Let’s all be honest, we don’t make it to the gym every time we want to.  We don’t even make it outside for a run even if we want to, and maybe there isn’t even time to take the dog on a long walk.  For those times where a formal workout just isn’t going to happen, there are still ways to get yourself moving enough so by the time you hit the pillow that night, you can rest assured knowing that you did something good for yourself and you had a balanced, healthy day.

Keep in mind, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that for important health benefits, the average adult needs 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) per week.  Sound like a lot?  It’s actually just 2 hours and 30 minutes that you need to carve out of your WEEK!  This really isn’t that much, and you can totally do it.  Easily.

Here are my gym-free everyday activity tips (you might have heard of some of them before or they might be obvious, but they’re worth mentioning again!):

Salute the Sun

First thing after you wake up, get things moving and stretch by doing some sun salutations.  They only take a few minutes and you don’t need a mat, but the after effects are lovely.  And just think, you’ve already started your day off on a great foot!

Increase Your Foot/Bike Time

When you drive, park farther away from the entrance of the building.  When you walk or ride your bike, take the longer, scenic route or make an extra lap around the block.  And if you take public transportation, get off one stop earlier so that you walk a bit further.

Take the Stairs

You’ve probably even thought of this yourself, and that’s because you’re smart!  Give yourself a pat on the pack. 🙂  Taking the stairs is a guaranteed way to get that heart rate up.  Now taking 30 flights might not be possible, but even walking up to the 2nd floor of your building (whether that be home or work) makes a difference!  You can also take a few extra minutes and go up and down the stairs once or twice.  Might as well sneak a bit more exercise in while you’re at it.

Lift It

Got something heavy to lift?  Maybe there’s the water cooler at the office that needs to be replaced, there’s the pet, the child, the box…trying lifting it (of course, be careful and don’t try to overdo it!) a few times using proper body mechanics.  Bend your knees to lower yourself to the ground instead of bending at your back, transfer your bodyweight into your heels, brace your core, think about using your abs for strength, and exhale through the mouth as you lift.  Look at you, Popeye!

Move at Your Desk

Many of us spend all day long working at a desk, the kitchen table, or somewhere sedentary with little opportunity to move.  Good news though, here’s a list of some fabulous exercises that can be done from your workstation, whatever it might be.


Ok this is cheesy but I do this all the time.  Put some of your favorite tunes on, and dance!  The addition of music can make household chores like tidying up, cleaning, and dinner making dare I say it…fun.  Well I think making dinner is fun, but that’s just me.  Anyway, just move around  as you do what you gotta do and before you know it, you’ll be out of breath and totally prepared for the next time you hit the dance floor.

Stretch Before Snoozing

To help ease yourself into sleep, hit a couple of these bedtime-friendly yoga stretches.  They only take a few minutes and can be done on a mat, carpet, or a rug.  Ah….relaxing.

Though having a set amount of time to dedicate to exercise is ideal, it just isn’t a reality every day.  If you incorporate just one of these tips though, you’re already lapping everyone on the couch.

What are some of your favorite ways to get your heart rate up without a formal workout?

Laissez les bons temps roulez et bonne santé,



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PS By the way always check with your primary healthcare provider to make sure that any of the above suggestions don’t interfere negatively with your healthcare program!