We all know that exercise is good for us.
It’s key to maintaining a healthy weight, improving mental functioning, and preventing all sorts of health issues.
Adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, or roughly 20 minutes of intense exercise three times per week, according to the American College of Sports.
That’s what should happen in a perfect world—but we don’t live in a perfect world. Do we?
Here is the little caveat.
Anyone who is in the 9-to-5 job world knows how problematic it can be to squeeze exercise into such a hectic schedule.
In fact, for some people, hitting the gym, even for a couple of times a week, is virtually out of the question.
So, is that an excuse to give up on physical activity altogether?
I don’t think so.
6 Easy Ways to Sneak More Exercise Into Every Day
In today’s post, I’ll share with you a few hacks for sneaking in extra exercise at home, on the way to work, or at the office, without committing too much of your time.
1. Turn Your Commute into a Workout
If it’s possible, run to work instead of driving.
And it’s not complicated. All you have to do is to simply stuff your essentials—keys, phone, ID, cash, and credit card—into a running backpack (like this one) or a fanny (like this one) then “run-commute.”
See, running is not only a cardiovascular exercise per excellence, but it’s also a great means of transportation.
Oh, you’re not a runner?
Then how about biking?
Or simply walking?
If your office is too far to walk, consider getting off train or bus a few stops earlier, or park your car farther away, then walk.
Even 10 minutes matter. Over time, it adds up.
2. Sneak in a Lunch Break Workout
Busy doing the nine-to-five routine? Then lunchtime might be the ideal chance for a sweat.
You can make the most out of your one-hour lunch break by going for a walk, a run, or simply hitting the gym for 20 to 30 minutes.
Doing so will not only keep your fitness in check but, as research has shown, improve your productivity and alertness for the rest of the day.
So, put it on your calendar. This way you’re more likely to remember it. Then, place a note on your door “Busy sweating, come back later.”
You can also ask a college or co-worker to join you—both for accountability and company.
Here are a few exercises ideas you can perform at the office:
- Ten rounds of one-minute jump rope
- Ten rounds of one-minute jumping jacks
- Five rounds of 50 air squats
- Three rounds of 5-minute shadow boxing.
All of these ideas can take you up no more than 10 to 15 minutes each. Just take action. The rest is just detail.
Other exercises you can perform in the comfort of your office include arm extensions, bicep curls, as well as this awesome core yoga routine.
3. Take the Stairs
A simple decision to add more physical activity to your day is to go for the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
By walking up and down the stairs as often as possible, you’ll be able to squeeze exercise into your daily schedule without even thinking about it.
This may seem simple, but doing so increases heart rate and burns some mad calories—and it adds up over time.
In fact, a 160-pound person may burn up to 10 calories per minute walking up stairs, compared to 1.5 calories when taking the elevator.
That said, if you do need to go to the 39th floor, take the elevator part of the way, and step up the rest—unless you want to tromp all the way up.
Want more intensity?
Take the stairs one a time as doing so burns more calories than taking them two at a time.
4. Try this 15-minute Interval Routine
If you’re looking to get the most out of every minute you spend working out, then interval training is the way to go.
It’s the perfect training recipe that will help burn more mad calories without taking a toll on your schedule.
In fact, you can get a full body workout in just 15 minutes with ten different exercises.
All you need is your body weight, a mat, and some space.
Try this bodyweight routine.
Start with a 5-minute warm-up. Jog slowly in place then perfect a set of dynamic stretches.
Next, perform the following exercises as fast as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Rinse and repeat for 10 minutes.
- Military push-ups
- Squat jumps
- Mountain climbers
- Sit-ups (with weight).
5. Drop the Office Chair
Stuck in your office? No problem.
I got the perfect solution for you.
Switching out your desk chair for a stability ball is an effective way to strengthen your core and lower back muscles, shed a few extra calories, and improve your posture all day long.
This is also good for your back. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association reported that participants with lower back pain reported fewer symptoms after they started regularly sitting on a stability ball.
And since you’re actually sitting, the swap won’t even feel like you’re exercising.
Sure, this will turn heads, but it’s the trick is quite effective.
You can also get a stand-up desk so you can move from sitting to standing in seconds.
6. Go Isometric
In essence, isometric training involves squeezing a muscle without actually moving it.
It’s ideal for those who lead hectic lives but are keen to squeeze in a quick strengthening workout.
Isometric exercises can be done anywhere, without any special gear at all.
All you need is your body weight, and a timer (optional), 30 to 60 seconds to do a single, muscle-burning isometric training.
The best part is that you can probably perform isometric training without anyone noticing you’re actually exercising.
You can also do them while watching TV (my favorite), reading, or while replying to emails.
Some of the best iso exercises include wall squats, planks, iso lunges, chair pose, iso calf raises, etc.
Ideally, aim to hold each move for 20 to 30 seconds, then move to the next.