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6 ways to get exercise without actually exercising!

Our lives are getting busier and busier and setting time aside to go get to the gym or go for a run or walk is getting harder and harder. Incidental exercise is a great way to exercise in your day-to-day life without even realising. Incidental exercise is a term for activities that you can undertake in small bursts throughout your day that ultimately increase your overall daily exercise. Oftentimes you won’t even realise that you are in fact exercising!

Here are 6 ways that you can add incidental exercise into your day:

Take the stairs

Of course it is often easier to take the lift or use the elevator but, more often than not, it can actually end up taking more time to wait for the lift than to use the stairs. Taking the stairs, rather than waiting for this lift, can increase your exercise and efficiency. It’s a win win!

Complete 2 x sit to stand every time you get up from your seat

One easy way to add a little more exercise to your day is when you stand up from your chair, to sit back down and then stand up again. You may look a little crazy, but sit to stand is a great exercise to strengthen all of your lower limb muscles. Doubling your reps is a great way to add more exercise throughout your day and build leg strength.

Park further away from the shops or work

Rather than seeking the closest possible carpark, parking a block or two away from your destination will give you an opportunity for a brisk walk to and from work or the shops without even noticing. Public transport users can give this one a go by getting off one stop earlier, or walking to a further away stop to start your journey.

Drink from a cup rather than a water bottle

If you drink from a cup rather than a large water bottle you will be required to stand up and walk to the tap more frequently to fill up the cup. Think about how much incidental exercise you could build up if you drink the recommended 2L of water during your day. Even better if you do a double sit to stand every time you get up for a refill!

Leave your phone in another room

Leaving your phone in another room will mean that if you want to keep updated with your social media or text messages then you will need to walk to your phone to keep up to date. Added bonus – it can help you stay focussed and maximise your productivity!

Get your coffee/tea takeaway

Instead of sitting down with your friends to drink your hot beverage and socialise, get it takeaway and go for a walk with your friends. Walk, talk and drink all at the same time whilst burning calories.

 

Incidental exercise is a perfect way to exercise every day without having to worry about time which is often the biggest barrier to exercising.

 

This post was written by Laura Wade, 4th year physiotherapist student from Australian Catholic University. 

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