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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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