Incidental exercise for health and fitness

2 minutes

I often hear people say they can never make time for exercise. Between trying to balance the demands of their wife or husband, children, and, work exercise can often fall to the bottom of their priority list. But don't despair; even if you can't exercise regularly there are a number of ways you can get your 20 minutes of cardio a day. The answer lies with Incidental Exercise, the exercise you do when you don't even realise it. Simple changes in your lifestyle can enable you to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.


Top 10 ways to maximise incidental exercise in your day

  1. Walk to the shops instead of driving. If the shops are too far to walk, park in the farthest corner of the parking lot. Although you may not be able to carry your entire week's groceries home with you this way you can visit the shops more frequently. If you are carrying the groceries home ensure the bags are not overfilled are evenly balanced in both hands and are not too heavy; we don't want you arriving home exhausted and with pulled muscles!

  2. Get off the bus 2-3 stops before your stop and walk the rest of the way.

  3. Walk, jog, or ride to or from work or when visiting friends.

  4. Take the stairs wherever possible.

  5. Walk the kids to school instead of driving them.

  6. Join in with the kids' games after school or on weekends. Playing frisbee, soccer, netball, tennis, etc burns calories while you're not even thinking about it! Walk or jog around the courts/oval while your kids play a sport.

  7. Perform squats, lunges, shoulder raises, calf raises while cooking dinner or hanging out the washing.

  8. Take a 10-20 minute walk during your lunch break instead of sitting at your desk or in a cafe.

  9. Only have a glass of water on your desk instead of a bottle so you have to get up and keep refilling it!

  10. Stop using the remote control and get up to change the channel instead.

Focus on moving more in your day and moving more often every little bit counts. To track your success and to motivate you in increasing your Incidental Exercise, get a Pedometer (step counter) and aim to increase your number of steps every day.


Written by Annette Buckley


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