If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to get fit, or fitter, in 2014, you may be finding it difficult to work exercise into your schedule. So far in this column, we’ve looked at how to make time for fitness, and two quick workouts, one with no equipment, and one that uses weights. Now let’s talk about some non-traditional ways to sneak a little fitness into your busy day.
Keep in mind, none of these suggestions are substitutes for a hardcore workout. But if you’re used to sitting at your desk, or on your couch, all day long, some movement is better than nothing. If you wear a pedometer, you might be surprised at how much of an increase you’ll see when you try some of these tips.
Walk while you talk. Got a long phone call on your agenda? Get up and walk while you talk. As long as you don’t have to take notes or stare at a computer screen, you should be able to walk and talk at the same time.
Take a spontaneous dance break. Hear a great song on the radio while you’re fixing dinner? In the immortal words of Young MC, “don’t just stand there, bust a move.” Sure, your kids will think you’re crazy, but they probably already think that anyway. Go ahead and do the Mashed Potato while making mashed potatoes, or try out your Salsa moves while making salsa.
Do some stair laps. Every so often, unchain yourself from your desk and do a lap or two up and down the stairs. Or just step up and down one stair repeatedly, as if you were taking a step aerobics class, for a few minutes.
Walk for five minutes every hour. Set a timer for 55 minutes. When it goes off, stop whatever you’re doing, set it for five more minutes, and just walk through your house or office. This is especially beneficial for people who stare at computer screens all day. Not only do you get a little exercise, but you’ll give your eyes a break, too.
Do crunches on commercials. You can still watch TV and get some exercise at the same time. When a commercial comes on, get up and do some crunches. Or pushups. Or squats. Or lunges. No fair skipping through the commercials on your DVR. Use that time to get your heart rate up.
These are just a few ways you can sneak a little more movement into your day. And again, they’re no substitute for a real workout, but it’s better than nothing. If your goal was to be fitter in 2014, but you don’t think you’ve got the time, just do what you can, when you can.