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7 Ways To Sneak In Exercises When You Don’t Really Have Time

7 Ways To Sneak In Exercises When You Don’t Really Have Time

We all know exercise is important. It keeps us healthy and in shape. But it’s also a big time commitment to keep up a steady exercise routine. It can also be hard to make yourself work out if you’re really not in the mood. Luckily, there are tons of ways we can stay fit and burn calories without having to schedule a long gym session. At home, at work, watching television, these exercises can be done without taking up a big chunk of our time or our energy. Here are our top seven ways to sneak exercise in to your day:

1. Take the stairs.

Stairs are a great calorie-burner, and they also tone your legs and bum. Next time you’re facing the elevator-or-stairs dilemma, take the stairs. Walking up them will do the trick, but try going up at a job to increase your heart rate and burn a few extra calories. Next time you’re faced with an escalator ride, consider walking up instead of standing still on one step.

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2. Park farther away.

Picking a parking spot near the back of the lot forces you to get out and walk to your destination. It’s a little change, but over time it can make a big difference. Consider doing this at the supermarket or mall. That way, you’ll have to walk in from farther away, but you’ll also have to walk out with heavy bags. It’s a small step towards sneaking in some exercise.

3. Swap your chair for an exercise ball.

These large inflatable balls are great alternatives to traditional office chairs. Sitting on an exercise ball all day works your core because you’re constantly trying to balance — but you don’t even notice! The movements are so slight that you’ll feel perfectly secure and comfortable on the exercise ball, but your abdominal muscles will be working to keep you stable. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, this is also a good way to get in some crunches at the office. Lay with the middle of your back on the exercise ball and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Crunch up and lower yourself down slowly and in a controlled motion.

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4. Jiggle your leg.

Tapping or moving one of your legs is a good way to burn a few extra calories throughout the day without putting in a lot of effort. Try to switch legs from time to time to give one a rest. You can also cross your legs and jiggle one foot for less movement with the same result. Just make sure you’re not doing it in a meeting to avoid seeming nervous or anxious.

5. Balance on one leg.

Sitting down all day can get pretty old pretty fast. Stand up occasionally and balance on one leg, and then the other. It’ll get your blood flowing and help you strengthen your core muscles. Try to increase the time you are able to balance on one leg each time you do it.

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6. Go outside.

Many people enjoy hobbies that are active, such as biking, hiking or kayaking. Find an outdoor activity that you enjoy. If you’re really having fun, you won’t even notice that you’re getting in a serious workout in the process. These activities are also great ways to meet new people and make friends. See if there are any groups or clubs in your area that you can join.

7. Stand on your tiptoes.

If you are standing somewhere for an extended period of time, like when washing the dishes, try slowly raising and lowering yourself on your tiptoes. It works your calves and is easy to do pretty much anywhere.

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Featured photo credit: Jaymie Koroluk via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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