Fitness is a lot more than just working out at the gym. For those with a busy schedule or a tight budget, there are many ways to incorporate exercise into everyday life. Whether you have a short-term goal or just wish to lead a more active lifestyle, fitness can and should be part of your day.
Make walking a part of your routine. Rather than having lunch at your desk at work, walk to a nearby restaurant or cafe. Or use lunchtime to take a walk around the block while having a quick snack on the go. You can also try taking a walk after dinner, going window shopping on the weekends or walking to work rather than taking the bus, especially if you only live a few stops away.
Take the kids outside. Rather than spending the day at the movies or playing inside, grab a football or a Frisbee and head to the park. Jump rope, play tag or get a bike and ride along with them. Take your dog for a 20-minute jog instead of a quick 5-minute walk around the block. If you don't have kids or a dog, enlist the company of a friend and head outdoors for a fun Sunday in the local park.
Move around as much as possible while at the office. Get up to talk to your co-workers rather than sending an IM or an email, and get a headset so you can answer calls standing up or walking around. If you have to use the bathroom, head to the stairs and use them to get to a toilet on a different floor. If you must sit down, do Kegel exercises, stretch your legs under the desk or do dips on the edge of your chair or desk.
Exercise while doing other activities. Do squats while brushing your teeth, do arm curls or use a stationary bike while watching TV, or walk up and down the hall while talking to friends on the phone.
Find an active hobby. Meet with friends for an afternoon of playing tennis, rather than coffee and cake. If you like to read, do it on a stationary bike, either at home or at the gym. Rather than spending your weekend vegging out in front of the TV, sign up for a local softball or soccer league or join a hiking club. Not only will you have fun, but having a team or partner is great for motivation.
Tips & Warnings
Even household chores can be good for overall fitness if done with enough intensity. Sweep your floor rather than vacuuming or try dusting the bookshelves in under five minutes, so you have to do it quickly. Or simply turn on music and dance around the house.