Sometimes prioritizing time at the gym is just not a possibility. As much as you want to make time, you just can’t seem to find it (or perhaps you just hate exercise). It’s good to stay active but workout routines aren’t for everyone. Read below for some tips on how to stay active without really ‘exercising’.

  1. Stretch while you watch TV

    Let’s say you find yourself glued to the TV, binge watching your new favorite series on Netflix or just sitting down to watch the nightly news. Maybe it’s a little too late for a run or you would just rather relax on the couch. Whatever the reason, we can all agree that too much TV leads to inactivity. It’s also the perfect time for static stretching. Instead of vegging out on the couch, sit on the ground in a bound angle or pigeon pose to stretch your hips, slowly stretch your neck or try to touch your toes. Let what you are watching distract you just enough to give you the patience to really relax into that pose.

  2. Do some spring cleaning

    Housework is a relatively low impact activity. Although many of us dread cleaning even more than exercise you can feel more accomplished if you put your back into it. And your chores won’t be another exhausting thing you have to do once you get back from your spin class. Try adding a little structure to your cleaning methods. Squat to pick up and put down the laundry basket, do a bicep curl when you pick up a bottle of cleaner. It may seem silly at first but remember that every bit of activity helps!

  3. Just dance

    If you’ve ever gone out for a night of dancing only to wake up with sore calves and thighs you know how valuable a workout dancing can be. Just put on the radio or a playlist of your favorite songs and keep moving. Sure there are more structured classes or videos that feature dancing but sometimes you just need to dance however you want to in a room where no one can see how ridiculous you look. Only eight to ten songs will cover your thirty minutes of cardio for the day and just letting go to the music will really boost your mood if you’re feeling down.

  4. Take the stairs

    We’ve all heard this one but it is absolutely true! If you’re feeling adventurous and you have some extra time walk up and down the stair a few times, especially if you only have a short flight of stairs to work with. You can do this to get your heart rate up just a little bit every day and be on your way before you really break a sweat. This is perfect for filling idle time and you can easily keep track of how many steps you can do to track your progress. Bonus if you do this while on your way to the laundry or carrying something else heavy (just make sure to take your time and be careful not to trip).

  5. Go explore nature

    Walking can be a great way to start being more active but making your way around a track can be tedious. Look for more interesting ways to see the world on foot like an easy hike or a walking tour in your city. If you are interested in what you are seeing it won’t be so hard to finish the trek. Feel free to go at your own pace and stop to check things out. As long as you get moving you will be better off than you were the day before. These walking trips can even be a great excuse for a date or a time to catch up with friends.

Sure these are small changes. You definitely won’t see results over night but becoming more active means you will have more energy in the long run. You may even find that you are ready to wake up an hour early and work a run or a trip to the gym into your schedule. Just remember that these tips aren’t about justifying your avoidance of a real workout, they’re just baby steps to get you started and keep you going.

Kristy Brannon

Kristy Brannon is a freelance writer who is always trying to make time in her busy schedule for better health. She is a yoga and running enthusiast and enjoys reading about the science behind how our bodies work. Kristy loves to cook and likes changing a classic recipe into a healthier option. She hopes to continue improving on herself with exercise and... Read More

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