6 Smart Ways to Add Exercise to Your Daily Routine (NDPP#13)

You know how important fitness is to your health and wellness, and you’re aware of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. But between work, family life, running errands, and the chaos of daily life, you can’t seem to find how to add exercise to your daily routine. 

To help you out, here are some smart ways you can get fitness in, even on the busiest days. 

Adopt a “Move More” Mindset

If you’re tracking your steps and always falling short, get into a mindset of movement and look for any opportunity to get your steps in. 

  • Pace or walk when you’re on the telephone
  • If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way
  • Set an alarm to remind you to get up and move for five minutes every hour
  • Park at the end of the parking lot at work or shopping
  • Circle the work parking lot before going in the office or getting in your car
  • Make multiple trips when putting away laundry or tidying the house

Make the Most of Your Movement

When you do have time to exercise or get movement in, make the most of it so you’re burning as many calories or building as much muscle as you can. 

  • During a 10-minute walk, wear ankle weights or carry hand weights and hold them out in front of you or do curls while you walk. 
  • Walk at a faster pace across parking lots or going up the stairs. While you don’t want to be completely winded, you should feel challenged at a pace that is difficult to sustain long term. 
  • If you have time for a short workout, adopt High-Intensity Interval Training where you can get a whole body workout in as little as 7-10 minutes. From burpees to bicycle kicks, you’ll definitely feel the effects without cutting into a huge part of your day. 
  • Keep resistance bands or hand weights in your desk so when you’re up and moving during phone calls or conference calls, you’re stepping up from simple pacing. 

Make Your “Downtime” Your “Get Up Time”

It’s the end of the day, and you’re ready for some peace, quiet, and Netflix. Instead of just sitting there, use that time to do side-to-side steps or some bodyweight exercises. A rotation of lunges, squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, and burpees are all fantastic ways to get fit, and they’re easy to do while you’re watching your favorite shows!  Even better – if you have stairs in your home, position the tv to where you can see it while you climb up and down your bottom two stairs while your favorite show is on, and soon you’ll see a major difference in muscle tone! 

If your downtime is heavily focused on spending time with your family, it’s even better to get them involved in getting fit! Instead of watching a movie together, turn on some music and have a dance party with the kids. On the weekends, take the family to the park, on a hike, or on a family bike ride.

Try Temptation Bundling

Temptation bundling is the idea of pairing something you absolutely do not want to do with something you love, only allowing yourself to do the activity you like when you’re also doing it with the thing you hate. Think watching Game of Thrones while folding laundry. It makes the laundry not seem so bad when you’re doing it with something you love, and soon you’ll even enjoy it!

Exercise is the same way. Instead of listening to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks while in the car, save them for only when you’re working out. If it’s something you want to do, you’re more likely to find time in your schedule to make it happen!

Try a “Walking Date” 

Instead of getting coffee with a friend or having date night with your partner at a restaurant, use that time to do an activity together. Sign up to take a Zumba class together or simply go for a walk around the park. You’ll still have a great time and you’ll experience a bigger health impact by getting up and moving rather than sitting and eating.

Block Out Time on Your Calendar

Just like you make an appointment with the dentist, schedule meetings for work, and make time for your kids’ extracurricular activities, add a workout to your calendar a few days a week. Maybe you write it in during your lunch hour or schedule time after work, but treat it just like your other appointments. By writing it down in your calendar, you’re making it a priority in your life.  And just like you keep your other appointments, keep these appointments to yourself because in the long run, your exercise is just as meaningful as any other appointment in your phone.