No matter who you are or how busy your days seem, there are always ways to sneak in some extra movement. You don’t necessarily have to set aside an hour block of time to do that. Just get creative while doing many of the things you already do. We came up with 12 times when you can add movement to your day and some types of movement we think are a good fit for those moments. Most of the times when you can add movement were inspired as we read 11-sneaky-ways-to-move-every-day. But we tried to get original with some of the possible movements you can sneak in at those times.
Add a bonus workout when you walk the dog.
If you have a dog, there is going to be some frequent walking. Don’t aim for really short walks, your dog also needs some freedom to move and explore often. Remember though that dogs tend to “see” with their noses, so many times they want to smell everything. If that is the case with your dog, it doesn’t mean you have to stop moving. You could continue to walk in a confined area, do some deep knee bends, or even do some air punches.
Whenever you are waiting in line, do calf raises. Oh, the many places we wait in lines, grocery stores, shopping, buying tickets at the movie theater, DMV, and a host of other places. Waiting in lines provides the perfect opportunity for leg work, body twists from the waist, even modified stretches over the top of your head or across your body. If nothing else, you’ll be providing a break in the monotony all the others in line are facing. And quite possibly, you’ll inspire others to start doing some stretches, calf raises, or other moves they think to do.
Use commercial breaks for bursts of movement.
Depending if you watch network or cable channels, and what time of day or night you are watching, commercial breaks could last anywhere from 3-8 minutes. Every commercial provides a chance to get up and move. You won’t be missing any action or plot. So, jog to the bathroom and back, or do walking lunges all the way to the kitchen and fill your water glass. You could even stay in your seat and do a variety of air punches, jabs, crosses, and hooks.
Dance around the kitchen while you wait for the microwave or other item cooking on the stovetop for a few minutes.
Who doesn’t love to dance? If your spouse is nearby, do a couple of laps of the living room, kitchen, and dining room with a waltz. You’ll enjoy a little couple closeness, and both you will add extra steps in your day. If your kids are there, teach them the funky chicken and laugh yourselves silly while building a lasting memory. And if you are alone, do whatever dance moves you like. Hum a tune, and move to the beat. The humming can tell you how your breath control is improving during movement.
Go an extra floor or two higher when using a parking garage and do the stairs – coming and going. You can also park at the far end of a parking lot when you go shopping or when you arrive at work. When you go out to dinner, take a taxi, but have them drop you off a block away from your destination. Or if your vehicle permits, offer to be the shuttle service for fellow employees or other people attending an event. You can drop them at the front door and then find a place to park a reasonable distance away.
Do walking lunges while you are on a phone call.
You will probably want to do this with your office door closed, or when you are alone. If you are concerned about doing lunges, then instead pace quickly around your office while talking on the phone. Bluetooth technology makes this so much easier to do. Another possibility is to walk but raise your knees as high as possible with every step.
Take public transportation to work one or two days a week.
Get off a stop before the closest one to your office and add those extra steps. Just plan for those couple of extra minutes it takes to walk the distance. You don’t have to do that both to and from, but if you have the time, why not? Whether you are standing or sitting, work a muscle that doesn’t always get used. Sitting – try some thigh squeezes, holding your inner thighs together and keeping tension on the muscles. Or press the small of your back against the seat back and pull your shoulders back while tightening that area on the sides of your back just below the armpits. If you are standing, tense all the muscles in your body and hold them tight for as long as you can. The tension will work the muscles in ways you might accomplish through bending, squatting or calf raising.
Do wall squats when you brush your teeth or hair.
Or just do regular squats if you don’t have a wall close to the sink that will work. If you have knee problems, you can still do these, just keep your balance with one hand on the ledge of the sink and squat just part of the way down. If you don’t want to do a lot of up and down, do just one extended squat. You will feel the burn quickly if you go a quarter of the way into a squat and hold it for a minute or more. Several areas of your legs will let you know that you are getting a good burn working those muscles.
At your child’s soccer game or T-ball, walk the length of the field several times.
You will get a better view of the action because you’ll be closer to it. As long as you don’t act like one of those crazy parents, no one will care. If you drop your child off for music or dance lessons, don’t just sit in your car or the practice room. Get up and move around. If the building has stairs, Climb several flights of stairs a couple of times. The lesson time will fly by, and you’ll feel rejuvenated. You could even take a book on tape with you and do triple duty.
Suck in your lower abs and hold them in for 60 seconds.
Whenever you first sit down, no matter where it is, your desk at the office, your favorite easy chair to watch television, the dinner table, or the waiting room somewhere. Suck in your gut and hold it in as tightly as you can for at least 60 seconds. That works those muscles the same as if you do several crunches, and most people won’t even know you are doing it.
Set an alarm at the office for every 90-120 minutes.
When it sounds, get up and move for at least five minutes. Head for the restrooms one flight up or down from where you are and use the stairs. Walk to the water cooler or fountain that is farthest from your office. If you got to the vending machine, then make sure you contemplate all the choices while squatting progressively lower to see all the options and then doing calf raises to check out the ones at higher levels. Now, remember the good you just did with that movement and weigh it against whether or not you really want that item in the machine.
At every stop light you hit when you are driving, do Kegels.
Kegels build strength in your pelvic muscles. If you are unsure what to do, hold the same muscles tight that you would if you have hold it until you can get to the bathroom. Work the muscles for both elimination options. For these, you can hold some, and some you want to tighten and immediately release, repeating that process 5 or 10 times in quick succession. And guys – these are beneficial to you as well, so start doing them. If you crunch your back side muscles, your butt will tighten and have less sag over time.
So those are just some possibilities. Hopefully, having read our suggestions, you will think of some additional ideas that can work even better for you and your schedule. When you get more movement into your day, the oxygen levels in your blood increase, and that helps you think clearer, feel more alert, and have more energy. And you can get all of those benefits just by adding in a few of the suggestions above on a regular basis.