What do you do when you can't fit fitness into your schedule? If you're sneaky, you can find fun and creative ways to exercise - even when you don't have time to hit the gym. Here, Health.com's weight loss blogger Tina Haupert shares her secrets.
Instead of eating lunch at my desk, I lace up my sneakers and do my daily errands on foot during my lunch break. I use my to-do list to map out a walking route, grab my wallet and iPod, and head outside for an hour of heart-pumping activity.
Sometimes I need to drive to a shopping area first, but then I cruise around on foot checking items off my list. I love that getting my errands and workout out of the way frees up my evening for some serious relaxation!
Instead of meeting friends for Happy Hour after work, we head to the park for a couple of hours of play. We bring a Frisbee or bocce set and play a few rounds together. This way, I can incorporate some activity into my social life - and avoid those cocktail calories!
You've probably heard this one before, but it really works: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Find a parking spot far away from your building so you get a little extra walking. If you ride the bus or subway to work, get off a stop before your office and walk the extra distance.
It might take you a little more time to get to your destination, but all of those extra steps really add up!
When I worked in an office, instead of calling or emailing a coworker, I got up from my desk and walked over to chat with them. Usually, we got a lot more accomplished in a quick in-person meeting, and I burned a few calories walking to their desk.
It might not seem like a lot of activity, but all of those small steps can equal big gains when they're continued all day long.
If I don't have a huge shopping list, I nix the cart and use two reusable bags to carry my groceries. I throw a bag over each shoulder and walk around the grocery store collecting items. Carrying two heavy bags is a great workout, and, at the same time, I get my grocery shopping done for the week.
I walk my dog every morning before work. On the days when I know it'll be tough to fit in a workout, I add an extra 15 minutes to our walk, and I make sure that I get the most bang for my buck by power walking or running those extra steps. And, of course, Murphy loves the extra exercise too!
It's easier to fit in a workout on the weekend, but not when your household tasks take over most of your free time. Instead of missing out on a workout, I turn these tasks into exercise.
For instance, I wash the car by hand rather than taking it to the car wash and I mow the lawn with a push mower instead of asking my husband to do it. These tasks sometimes take me more than an hour to complete, but I know I've gotten in some exercise for the day!