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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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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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