How to Exercise Without Even Knowing It

Guest Post by EatingWell Magazine


These everyday activities can help you stay fit and active—without even realizing you’re putting in much effort.

Research consistently shows that getting regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to manage your weight. But if you’re struggling to stick with that treadmill routine, don’t fret. Many types of movement count as physical activity. Try incorporating some of these multitasking activities into your daily routine. You may not think of them as exercise—but at the end of the day, all of these strategies burn calories and get your heart rate up.

1. Wash your car.

Embrace the summer heat—with a hose. Burn calories and make your car look beautiful as you wash, dry and get it (and you) buff. Bonus points for waxing it too!

2. Do your own yard work.

Tell the teenage kid from down the street that you’ll mow your own lawn—and pay him to make some iced tea instead. While you’re at it, weed the vegetable garden and toss some new mulch around the perennials out front. You’ll score some exercise and a great-looking yard.

3. Reinstate the “water cooler” at work.

Everyone needs a periodic work break, but instead of emailing witty quips to your buddy in the next office, walk to the water cooler to dish about last night’s game or your weekend plans. Sure, it’s not many steps, but they all add up.

4. Get started on that home-improvement project.

Painting, hammering, hoisting—it’s all exercise (some of it moderate to vigorous, we’d say). And don’t discount all the walking that you’ll do as you wander around the big home-improvement warehouse looking for that specific hinge (or someone who can help you find it).

5. Dog sit.

For a puppy, ideally. You won’t be able to sit on the couch for long—unless you don’t care about your carpet—or your shoes. Know anyone with a dog? Ask if they’ll be heading out on holiday this summer, sans pet. You’ll sneak in a week’s worth of exercise—and probably earn yourself a nice bottle of wine upon their return.

6. Eat al fresco.

Pack a picnic—one that requires schlepping a big ice-filled cooler across a field or a park. Bring a ball or a Frisbee for after-eating activities, and you’ll start burning your picnic off before you even get home. And choose your friends carefully; the activity-obsessed ones who love to kick a soccer ball around will help you get off the blanket and move it with them.


©Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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