13 Ways to Fit in a Workout

A squat here, a few steps there. They add up. And possibly to even greater health benefits than you’d get from a full-fledged workout. People who move continually doing things like standing, laughing, cleaning, walking, fidgeting, or climbing stairs at work could burn up to 2,000 calories per day, no moderate or vigorous exercise required, according to a 2015 review in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Great news, right? Check out these 13 creative ways to fit fitness into your day, wherever you are (and whatever you’re wearing). It’s all about the movement!

  1. Wear technology. When women wore FitBits, they took 782 extra steps per day, according to a small 2015 American Journal of Preventive Medicine study. Each morning set a reminder to strap on your wearable.
  2. Throw your own flash dance party You know you love rocking out in the living room! And you should—it burns major calories. So blast your favorite tune, use your brush as a microphone, and in three minutes, done!
  3. Become a stealth squatter. Whenever you have a little private time—like when you’re drying your hands in your bathroom—do some squats.
  4. Find a spot for your smartphone. Pick a designated location in your home to stash your cell, so when you need it, you must move for it!
  5. Get a dog. People who own dogs are more likely to hit the daily recommended amount of physical activity than people without pooches, reports a review in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.
  6. Brace at red lights. When you’re sitting at a stoplight, squeeze your abs. Hold it until the light turns green. (This works just as well when you’re not the driver!)
  7. Spring clean. Need more incentive than a sparkling house? It burns up to 400 calories per hour. Really get into it, any time of year!
  8. Do a supermarket victory lap. Once you’ve finished your grocery shopping, take one last walk around the perimeter of the store. Bonus: That’s where you’ll find the fruits and veggies, so impulse buys are OK!
  9. Grab some granite. While you’re in the kitchen waiting for your coffee to perk, do some incline push-ups using the countertop.
  10. Go to the store. Limit online shopping to one day a year—Cyber Monday—and visit your favorite retailers in person the rest of the time. You’ll hit 10,000 steps without even trying.
  11. Wash the car. A 155-pound person could burn 167 calories, sudsing the Subaru, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
  12. Take a computer time-out. Download Time Out, a desktop app that will lock you out of your computer for 10 seconds every 10 minutes, and 10 minutes every hour. Stretch, walk—get your blood flowing.
  13. Stop sitting still. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that if you constantly fidget while you sit—bounce your legs, keep your arms moving—you may help counteract negative health effects of being sedentary like poor posture and high BMI.
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