9 Easy Ways to Sneak in Exercise

Not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, reports a new study. Here are our best tricks for sneaking in more activity during the day without changing your routine.

Grab a chair and knock out a quick workout while you're at work.

01 of 09

Speed walk your errands

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!

02 of 09

Play in the park

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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!

03 of 09

Stand and flex

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When waiting in line at the grocery store or bank (or any other establishment), I flex my abs for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

It helps make the time pass, and it's a quick and easy way to work your core without anyone noticing.

04 of 09

Go the long way

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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!

05 of 09

Email and call less

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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.

06 of 09

Nix the shopping cart

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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.

07 of 09

Wake up and give me 50

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Before I get into the shower in the morning, I do 50 crunches and push-ups on the floor of my bedroom. It takes me only about five minutes to complete, but it sets the tone for my day.

Plus, if I can't fit in a full workout for the day, at least I did something!

08 of 09

Add 15 minutes to Fido's walk

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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, my pup loves the extra exercise too!

09 of 09

Be a weekend warrior

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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!

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