12 Ways to Get More Exercise (Without The Gym)

12 Ways to Get More Exercise (Without The Gym)

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A sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy, but how can you get more exercise when you’re tied to a desk or don’t have time? A scary fact is that a sedentary lifestyle will kill you quicker than heart disease. If you sit for more than six hours each day, including playing video games, working, or watching TV, you live a sedentary lifestyle. How can you get more exercise when you’re not moving?

According to Facts Institute, Nauru is the most obese country globally, with more than 88 percent of the population being overweight. America still ranks pretty high on the list, as more than 67 percent of the people here have more weight on their frames than is necessary.

The danger of being 20 pounds overweight is how hard it is on your body. When you have extra fat in your system, it can cause insulin problems that lead to Type 2 diabetes. According to Harvard Health, other issues like kidney problems, erectile dysfunction, and sleep apnea. While it may seem like a few vanity pounds to you, it can mean dangerous things for your body.

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To keep yourself happy, the American Heart Association recommends that you move at least 150 minutes each week by doing exercise. If you divide that by each day, it’s a mere 21 minutes. Surely there is something that you can do to move for at least a few minutes each day?

Twelve Easy Ways To Sneak In More Exercise

So maybe you don’t have time to go to the gym, or perhaps you don’t have exercise equipment at home, but you can find ways to move more. It doesn’t require some extensive plan to get in shape; you can find ways to sneak more movement into your day. Here are some easy ways to move more without even realizing you’re exercising.

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1. Get More Exercise by Parking Further Away From Stores and the Office

If you go around in circles trying to find the closest spot to the store or your workplace, you’re missing out on a chance to get in more steps. Park further away from the store and use a pedometer to ensure you’re getting around 10,000 steps each day. It will make a big difference in your waist by doing this small trick.

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2. Get Up Once an Hour to Get More Exercise

If you sit in an office all day long, try getting up and going for a walk once an hour. It would help if you get your body moving, so a stroll around the office is perfect. Don’t sit in the cafeteria on your lunch break, as you need to get out and get some fresh air.

A stroll around the parking lot or in a nearby store may be just what you need to get more steps into your day.

3. Use the Stairs Instead of the Elevator

Do you opt for the elevator because it’s easier? Yes, there are many times that an elevator is a better choice, especially if you’re carrying stuff. However, do you know how much fat you can burn if you take the stairs instead?

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Unless you live on the 22nd floor of a high-rise, taking the stairs can be a healthy way to get more movement into your day.

4. Try Public Transport Instead of Driving

Now public transportation isn’t available to everyone. Consequently, most systems require you to do some walking. Not only is public transportation environmentally friendly, but it’s good for your body too.

Instead of getting in the car right outside your door, challenge yourself to walk five blocks to the metro or subway system. You will be amazed how much this can help in your journey to get more exercise.

5. Get More Exercise by Cleaning Every Day

Did you know that you can burn anywhere from 150-300 calories cleaning for an hour? According to Captain Calculator, it’s a great way to burn some fat while doing something you need to do anyway. Dedicate an hour to straightening up your home, running the vacuum, and doing other chores. It’s an effortless way to help rev up your metabolism.

6. Use an Exercise Ball Chair Instead of the Standard Office Chair

Office chairs are pretty boring, and they can be hard on the backside, but have you seen the new exercise ball chairs? Not only are they supposed to be great on your muscles and joints, but you can bounce on them during the day. While this doesn’t seem like it would amount to much, it’s keeping you moving rather than being sedentary.

While they’re not going to help, like cardio for cardiovascular fitness, they can help you build or improve your muscle mass.

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7. Opt For a Standing Desk Rather Than a Sitting One

If you must work at a desk, you have options, so you don’t have to sit down all day. The standing desk allows you to work while you stand or pace the floor. It gets you to moving more because you’re not tied to a chair for long periods.

If you can’t stand for a total of eight hours, then choose a desk that can be for standing or sitting by simply raising and lowering the surface.

8. Take an Evening Walk

What’s the first thing you do when you come home in the evening? Do you grab your pajamas and plop down on the couch? It’s okay to be honest, as this is what most people do after a long, stressful day of work.

Thankfully, you have another option that can help you to relax. Go outside in the cool of the evening and take a walk. Don’t talk on your phone as you stroll around the block, but let your mind absorb all the healing benefits of nature.

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Let the gentle breeze grace across your skin and lower your anxiety, as well as allow your eyes to pick out beautiful flowers in your path. Enjoying nature is a very grounding experience, and it can help you get more exercise into your day.

9. Ride Your Bike More (It Can Be FUN to Get More Exercise!)

A recent article in the Huffington Post gave 19 reasons why riding your bike was a great form of exercise. First, it tends to be low impact, which is excellent for bad knees and stiff joints. It can help you to build muscle mass, and it’s perfect for anyone to do.

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If arthritis makes moving hard for you, then swimming and cycling are two great options.

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10. Have a Dance Party With Your Family

Parents are always looking for great ways to spend time with their kids in the evening. There are very few children that don’t like to dance, so why not bust a move for your health? If you want to get more exercise, why not dance to add a few steps into your day?

Some people won’t think that dancing is proper exercise. However, when you’re done, you will be sweating, tired, and your muscles will hurt. It’s way more of a workout than you could ever imagine, and it’s an excellent way to sneak in some physical activity without feeling like a boring exercise session.

11. Hand Wash Your Car

Those nice automatic carwashes are all the rage, but they’re just allowing folks to be more sedentary. Why not hand wash your car instead? Plus, who doesn’t love playing in the water anyway?

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12. Go Grocery Shopping Instead of Using Click Lists

Click lists and instant carts have changed the way Americans  shop for groceries. While it’s easy, safer, and convenient, it’s not the best for your body. Not only can you log the steps on your pedometer, but you can also really burn some calories by pushing the cart, walking around the store, and loading and unloading all that food.

While you might not always have the time to do a big haul at the local supermarket, it’s well worth the effort to try to do it a couple of times a month.

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Final Thoughts on Sneaking Ways to Get More Exercise

Americans live a very sedentary lifestyle, and many wonder how to get more exercise into their day. The problem is that most think of expensive gym memberships and taking time away from home, and they become overwhelmed with the entire picture. The good news is that you don’t need to spend money to get healthy.

You can take what you have and learn practical ways to move more. While your food choices do matter, you will find the answer for the extra 10-30 pounds you have packed on if you examine your lifestyle. If you move more, you can eat more of the foods you want without guilt.

If you can’t give up that candy bar with dinner, don’t feel guilty about the extra 250 calories. Just move more to work off the excess food. You can work off that candy with a stroll around the block, a spin on your cycle, or parking your car a great distance from the store.

What other ways can you utilize to move more and stop being so sedentary? Since each person’s life and circumstances are different, you can develop effective methods that work for you and your situation. Isn’t it worth the extra effort to be healthy?

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Deborah is a full-time editor, blogger, and children's book author. Her book series helps children with anxiety overcome the challenges in everyday life using kindness and courage. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Secondary Education English and a Spanish minor from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. When she's not working on one of her many writing projects, you will find Deborah working in her herb garden. She is currently completing her master herbalist certification and can't wait to share the knowledge.

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