Exercising doesn't have to mean lacing up your sneakers and hitting the pavement or gym. There are many ways to fit movement into your day without even having to go out of your way. Taking the stairs or parking far from the office or store are great places to start, but if you've already tried those activities, here are five other ways to build a healthy active lifestyle without even trying.
Burn Calories before Lunch
The Washington Post asked fitness specialists to share their most effective exercises for burning calories at work as a way to help keep healthy active lifestyles on track. The recommendations include side lunges, jump squats, inclined push-ups, chair dips, and leg lifts. You can complete these moves as a circuit for as little as 10 minutes per day. Real Simple also offers a 15-minute stair workout that consists of varied pacing, reverse lunges to step-ups, tricep dips, skater jumps, and mountain climbers.
Get a Standing Desk
Whistling while you work isn't going to burn many calories, but adding a standing desk to your office setup will. This may also help you feel more energized and alert, and burn an average of 87 more calories per day, according to a University of Iowa study. Stand every hour or so on a soft surface, such as a folded yoga mat, during the day. If you feel comfortable, stand on a balance ball at your desk to challenge your stability.
Bike to Work or to Pick up Your Kids
Reframe your commute and your errands. Instead of simply going from one place to another, think of your travel to work, the store, or your child's school as mini adventures. Aim to use your bike rather than the car or public transit a couple times a week, and then try to do it more often as you get the hang of the best route, the best sweat-proof clothes to wear, and the best pace to get you there on time. If you have a child in tow, outfit your bike with a child seat on the back, which may also teach them to be healthy and active.
Do a 10-Minute Squat Every Day
Everyone can spare 10 minutes a day to exercise. Prevention magazine reports that those who exercised for 10-minute increments over five months lost more weight than those who worked out for 20 to 40 minutes at a time. For instance, squatting is one of the more effective lower-body exercises and fires up all your muscles. According to The Guardian, squatting regularly can help you squeeze exercise into a healthy active lifestyle without much effort. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and put your hands at your sides. Hinging at your hips first, send your hips back to the wall behind you. Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor, tracking your knees over your toes, and then lift your hands parallel to the floor. Hold the squat for 10 minutes or for as long as possible.
Have Fit Meetings
Instead of lunch or happy hour meetings, make your meetings active. Golf, running, Frisbee, and power walking can all help you avoid the cocktail calories that come with happy hour and restaurant meetings, according to Health.
There are a lot of small changes you can implement to make your day-to-day routine a more active one. Start with these tips, and consciously try to move more throughout the day. Not only will your body thank you, but you'll also feel happier and more energized over time.