Fitness

75 Ways to Fit in Fitness

It’s easy to start moving—follow our 75 ways to get up and go!

A few steps here, a squat there. They add up. And possibly to even greater health benefits than you’d get from a full-fledged workout. People who move continually doing things like walking, fidgeting, standing, laughing, cleaning, or climbing stairs at work could burn up to 2,000 calories per day, no moderate or vigorous exercise required, according to a 2015 review in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Great news, right? Check out these 75 creative ways to fit fitness into your day, wherever you are (and whatever you’re wearing). It’s all about the movement!

1. Get a dog People who own dogs are more likely to hit the daily recommended amount of physical activity than people without pooches, reports a review in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.

2. Brace at red lights When you’re sitting at a stoplight, squeeze your abs. Hold it until the light turns green. (This works just as well when you’re not the driver!)

3. Wear technology When women wore FitBits, they took 782 extra steps per day, according to a small 2015 American Journal of Preventive Medicine study. Each morning, set a reminder to strap on your wearable.

4. Throw your own flash dance party You know you love rocking out in the living room! And you should—it burns major calories. So blast your favorite tune, use your brush as a microphone, and in three minutes, done!

5. Become a stealth squatter Whenever you have a little private time—like when you’re drying your hands in your bathroom—do some squats.

6. Do a supermarket victory lap Once you’ve finished your grocery shopping, take one last walk around the perimeter of the store. Bonus: That’s where you’ll find the fruits and veggies, so impulse buys are OK!

7. Find a spot for your smartphone Pick a designated location in your home to stash your cell, so when you need it, you have to move for it!

8. Spring clean Need more incentive than a sparkling house? It burns up to 400 calories per hour. Really get into it, any time of year!

9. Go to the store Limit online shopping to one day a year—Cyber Monday—and visit your favorite retailers in person the rest of the time. You’ll hit 10,000
steps without even trying.

10. Grab some granite While you’re in the kitchen waiting for your coffee to perk, do some incline push-ups using the countertop.

11. Wash the car A 155-pound person could burn 167 calories, sudsing the Subaru, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

12. Hold walking meetings You’ll burn calories and get innovative! People may be 60 percent more creative strolling than sitting, according to preliminary research from Stanford University.

13 Take a computer time-out Download Time Out, a desktop app that will lock you out of your computer for 10 seconds every 10 minutes, and 10 minutes every hour. Stretch, walk—get your blood flowing.

14. Stop sitting still A 2015 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that if you constantly fidget while you sit—bounce your legs, keep your arms moving—you may help counteract negative health effects of being sedentary like poor posture and high BMI.

15. Break up your binge watching “Are you still watching?” Every time Netflix asks—usually after each half-hour episode ends—do 10 jumping jacks.

16. Wear sneakers more often If your feet are comfy, you won’t mind making more trips on foot.

17. Go dancing on date night It’s way more active (and romantic) than the
typical dinner and a movie.

18. Sit down when you’re brushing your teeth But don’t take a seat. Try performing a wall sit (stay in sitting position with your back against the wall). Hold the pose as long as you can, working up to the full two minutes.

19. Stroll after meals Let the dishes soak! Walking for just 15 minutes after you eat may help control your blood sugar, according to limited research from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

20. Cycle at work Put a DeskCycle under your workstation so you can pedal throughout the day. A 35-year old, 150-pound woman could burn 90 calories per hour. $159, amazon.com.

21. Get off the bus one stop early You’ll lose a few minutes and gain a lot of extra steps.

22. Start getting handy around the house Learn to hang that shelf and fix that doorjamb. Home repair projects can burn 112 to 223 calories per hour (for a 155-pound person), according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

23. Get apocalypse-fit (before it’s too late!) Swap out Candy Crush for Zombies, Run! Every time you walk, run, or jog in real life, the app will track your steps and move your virtual character that much farther from the zombies. Free for iOS and Android.

24 Earn your online procrastination Each time you go on Facebook or Instagram, do a plank.

25. Start gardening According to a 2014 HortTechnology study, weeding burns the same number of calories as working out on the elliptical, mulching melts off more than yoga, and digging torches as many as weightlifting or rowing.

26. Act like a kid There’s a reason your children are so fit: They play! Don’t just watch: Join in their games of tag, set up a scavenger hunt, or hop on the Wii together.

27. Go camping Get outside with a weekend camping trip. Hiking to a campsite, pitching a tent, and kindling a fire will all burn calories.

28. Ditch the stroller Carry your baby in a MobyWrap or a BabyBjörn to give your abs, back, and legs some much-needed love.

29. Reverse crunch your way out of bed Before you get up, perform 10 reverse crunches on your cushy mattress (it’ll work your abs even more). Lying on your back, raise your knees and feet until your shins are parallel to the bed. Squeeze your abs and slowly lift your hips off of the bed and your feet toward the ceiling. Pause; lower yourself to the blankets.

30 Stand on one foot Whenever you can—whether you’re in line or washing dishes—lift one foot. You’ll improve your balance and coordination, and strengthen the muscles in your feet, ankles, and legs (give each foot equal time). Tip: In public? Lift your foot only about an inch off the ground and no one will notice.

31. Sit down twice Every time you sit, pause when you’re about an inch above the seat and then spring back up.

32. Ride the bus standing Give up your seat and hold the handrails. You’ll burn more calories than if you made the journey sitting on your bum!

33. Download an audiobook Instead of curling up with a good read, walk around while you listen to it.

34. Skip! Did you have (or just really want) a SkipIt when you were a kid? Then you may want to try SkipFit, a grown-up, calorie-torching spin on the classic. Slip it on your ankle and start skipping. SkipFit, $20, empowerfitness.com.

35. Challenge your friends Research consistently shows that we exercise harder and better when we’re pitted against others. Try to out-fitness your pals with Fitbit Challenges. You can compete against up to nine Fitbit friends to get the most steps.

36. Make more laundry trips Fold and put away your clean clothes and linens one item at a time. You’ll get in steps going back and forth.

37. Say “@$#& it” Replace your swear jar with a burpee penalty.

38. Walk and talk Use phone conversations as opportunities to walk around and move while you chat. You can even get a headset to make it easier. 

39. Hop off the bar stool You’ll burn more calories playing pool, darts, or foosball than you will planted with a drink in your hand. You’ll probably have more fun, too.

40. Lunge the hall Every time you have to walk down a hallway at home, make the journey one walking lunge at a time. You’ll get bonus points if you’re carrying something while you do it.

41. Hide the remote You’ll never realize how often you change the channel until you do.

42. Switch to a backpack Besides making it feasible to walk or bike on almost any errand that comes your way, a loaded backpack strengthens the muscles in your core, back, and even legs.

43. Take the scenic route When Google Maps gives you different options for walking somewhere, don’t pick the first route (it’s usually the shortest!). And even
when you need to get somewhere at the office, forgo the shortcut through marketing and go see what’s up in the mailroom to burn a few more calories.

44. Choose pickup over delivery If you’re going to eat takeout, always opt to go out and get it yourself. Walking to and from the restaurant—or even just your car—burns more calories than waiting for the food to arrive at your door.

45. Play at the playground The next time you take your kids for some outdoor fun, take advantage of the equipment yourself. Try to master the monkey bars, perform TRX-style push-ups using a swing, or hop back and forth over a bench.

46. Raise while you rinse When you’re standing at the sink washing dishes, do calf raises. While keeping your abs tight, lift your heels until you’re standing on your toes. Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower your heels. Tip: Keep the movement nice and slow to really feel the burn.

47. Do it on the double When you’re doing chores at home, run—don’t walk—from place to place.

48. Press that milk Every time you pull a gallon jug out of the fridge, quickly press it over your head (using both hands!) before pouring a glass.

49. Bend better Instead of just hinging at the waist when you pick something up off the floor, do a full squat. You’ll work your entire legs to build more muscle and burn more calories.

50. Master bed stretching Don’t feel like stretching? Good news: You don’t even need to get out of bed to do so. Try these…

51. Do a spinal twist Lie on your back in the middle of your bed. Bend both knees into your chest, and then let them fall to the right side of your
body. Extend your arms in a T position, and twist your torso to the left side. Hold for 30 seconds, then lift your knees back to center and repeat on the opposite side.

52. Be a happy baby Lie on your back in the middle of your bed. Bend both knees and grab the outside edges of both feet. Use your arms to gently pull your knees toward the mattress on each side of your chest. Hold for 30 seconds.

53. Do a lying side quad stretch Lie on your right side and support your head with your right hand. Bend your left knee and pull your foot with your left hand to your butt. Press your hips forward, making sure you don’t let your left knee move in front of your right knee. Hold for 30 seconds, then roll over and repeat on the opposite side.

54. Lug some laundry Instead of filling a basket with several loads and making one trip, haul laundry upstairs one load at a time.

55. Visit your colleague’s cube Email and call less in the office. Have a conversation in person.

56. While away the wait When waiting—at the doctor’s office, train station, or the DMV—move around the space, or grab a magazine and stand while you read it.

57. Swap drinks for fitness Plan happy hour walks or bike rides with friends instead of cocktails.

58. Hop out of the car On a road trip? The next time you stop for gas or a driving break, get outside and do some jumping jacks or squats. You’ll be able to snag a much-needed break from sitting and get your blood flowing.

59. Step while you wait If you’re waiting for a train or bus and some stairs are handy. get some flights in until it’s time to leave.

60. Race to the mailbox When you get home, run to get your mail from the mailbox, and then sprint to the front door.

61. Reassess your routes How far are you from the pharmacy? Do you really have to drive your kids to school? Start thinking about where you can swap your car for your legs.

62. Don’t just sit there If you’re waiting for your flight to board, take laps through the terminal­—it’ll be very interesting people-watching!

63. Explore the building Go to the farther bathroom in the office to get in some extra steps throughout the day.

64. Ditch the vanity Stand in front of the mirror while you’re applying your makeup and styling your hair.

65. Stop pushing, start lifting Instead of a shopping cart, grab a basket at the grocery story. As you lift it, you’ll do a bicep curl and you’ll get a shoulder workout—without even knowing it.

66. Use a small glass The smaller the glass, the more trips to the fridge for some water.

67. Replace your garbage bags with plastic grocery bags Your garbage will fill up much more quickly, and you’ll have to take more trips outside!

68. Bring portable fun The next time you’re outdoors with friends, pack a simple little gadget in your bag: It’s called a Frisbee.

69. Connect over coffee Meeting a potential mate? Grab a latte and stroll.

70. Have more sex. You’ll be full of energy after that latte.

71. Join the team Looking to meet new people? Try a recreational adult sports league and play sports like volleyball, dodge ball, basketball, or flag football—to name a few.

72. Take more pictures Grab your smartphone and see what you can find on your walk. Set a goal for yourself—to spot 10 different types of flowers—and create your own scavenger hunt.

73. Rearrange your furniture Itching to change the feng shui in your home? That’s a good excuse to add in some movement.

74. Go salsa dancing with friends Research restaurants and clubs near your home where you can sip on sangria—5 ounces for 5 SmartPoints®—and dance the night away.

75. Search for yard sales Looking for a steal? Line up some yard sales around your town and walk the route on Saturday morning.