It’s really not that hard to fit in fitness. You can get up and move just about anytime, anywhere to be more physically active and stay healthy. And every minute counts toward the goal of at least 150 minutes per week of exercise. Every time you stand up and do something, you’re taking a step in the right direction.
Think outside the gym to move more at home, outdoors and just about anywhere.
Get the whole family moving more at home.
Finding ways to be more active around the house sets a good example for kids and can help you stay on top of housework. You can combine exercise with other activities, like watching TV, cleaning or cooking.
- Make active chore cards. Let each family member draw a card each day with a different active task that needs to be done. Cleaning up after dinner, walking the dog, taking the trash out, folding laundry and unloading the dishwasher are all good ways to get your family up off the couch – and get the chores done.
- Clear some space, put on some music, and take a dance break! It can re-energize a study session, lazy Sunday or game night. Let each person take a turn as DJ so everyone’s favorites get played.
- Put the screens on hold. Instead of heading right for the TV or game console after dinner, make that family activity time. Take a walk, practice a sport, or play a game of hide-and-seek.
- Tune into fitness during TV time. Walk or jog in place or on a treadmill, lift weights, or do yoga while you watch your favorite shows. Break up a TV binge with a bit of activity between episodes. Or challenge each other to see who can do the most burpees, push-ups or jumping jacks during commercial breaks.
- Shake up your family’s after-school/after-work routine. Join your kids for a bike ride or shoot some hoops before starting on homework and chores. You’ll all feel better and think better.
- Play actively with pets. Throw a ball or stick for the dog to fetch. Lead the cat on a string chase around the house.
- Include active games in family game night, like Twister, charades and hide-and-seek.
- Keep a list of kid-friendly activities handy for when you hear “I’m bored."
- Choose toys for your kids that encourage physical activity, such as balls, skateboards, hula hoops and jump ropes.
- Keep exercise equipment out where it can easily be used for a quick workout.
- Instead of always having the TV on for company or background noise, play music that inspires you to get up and move.
If the great outdoors is your thing, take your workout outside.
Being outdoors can make exercise seem more like play, so you may enjoy it more and stick with it. Dress in layers so you’re ready for changes in temperature and weather. And don’t forget hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Plan family outings that include physical activity, like hiking, canoeing or swimming. Even a simple trip to the park can get you all up and moving.
- Explore your neighborhood or city – or see the sights in new areas – on foot or by bike.
- When the weather’s nice, bike or walk to nearby destinations like school, the grocery store or coffee shop.
- At the beach, hunt for shells, play frisbee or fly a kite instead of sitting and watching the waves.
- At a picnic, join in on a game of bocce ball, horseshoes or croquet.
- At the lake, rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard.
- At the park, play with your kids instead of just watching them play. Unleash your inner child with a game of catch or tag.
- When golfing, walk instead of using a cart.
- Get your garden on. Gardening, mowing and yard work are a great way to get active outdoors. No yard? No problem! Try container gardening or a local community garden.
- After a heavy rain, put on some old clothes, grab some towels, and take the kids out for good old-fashioned mud fight.
- Instead of getting together with friends for coffee or lunch, do something active, like hiking or biking.
Want even more ways to squeeze a little more activity into your life?
Find opportunities to be more active in everything you do. Every step counts. Get creative in your quest to move more!
- Park farther away from the entrance and walk the extra distance. Wear your walking shoes and sneak in an extra lap or two around the mall or store.
- Change up date night. An evening out with your spouse or bestie doesn’t have to mean dinner and a movie. Try activities that would be fun to do together, like bowling, miniature golf, dancing or indoor rock climbing.
- If you’re in a city with a bike share program, sign up so that a bike ride is always an option when you’re out and about.
- Find the stairs and use them. You won’t have to wait for the elevator, and you’ll get some extra steps into your day.
- Always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance, practice karate or shoot a bow and arrow? Take lessons or find an online tutorial and teach yourself. It’s never too late to pick up a new skill and get more active.
- When you’re out walking, throw in some wall push-ups, lunges and other exercises. Or do short, one-minute intervals at a faster pace to boost the intensity.
- When you find yourself waiting somewhere or standing in line, do some micro-movements that won’t be easily noticed by others, like glute squeezes, abdominal contractions and pelvic floor exercises. Your core will thank you!
- Get active for a good cause. If you love to help others, active fundraising events like the Heart Walk are a great way to do something healthy while giving back. Volunteering in your community can also be a moving experience. Think packing boxes of donated goods at the food bank or helping clean up a park or playground.
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