Maybe you’re not crazy enough to get a treadmill desk (yet), but you would like to be a little more active throughout the day. You might not have time or mental energy for a workout daily but finding a few little spaces to get up and move will surprisingly add up on your fitness tracker. Plus, they methods are so much more enjoyable than dragging yourself to the gym.
1. Just Dance
Throw on a Just Dance video from YouTube on your screen and try your best to follow along. Turns out it’s just as fun to pretend you’re playing the game.
2. Buy local
Go one better than just parking in the furthest stall in the parking lot. If you have a grocery store within walking distance, make the trek. If not, park a mile away from one. Find a farmer’s market in your neighborhood and spend your morning strolling through all the fresh produce and treats.
3. Go on a chase
Chase your kids, dog or just a frisbee. You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in during a game of tag. If you don’t have kids to chase, throw around a frisbee, or grab a friend for a round of frisbee golf.
4. Make it a game
Make up a walking game. Rewrite the old drinking game. Choose a couple of buzz words and every time the word comes up, take a walk around the office or the house. Compete with a friend to see how many times you take a lap.
5. Avoid your phone
Next time someone is running late to meet you, or you have a few minutes before a meeting, movie or appointment starts, set a timer and walk around instead of staring at your phone.
6. Take the longer route
Always choose the furthest copy machine, bathroom or water fountain from you. Don’t take a shortcut there, either.
7. Set an alarm
Set an alert for the time of day that you feel the lowest energy. As soon as you hear that alarm, take a 5-minute walk. You’ll feel a little less sluggish when you sit down.
8. Take advantage of commercials
Make yourself stand up and do one lap around the house every time commercials come up on TV. If you are marathoning episodes on Netflix, pace the room during the credits.
9. Do chores inefficiently
Walk to the mailbox. Bring in one bag of groceries at a time. Put away just a couple of plates before walking back to the dishwasher. It doesn’t take that much extra time, but it does add up in steps.
Wander, instead of always zipping straight to your destination. Explore the city, your town or the nearest public garden. Take a walk down a street that you know has a lot of art galleries and stop in a few. Find a large outdoor market and check out all the stalls. Pick an area of the city you’ve been wanting to get to know better and discover it, on foot.
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Mariko is a high school English teacher who has three children, illegible handwriting and an obsession with mail-order artisan ice cream. She lives in Hawaii, but she makes a point to eat her way through big cities as often as she can.