11 Ways to Get Exercise While Just Going About Your Day


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Forget the gym -- you can stay in shape without committing large blocks of time (or large amounts of money) to the battle of the bulge by trying some creative multitasking. Add an exercise component to everyday activities, and improving fitness becomes a breeze.

woman stretching arms and waking up sitting on the bed in home
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Stretching increases blood flow and can also alleviate uncomfortable joint stiffness after a night's sleep. Stretch in bed first thing in the morning to wake up the body and improve flexibility throughout the day.
smiling woman with healthy teeth holding a tooth brush
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Don't stare at yourself in the mirror while brushing your teeth. Instead, try holding a deep squat (with hip joints bent at knee level and knees directly above the ankles) to strengthen core and glute muscles without adding time to morning prep.

customers with shopping baskets standing in line at checkout counter in supermarket
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Rather than whip out a smartphone while waiting in line, use the time to strengthen your legs with some toe lifts. Also, try strengthening your core: Relax your knees, then flex abdominal muscles and elevate the upper torso before releasing.

business man and his bicycle, concept bike go to work
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Biking or walking, possibly with some help from public transit, can be the simplest way to add more exercise to your day. Beyond burning calories, walking comes with mood-boosting benefits, as well.
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Using good posture when seated is a free and effective way to get into shape. Sitting up straight helps strengthen the spine and supporting muscles. Use time spent in the car to focus on posture, then choose a distant parking spot to add some cardio.
woman walking up the stairs
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Don't take the elevator! Instead, walking up to the fifth floor is a cardio challenge that can even save time, depending on the length of the wait for the elevator. For those who live in a multi-story home, using the bathroom on the floor above or below is another way to painlessly add exercise to the day.
standing man reading at tablet in his office
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Try standing up for a few lunges while rethinking the wording of your next email. To exercise without standing, do some toe raises or lift light hand weights (starting at about $16 on Amazon). Put a pair of dumbbells in the car to do some quick curls when stuck in traffic, too.

colleagues walking and discussing business matters on the move
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Ask co-workers or associates to meet while walking around the block. It's a practice advocated by Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, and some U.S. presidents to free the mind. Consider walking during phone calls lasting more than a few minutes. It burns calories and offers a creativity boost, too.
woman in kitchen following recipe on digital tablet
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While waiting for a pot to boil or stove to preheat, try some standing pushups against the kitchen counter. Push in and out against the counter to tone arms and shoulders while keeping an eye on the stovetop.
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Whether scrubbing the tub or tending the garden, turn on some favorite music, put on stretchy clothing, and start dancing. Feel the rhythm while dusting, vacuuming, washing, and picking up clutter. An hour of mopping is worth 170 calories for a 150-pound person, according to Calorie Lab, and vigorously tackling several cleaning tasks for the same period eats up 204 calories.
woman lifting kettlebell weights watching tv program
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The average American spends more than four hours a day watching TV, according to Nielsen. Get in shape by walking (or jogging) in place or doing lunges while watching the news. Run around the house during commercial breaks and stow a set of weights for doing reps during shows.

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