Yeah, we’ve heard it all before. People will typically say that their busy schedules preclude all manner of regular exercise. And while, to some degree, this might sound like an excuse, it is also true that people nowadays have a gazillion things in their to-do list that require their immediate attention, which makes writing-off exercise seem like an acceptable thing to do.
But, trust us, it isn’t, especially in the long run. Because the truth is that the consequences of physical inactivity will eventually catch up to you, and you’ll feel the kickback more poignantly when life—work life, that is—becomes more frantic. So you really need to make an investment in your health.
This is why, in this article, we’ve rounded up a few ingenious and enterprising ways one can sneak in some much-needed exercise in the course of their day (or week). So if you’re one of those people who’s tired of being told to “take the stairs” as a way to offset the hours of inactivity, then you’ll want to take a gander at the ideas below, and put some of them into practice.
1. Take Long Walks
Yeah, you’ve been told this many times, too. But it’s one of the more obvious things that one can do. Plus, you won’t need any equipment to do it, just a good pair of shoes. Walking, after all, is one of the most underrated forms of exercise, and yet, to a huge degree, it proffers much of the benefits that other forms of exercise do.
Indeed, a mere 21 minutes of daily walking, which isn’t even long enough for some to gas out or break a sweat, can already reduce the risk of heart failure by 30%. There are also studies showing that 10,000 steps a day can reduce the risk of early death from all known causes by an amazing 46%.
It’s also the best type of exercise for someone who wants to avoid injury, since walking is the least injurious form of exercise, and the rates of injury from walking are incredibly low compared to other, popular forms of exercise.
2. Do Some Gardening
That’s right, gardening can be a form of exercise, too. You get to beautify your garden while sneaking in some physical activity—it’s a win-win! Raking, weeding, seeding, these are all activities that will keep your heart rate up, increase your metabolism, and burn calories.
Not just that, gardening apparently is good for your mental health, too. According to a study published in the journal Neurology, it only takes 4 hours a week of gardening to reduce the risk of dementia by 56%. Also, other studies show that gardening increases cortisol production in the brain, which can help in reducing stress. It’s no wonder that people who garden seem, to a huge degree, more balanced and upbeat than those who don’t.
3. Clean your Ride
Get out there, make like Ralph Macchio, and clean the car. Wax on and wax off those calories away. Indeed, a mere 15 minutes of doing this can already shed around 80 to 100 calories, so you’ve pretty much gotten your daily requirement after the deed.
A 2019 study in The American Journal of Epidemiology said that it takes only 30 minutes of light exercise—which cleaning the car is—to reduce the risk of early death by 17%. So what are you waiting for? Cleaning your car is also like making an investment in your health!
4. Hit the Alley
And by alley, we mean the bowling alley. It will strengthen your core, and it’s fun too! Bowling, after all, can burn 225 calories an hour. That’s like a gym session already, but less boring—and less the monthly fees in your credit card bill.
Lifting and swinging the bowling ball over and over again is, apparently, like those kettlebell sessions with Alejandro. They are basically no different from doing kettlebell swings, which from studies we know is very beneficial to one’s core.
5. Listen to Music and Dance
Well, now you’ll have an excuse to have fun—you can say it’s all for health’s sake. You won’t just be getting a good workout, you’ll be lifting your mood, too. So crank up those speakers and sway to the beat. Make sure you get as much of your body moving as you can. This will more or less give you an aerobic workout that will help you shed around 200 calories in 30 minutes. Whether you’re a lawyer or a doctor, surely you have a few minutes to bust-a-move!
If you’re not into dancing, well, just move to the beat. Nobody is expecting you to be as good as Channing Tatum. What’s important is that you’re moving your body and listening to the tunes that you love. Also, half-an-hour a day is all you need!
6. Jump Rope
It’s easy! Well, maybe not for some, but trust us, you can be a master of the jump rope with just a little bit of practice. It is, to a huge degree, one of the best aerobic exercises you can do. In fact, studies show that a mere 15 minutes of jumping rope will help you shed 200 calories. That is about as many calories as jogging for 30 minutes!
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