Tips and Tricks for Adding Exercise to a Busy Schedule

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Fall is setting in and the days are growing shorter again. School and work is at its busiest right now as everyone tries to prepare for the upcoming year ahead, whether it be an academic or business year. With so much going on it can feel impossible to juggle all of the activities we desire, and at the end of a long work day, it is often exercise that gets left out. Here are some easy ways to add a few extra minutes of exercise to your busy day! 


  • Make it social!  It’s hard enough to manage work and/or school, family, home projects, and schedule commitments, let alone trying to have a social life and exercise. Combining the two can be a great way to optimize your time. Make a plan with your friends to all go to the same exercise class or meet up for a walk with your dogs. You’ll get to chat and catch up and burn some calories while you do it. Dancing, walking, and doing yoga with your friends can be just as fun as meeting up for drinks. 


  • Decide on a spark moment!  Pick a repeated daily action and attach a short burst of quick exercise to it. An example of this idea is to do 10 squats each time you go to the bathroom at home or stand up from watching TV. Once you get home and you’ve got your comfy clothes on, this can be a great way to add in more exercise. It may not seem like it will help much, but getting up from your show even just three times will result in 30 squats. That’s the same amount done in most exercise sessions! 


  • Park farther away!  It’s been said before, but it really can be such a useful technique for getting that step count up. Whether it be at the grocery store, the office, or the post office, parking at the back of the lot will help you increase your exercise levels each day. And chances are, the extra few minutes it takes you won’t change your day all that much. 


  • Take the long loop!  Going grocery shopping? Instead of going right to the aisle you need, make a point to push your cart up and down all of the aisles to get to the products on your list. You’d be surprised how big a grocery or department store can be when you walk all of it. You’ll be adding to your burned calories without changing your daily routine at all! 


  • Take the stairs!  Another classic that works great. Stairs are a great way to increase your heart rate in the middle of the day. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator every time can equal out to a whole session on a stair-climber, but won’t require you to add another event to your schedule like going to the gym would. 


  • Read on a stationary bike!  Biking is great exercise. Stationary bikes offer a perfect alternative as the weather gets chilly, and with the right set up, you can get some work or leisure time in while you do it. A tray or shelf on the bike, or even over the screen, can be a good place to set your reading materials. Once you figure out your set-up on the bike, you can get to those files that need to be read for work tomorrow or even just that novel you keep trying to find the time to finish. This will also make your time on the bike more enjoyable and feel much shorter.  


-Jennafer Maselli


Photo Credit:  Luis Quintero from Pexels. Used with permission. 

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