more movement into the day.

When waking up, do a side stretch, seated twist or any stretch that feels good. While the coffee is brewing, work in some arm circles, stretches, push-ups against the counter, calf raises or squats.

At a desk a good part of the day? Try a standing desk and a walking pad for parts of the day. Take any opportunity to get outside and walk, whether it is taking a phone call or taking a stroll as a short break. The fresh air might boost your mood and encourage creative ideas. Look up exercises that can be done sitting at a desk, such as chair yoga, chair squats, neck rotations and incline push-ups, which alleviate some of the strain from sitting and can act as a little refresher.

Set a reminder to get some movement every hour. Christy Garbus, MSN, RN at Big Life Integrative Health stated, “Pick one exercise like squats, jumping jacks, holding a wall squat or pushups at the top of every hour. This makes you get up from your desk and move intentionally.” Stretching or simple yoga poses might feel good, too.

Play with your kids or pets, even if it is a quick game of chase around the backyard. In the evening, try to fit in a short walk together.

If the TV is on, do a few planks, lunges or stretches during the commercials. Some stretches could even be done while watching your favorite show. Practice balancing on one leg in a tree pose or do a few calf raises when washing the dishes.

Set a ten-minute timer to do a speedy clean-up and see how much can get done quickly in the short window. Is it possible to walk or bike to some errands on the weekend?

While it might sound counterintuitive and inconvenient, put everyday items a little farther away. Getting up to get the remote or the phone or having to reach high for the cooking spray or crouch low for the countertop spray works in some steps and stretching.

One blogger suggested trying a game of doing 10 squats or push-ups before picking up the phone to check social media. That would certainly add up for many of us!

What do you do to sneak exercise into your day? Tell us at


By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photo




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