Sneaky Ways to Move More

A Guide to Squeezing the Exercise in
When busy schedules make your day feel chock-full, turn to these sneaky tactics for staying active during life's craziness.

I have one of those jobs, like many others who work in offices, that keeps me seated unless I really pay attention and try to get up and about. Now that I’m in a DietBet and a StepBet, it seems even more important than before that I be double-dipping whenever I have activities to do: when possible, I want to add some extra exercise oomph to my daily tasks, and thus burn a few more calories every day.

I wish I was more of a gym person, but the activation energy – finding the clothes, driving to the gym, signing in, and dressing out – conspires to keep me away. Obviously, it’s great to do sweaty workouts, and it promotes overall health; but if you want you want something with a lower barrier to entry, or want to add some more steps on top of your workout routine, here are some ways to sneak a little extra walking into your everyday life.

1. Park and Walk 

Most people instinctively take the parking spot closest to where they are going. This makes sense if you really cannot spare that minute or two it will take to walk across the lot, but if you have any wiggle room at all, park out in the empty expanse and walk a few extra steps.

2. Pick the Farther (Bathroom, Cafeteria, Stairway)

When you have to do things in your regular daily life, make a habit of going to the next-farthest spot that you need to. Grab the North staircase rather than the South even if you have to double back when you get upstairs.

3. Put Earliness to Use

If I’m early for a meeting or engagement at work, I try to take the longest route I can and keep walking when I arrive. No reason to spend that extra minute or two seated when I can stand. If I’m running late, I’ll still get some steps in as I hustle, and the increased heart rate can help too!

4. Consider What’s “On the Way”

Maybe your gym requires you to drive out of your way to and from work, and it just never gets done. Why not identify something on your way to work where you could get a few steps in? If there’s a park or a mall on the road you take, just pulling in and taking 20 minutes to wander might be better than intending to do an hour at the gym and ending up doing nothing.

5. Standing “Desk”

If you fidget at your seated desk, try putting a cardboard box under your work computer and standing up behind your desk while you type or work. I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but if there is a modification to your workspace that can get you standing for part of the day, you’ll fidget and move around more and end up racking up some unconscious steps. If you like it enough, there are adjustable desks to invest in that can let you use a button to go from standing to sitting easily, but I like the cardboard box variety to start.

Make it WayBetter

You know your own daily routine better than anyone else; if these tips don’t fit in, what moments might be maximized as times for activity and movement? If you know some days of the week don’t work for exercise, what can you do to get more on the other days? Share your tips in the comments!