We all know to get and stay healthy we need to move more.  But the reality is, most of us dread dragging our butts to the gym or forcing ourselves to formally exercise.  Face it.  We are busy, tired and don’t always have the time or drive to go to the gym.  Here are some exercise hacks to painlessly work in extra movement into your day, taking very little time and energy, and will make a big difference in your activity level.  And as we all know, every step counts…

Hack #1

Park in the middle or towards the back of the parking lot.

Every time you go to any store, whether it is the grocery store, the mall or even Walmart, don’t drive around looking for the closest parking spot.  Find a spot in the middle of the lot, and park there.  You’ll find a few wonderful things very quickly.  You will be working in extra steps to get fit and healthy.  It won’t take long before you are able to and wanting to park further and further away from the store, as you get healthier and build stamina.  And finally, you will actually find parking quicker and reduce stress as there are many more open spots toward the back of the parking lot.  These extra steps add up quickly.  If you only park ten spaces further away twice a day, you will walk an additional 10 miles a year.  Don’t think of it as a daily burden but just a part of your ten mile journey……or maybe 20 miles.

Hack #2

Take one flight of stairs instead of an escalator or elevator.

Any time you have the choice, take one flight of stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.  If you live in an apartment building with an elevator, get off one floor before your own and go up the last flight by stairs.  If you’re at an airport choose the flight of stairs.  Make the same choice if you’re at a hotel, a friend’s apartment building or even in a medical building.  Taking one flight of stairs instead of the elevator/escalator will build strength and stamina.  As you build strength and stamina, you may find you’d even like to try two flights of stairs.  It takes very little of your time, will burn extra calories and build muscle.  Make a game of it.  If your friends or co-workers are taking the elevator the whole way, see if you can beat them by taking the stairs.

Hack #3

While at work, get out of your chair once an hour.

Set a reminder on you computer or smart phone.  Every hour on the hour, have your alarm go off.  At that time stand up.  In the office there are unlimited ways to vary up some quick and easy movements to keep you blood flowing and your body active.  Take one minute.  Just simply one minute.  Do squats at your desk.  Take a quick walk around the perimeter of the office floor.  Go down then up one flight of stairs.  Take the longest possible route to the kitchen, the bathrooms or conference rooms.  Place your feet two to three feet from the wall, lean in to the wall and do standing push-ups for one minute.  Stretches are wonderful as well.  Bend down and touch your toes.  Reach up high and stretch that way.  There are endless ways to move for just one minute.  Again, like hack #1 and #2, once you start and build strength and stamina, you may surprise yourself and want to increase the movement to 1 1/2 minutes or even 2 minutes.  Your body will very quickly adapt and look forward to it.

These are very simple hacks that will change your sedentary life into a more active one.  You can start small and still reap the healthy benefits of activity.  These are easy activities that nearly anyone can accomplish.  Every journey begins with a single step.  Take your single step today.  And remember, every step counts!

Wolski Success Partners, Life coaches.

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