There are plenty of ways to get your daily workout in besides the traditional morning run or walk on the dreadmill. Before you get started, one handy device to get is a step and calorie monitor. I am extremely addicted to my Fitbit One, but there are plenty of devices to choose from including ones by Nike, Weight Watchers, Jawbone, and more.
Sometimes I am surprised on days when I am so busy with household tasks and running after the kids, that I burned a ton of calories even though I did not go for an all-out sweaty workout session. Other days, I may have gone for a long run first thing in the morning and then sat at my desk all day and realized that I barely burned any calories sitting on my butt.
Here are some ideas on how you can get your workout in creatively. Just start making these little changes and they will be come habit. So what if your co-workers think you are crazy? You will be the healthy one, so the joke is on them!
Have kids? There are plenty of ways these little energy bundles of joy can up the caloric burn:
-My kids have outgrown their jogging stroller, but love to go for rides in our collapsible wagon and take them for a long walk. I vary my speed and try to hit up some hills to really get a good workout in. It also helps to have a break at the halfway point – whether it is a quick trip to the library or grocery store – this gives you and the kids a chance to get a drink, cool off, and rest up for the trip back home. The wagon also works great for amusement parks, museums, and more.
-Take the kids to the playground and alternate bench dips and push-ups with step-ups, lunges, and squats. I jog in place and do jumping jacks while I push my daughter on the swing and then challenge my son to races across the lawn.
-If you have a toddler, give them a hug while you do squats. Lift them overhead and work those shoulders. Be creative!
-Get the kids in on it. Grab a soccer ball and go play with them in an open field.
Dog ate your workout? Here’s how to walk Fido and get a great butt at the same time:
-Every time your dog stops to sniff, do a squat.
-Bring one light to medium weight with you. Do bicep curls, overhead presses, and tricep extensions on one side while you hold the leash in the other. When you turn around to head home, switch arms.
-Do high knees rather than walking.
-Take a timer with you and every 3 minutes, alternate high knees and jumping jacks for 30-60 seconds.
Too much housework to do? Keep those feet moving!
-Step side to side while you fold laundry. Take a few items out of the basket at a time and put them away while walking as quickly as possible from place to place.
-Walk in place while you mash potatoes.
-Don’t discount vacuuming and mopping. These activity are big calorie burners.
-Do knee lifts and wide legged squats while you open your mail.
-Pace back and forth while you make phone calls.
Out running errands? There is no excuse not to keep moving.
-Do calf raises while you stand in line at the bank.
-If you are only getting a few things, opt for a basket over a shopping cart and carry your groceries around the store.
-Always walk quickly from place to place.
Stuck at a desk all day? Have no fear, the boredom crusher is here!
-If your office has multiple floors, make a point to use a restroom on another level.
-If you work in a smaller office, take a break from your desk at the top of each hour and walk to your car. Don’t cheat! Make sure you park at the back of the lot.
-While you are on a conference call, do seated planks. Sit up tall, roll your shoulders back, and suck in your abs as tightly as possible. Hold for 30 seconds working up to 60 seconds at a time. Repeat 5-10 times. Bonus: This also helps prevent back pain and slouch so you’ll improve your posture while you work.
-Do glute squeezes in your chair. Start with 25 and work your way up to 100 repetitions.
-Drink plenty of water…and use a small bottle so you always have an excuse to get up and refill!
Are you a frequent traveler? That is no excuse to slack off.
-Check out the FitKit. This nifty exercise device weighs only two pounds and can be easily packed for travel. It features a jump rope, exercise band, a resistance tube, a door attachment, and access to over 250 exercises that focus on strength, cardio, and flexibility. You can even build your own custom kit on their site or buy similar items in a store. Click here to get more details and access to their exercise library online: http://fitkit.com/
-Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
-If you are a frequent flier, make sure you have a suitcase on wheels and stroll around the terminal rather than sitting around to wait for your flight to take off.
-Explore your hotel. Take the long way to your room. Walk around the grounds and see what is around the area.
Your turn– do you have a tip to make your workouts varied, sneaky and fun? 🙂
Also by Darla: How to Build Your Home Gym for $100
Photo: Fitbie via Instagram; Tammra McCauley via Flickr