8 Simple Ways to Fit in More Fitness
Thursday, November 14, 2010

Think you have no time for fitness? Between dropping off the kids, commuting to work, doing laundry, paying the bills, picking up the kids, preparing dinner, cleaning and tidying up, and packing to do it all again tomorrow, it may seem like there's simply no room for fitness in your day. Setting aside the 20-45 minutes a day to dedicate to exercise might seem impossible with your schedule. We've polled the team here for a few simple ways you can fit in more daily fitness without missing a beat!

1. Park far away

Trips to the mall, grocery store, work, school, etc can really add up over the week. Try parking in the furthest parking spot at each destination and walk briskly to the door. You'll get extra steps in and give your heart rate a little boost. Speedy walking will ensure you're not wasting extra time either.

2. 1 Up and 2 Down

We all know that pressing the button won't make the elevator come back down any faster. Instead of wasting your time waiting for those doors to open, try skipping the elevator in favor of the stairs. A good rule is to always choose the stairs for "1 flight up or 2 flights down." Chances are you'll save time (and calories) over choosing the elevator. Feeling extra fit? Double the rule to "2 up or 4 down."

3. Multitask in Motion

It's easy to avoid the gym if you view time spent there as time wasted. However, take a look at your to-do list and scan for any items that can be accomplished on the stationary bike or treadmill. Need to read over that long report for work or proofread your daughter's history paper? Keep both your mind and body engaged by reading it while pedaling quickly on the bike.

4. Chair-free Chatting

Either for business or pleasure, chances are you spend a significant amount of time on the phone every day. Instead of staying sedentary, use your cell phone or a cordless phone to free you from your chair. Close the door and pace around your office while you talk to get in extra steps daily.

5. Turn Waiting into Walking

As frustrating as it may be, we spend a good portion of our days waiting. Whether we're idling outside our children's schools for the end of day bell, at the pharmacy for prescription pick-ups, or at the doctor's office for our appointment, we can easily turn these waiting times into walking times. Rather than wasting time (and gas!) idling in your car, park it and walk around the block until school's officially out. If you're waiting on an appointment, ask the receptionist to give you an estimated wait time and walk around the building (or the block) during those minutes instead of sitting and reading outdated magazines. The extra exercise can also help keep you calm and relaxed, instead of frustrated about long wait times.

6. Pump Up the Volume

We all need to clean the house and cook, at least occasionally. Use your favorite tunes to turn these chores into high-powered exercise. Pick upbeat songs to scrub and chop to - you'll find yourself putting in extra (calorie-burning) energy into these no-longer-mundane tasks. The more you get into the groove, the more benefits you'll get!

7. Increase Face Time

How many emails and text messages do you send a day? How many are to coworkers or friends in the office? Instead of sending another email to your manager - get up and walk over to his/her office. The time you spend walking might be more than made up for by the increased efficiency of face-to-face communication.

8. Wear a Pedometer

Harness your competitive spirit and challenge yourself daily to meet new (and ever-higher) goals for the number of steps you take a day. We're confident that there are many more ways you can fit extra exercise into your everyday schedule. By challenging yourself to set new step records, you're better prepared to find them all amidst the chaos of your day!