Building a workout into your day is a good habit, but some days the usual won’t cut it. You’re too busy to make it to the gym. You may need to use that time to clean your house or run important errands. Or maybe you’re just plain sick of your typical routine.
Any of the above means it’s time to shake things up. Here are 5 unusual ways to work activity into your day.
1. Add activity to your to-do list.
On days you’re trying to decide between exercise and household chores, choose both: alternate back and forth between the two to mix things up while getting things done.
For example, if you need to clean your kitchen and tone your muscles, pair yoga with cleaning out your pantry.
- Do 10 minutes of ab-strengthening yoga.
- Take 5 minutes to clean the top shelf of your pantry.
- Do 10 minutes of arm-strengthening yoga.
- Take 5 minutes to clean the middle shelf, and so on.
If you like, pop on a workout video and pause it between sections for cleaning, cooking or yard work breaks.
2. Mix it up with media.
Get your heart pumping by doing pushups, sit-ups or cardio for the length of a commercial break while watching your favorite TV show. If you’re watching with kids, get them in on the action: challenge them to see who can do the most jumping jacks or sit-ups before the show comes back on. Pro-tip: this tactic works especially well if you’re watching a live sports event you can’t fast-forward but don’t want to miss.
3. Walk while you talk.
Turn your next meeting into a walking meeting, whether you go around the block, around the building or to a nearby park — just make sure the subject matter and meeting participants are game to shake thing up. If you can’t find anyone to walk with, turn your next conference call into a cardio session by walking while you talk.
4. Plant triggers for 2-minute fitness.
Set free weights somewhere in your house or office that you know is well-trafficked and do 2 minutes of exercise before you get what you came for. For example, at home you could put them outside the pantry so you have to do some curls before you start snacking. At the office, place them near the coffeemaker so every time you go to brew a cup, you’re reminded to do a quick arm-toning session. If weights aren’t for you, consider these 5 chair workouts that you can do anywhere you’re seated.
5. Act like a kid again.
When was the last time you tried to swing across a set of monkey bars? It may not be as easy as you remember. Mix up your typical workout by turning your local playground or park into a gym. Climb the dome, play hopscotch, do hanging sit-ups or try a full-body playground workout. Playground sessions are great for those with kids, but they’re pretty fun for other adults, too.