Lazy Fitness: 8 Incidental Exercises To Get You In Shape
Almost everyone could use some more time at the gym, but that’s easier said than done. Working out can be a time sponge, and carving room for it in a busy schedule isn’t always possible. Luckily, our bodies expend energy (a.k.a. burn calories) with every movement we make. Here are some ways to take advantage of incidental exercises that you can weave into your everyday routine.
Park Farther Away Than You Need
While it may sound silly, any additional walking you can tack onto your day can be hugely beneficial. While parking an extra block away is one way to get more walking time, you don’t have to take this at face value. You can walk to the grocery store, walk to pick up your take-out, or just walk for the heck of it. If you really want to incentivize yourself, adopt a dog, or even borrow your friend’s/neighbor’s. Dog walks are a prime way to get yourself moving.
Walk With Purpose
On that note, it’s important to do more than just walk. Chances are you haven’t reevaluated your walking technique much since your toddler years, so try to consciously improve your stride. Lengthen your gait, engage your abs, tighten your glutes, and feel the muscles in your legs as they contract and relax. Years of mindless strolling make way for complacency — retake charge and feel the benefits.
Engage Your Core While Sitting
How effective can 5 minutes of crunches be when you have hours upon hours each day when you’re sitting slumped over? Sitting down allows us to take the strain from our abdominal muscles and transfer it to the bowing of our backs. While it’s relaxing, sitting without proper posture causes abdominal atrophy as well as having deleterious effects on the entire body. Next time you’re sitting, be it at home, at work, or in the car, try to focus on engaging your core and sitting up straight.
Replace Your Desk Chair With an Exercise Ball
If you’re having trouble with the previous tip, invest in an exercise ball. Sitting on one of these bad boys will train your posture, tone your core, and inspire you to stretch throughout the day. Plus, they’re just more fun than traditional chairs. You can bounce, roll, and and generally fidget the day away. Speaking of fidgeting…
Fidget For More Incidental Exercise
So maybe your parents reprimanded you for fidgeting as a child. Luckily, one of the perks of growing up is learning that parental knowledge is fallible. People who fidget burn more calories on a daily basis, and it adds up to quite a bit over time. If you’re fidgety by nature, congratulations! You have an edge over your more composed friends, at least when it comes to weight loss. If you’re not a fidgeter, try pacing as you wait for the bus, tapping your feet, spinning your pen, tapping your fingers, etc. Just try not to annoy the people around you!
Skip the Elevator; Take the Stairs
Training yourself to be blind to elevators and escalators is a huge boon to incidental exercise. Especially if you live or work above the ground floor, working stair-climbing into your everyday routine is awesome for muscular and cardiovascular health. It may be challenging to ignore the ease of elevators at first, but after a few weeks you’ll be breezing up stairways without a second thought.
Don’t Shy Away From Manual Chores
Everyone hates chores, unless they’re the reason you can miss out on something even more unpleasant. That said, don’t shy away from errands that would force you to go out and about. Whether you’re ironing, mowing the lawn, walking to the grocery store, or even just putting away clothes, any physical activity will help you stay incidentally fit.
Make the Most of Time Spent Relaxing
You don’t have to stop sedentary pleasures like television or video games. Instead, shift the paradigm of how you do them! Don’t let advertisements take advantage of you — turn the tables by getting up and doing something when commercials rear their ugly heads. Frustrated by that tough level design? Walk it off. Waiting for a respawn? Do a set of squats, pushups, or crunches. Whatever your lazy pastime, find a way to punctuate it with activity.
Who knew it was so easy to incorporate a workout into every day? Try these tips to keep yourself fit on the days you can’t make it to West Broad’s fitness studio. If you find yourself too often stretched for time, West Broad’s top-notch services can help you make some room in your schedule. Contact us today to learn more about living in the heart of Falls Church!