Frequent short exercise throughout the day, keeps the cardiac surgeon away

~Dr. John Mullen (yes, I just made up this quote and am quoting myself)

We’ve dramatically altered our lifestyles in the past few decades. Before the 1960s, obesity was rare. Surprisingly, fitness was also rare. Over the years, our nutrition, lifestyle, and ecosystem have also changed. To some degree, all these changes contributed to the obesity epidemic we are facing.

In the past, humans used to do frequent short exercises. We would hand wash our dishes, vacuum the house, and even get up to change the television station. Now, we put our dishes in the dishwasher, have robots vacuum our floor, and binge watch Netflix shows. This change in lifestyle greatly affected the amount of calories we burn throughout the day.

Creating a workout routine is extremely beneficial for health and fitness, but frequent short exercises could also do you a lot of good.

It is recommended that adults exercise for roughly 45 minutes to an hour a day. However, newer research suggests breaking this up may be as effective. Performing frequent short exercise bouts can be the solution when you don’t have time to hit the gym or are looking for an efficient method to burn more calories.

Luckily, there are many ways to sneak in frequent short exercises for the busiest of bees. In fact, studies have shown that adults who exercise in short bursts are more likely to exercise regularly and lose weight.

Here are 10 simple ways that you can sneak a little fitness into your busy schedule.

1. Line Tightens

We’ve all been waiting in line at some point. Whether at the grocery store, the bank, or the DMV. You can flex your abs for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. It’s easy way to work your core without anyone noticing. If you get sick of this, tighten your glutes! While a simple butt squeeze isn’t noticeable, it helps strengthen your backside, which is a helpful area for injury prevention and has the biggest muscles in your body!

2. Stairway to Wherever

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it really works. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther away from your work office so you can get a little extra walking in. If you ride the bus or take the train, get off a stop before and walk the extra distance. The extra steps in your day will add up quickly.

3. Cooking Workout

Instead of just standing around while you cook dinner try doing standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. This simple exercise could tone your arms and shoulders. If you want to work your legs, try doing squats.

4. Rinse Workout

Before you jump in the shower and get ready for work, do some crunches and push-ups. Even taking 5 minutes could help you get a good workout and set the tone for the rest of the day. Secret tip, try taking a cold shower. It will boost your energy through the roof!

5. Post-Dinner Burn

walking excercise

After dinner, go outside! Walk the dog, shoot baskets, play tag, just do something!

6. Kids Workout Workout

If you have to wait a long time for an appointment or for your child’s practice to be over, go for a stroll! Don’t be a drone on your phone while your kids are doing a healthy activity. Get moving and be healthy yourself!

7. Television Burn

When watching television, try jogging in place during commercials. Burpees (assuming you have proper form) and push-ups are another great commercial challenge. If you are streaming shows, do a quick 5-minute workout between episodes! And when you’re done put away the remote and turn the television off the old-fashioned way. Yes, there’s an off button on there somewhere.

8. Advanced Elevator

While taking an elevator is “an easy way out” you can turn it into a short workout by flexing your calf muscles, coming up onto your tippy toes and back down. These simple heel raises make a boring elevator ride into a mini workout!

9. Cleaning Fitness

Cleaning while exercising may sound crazy, but it can be done. Try lunging while vacuuming the rug or carpet. Lunge forward to work your hips, thighs, and buttocks. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees at 90 degrees. Don’t let your knees go out farther than your toes. Alternate your legs. You can work your arms too and switch hands every five strokes.

When growing up, my mom used to clean the pre-school she worked at. Sometimes, I went with her; on most occasions I was just a distraction. If we were in a rush, however, we’d clean the place as quickly as possible. We’d sometimes time ourselves and make a game of it. We used to work up quite a sweat!

10. Laundry Strength 

When carrying the laundry basket, tone your arms by keeping them raised at a 90° angle. You can also workout your legs with squats and lunges as you fold. When you are sorting the laundry basket out, hold a squat as you do it.

Anyone can find a reason not to exercise, especially when they feel there is no time. Fortunately, there are many opportunities for frequent short bouts of exercises! If you are finding it tough to workout, try a few of these. Don’t feel guilty for not doing anything! Just remember to keep a healthy nutritional profile and you’ll manage health and fitness simultaneously!