The UK government recommends exercising at least 12 times a month. That averages out to three times a week. But a study published by the University of Bristol in 2013 found that a whopping 80% of us fail to meet this target!
It’s easy to understand why: work, kids, partners . . . not to mention finding time for yourself every now and then. It often feels as if there’s just not enough time in the day.
There are ways to get around this, however. Until you’ve got the time to make a bigger commitment to getting active, here are some easy ways to exercise without even noticing you’re doing it.
The best bit? Incorporating a few of these activities into your day will burn hundreds of extra calories – with hardly any effort.
Read a book
There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a break from your screens and curling up with a good book. Although it’s not technically an exercise, reading can burn around 60-80 calories per hour – that’s over twice as many calories burned from watching TV.
It also helps that reading occupies your hands, whereas watching telly makes it easier to snack the hours away.
Clean the kitchen or loo
It’s not the most glamourous task, but put enough elbow grease into it and you can burn anywhere from 120-170 calories per hour while cleaning.
So rather than shelling out for a housekeeping service, incorporate hoovering and scrubbing into your weekly exercise regimen. Your health – and your kitchen floor – will thank you.
Play with the kids
If you have young children, you know it’s not easy keeping up with them. But did you also know that indulging their constant requests to play is actually good for your health?
Just 30 minutes of moderate playing, such as hide-and-seek or tag, can burn around 150 calories. Your kids will be happier, and so will your health.
Need some motivation? Check out these tips to lose weight.
Have walking meetings
Meeting after endless meeting . . . sound familiar? Break up the monotony by having a walking meeting. Why sit around a table to talk shop when you can get some air and have your meeting outside?
Depending on the incline and speed, you’ll burn anywhere from 100-200 calories per hour of walking – although this can increase to over 400 if you pick up the pace to more than four miles per hour.
You know that guy in the office who’s always shaking his legs or tapping his pen? Maybe he’s just dedicated to his health! The average person burns over 300 calories per day thanks to fidgeting, so don’t hold back.
For a bit of strength training, you can also do isometric exercises at your desk. Sit up straight and tense your abs, calves and glutes in succession. While nothing compares to actual weightlifting, you’ll start seeing more defined muscles in just a few weeks!
Utilise your office supplies
A stapler can do more than hold papers together and disappear from your desk every few weeks. Grip the stapler in your hand, rest your elbow on your desk and lift your forearm up and down, switching arms until you get tired. It’s a lightweight muscle exercise that’ll gradually strengthen and tone your arms, and no one will even notice you’re doing it.
Out and About
Park in the back of the car park
We’ve all been trained to hunt for the parking spot closest to our destination, but think about it. If you drive, you’re probably in dozens of car parks a month. Couple with a shopping trip or a walk round town, and you’re shaving hundreds of easy calories off each month.
Carry a basket instead of a trolley
Unless you’re getting heaps of shopping, opt for a basket. Each added item will work the muscles in your arms, strength training your arms without your ever having to lift a single dumbbell. Do this a few times a month, and pretty soon you won’t even notice the extra weight.
Take the scenic route
Walking at a moderate pace burns 100-200 calories per hour, so why rush to your destination? If you’ve got the time, bypass the direct route to the city centre and make use of your local walking paths. It’ll take you a little longer, but you’ll be that much healthier for it.
Getting some “green time” away from the pavements will also lift your spirits, giving you more energy to tackle your day. A study from the University of Illinois found that that access to nature has a positive effect mood and even satisfaction at work.
Easy Ways to Exercise Without Even Noticing!
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