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Sneaky Ways to Get Exercise

Updated on December 30, 2011

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We all know how important it is to exercise, yet there are still so many of us who just don't do it. We don't do it because we are too busy, too tired, or other reasons/ excuses.

I know that I spent too many years putting it off myself and it is finally really beginning to sink in just how important it is. Coming to that personal realization is what has changed my attitude and now I find sneaky ways to slip it in.

The reason I find ways to build it in to my routine is because I have realized that if I try to set aside time to do it, then I'll just never get around to it. But, if I sneak it in to what I already do, then I find it's easy to do. Plus, it just starts to become normal and "finding" the time plus actually doing it just comes naturally after getting used to doing some exercise as part of my built-in routines every day.

How I Slip it in

The following are some of the ways in which I slip in exercise. My goal is to convey that if you want to start exercising and want a simple way to start, then some of these can work for you too.

  • At the start of your day

I find this tends to be the easiest time to get some exercise in. It also really helps to wake me up too. The reason I find this the easiest time of the day is because one thing I have realized is how much time I spend waiting for things in the morning. I have decided to use that time to sneak in exercise during those times instead of just standing there doing nothing while waiting.

For example, how much time is otherwise wasted while waiting for the shower water to reach just the right temperature? Here is when I sneak in jumping jacks and push-ups. On days I need a change, I switch it up to stretching instead.

Then, I've also realized how easy it is to do leg squats while in the shower. These are really easy to sneak in while washing my hair and such instead of just standing there. It doesn't even interfere with how long it takes either since it's really easy to do both at the same time.

  • In the car

This may sound odd, but there are actually a few things you can do while driving instead of just sitting there. This is especially true if you are stuck in a traffic jam. That all said, please keep in mind safety first and I'd recommend skipping them if the weather is bad.

So, what can you accomplish in the car? You can do things like shoulder lifts and back stretches. If you are stuck at a long red light or not moving in a traffic jam, you could do some quick hand/ wrist exercises with a small weight. Or if your car is in park (like during a traffic jam or long light) or on cruise control, you could even do some feet/ ankle stretching.

Sure, they are all low impact, but the idea is that it gets you exercising in some fashion. Please don't discount it because you are making progress towards your goal of getting used to exercising. It really can start to change your attitude and that makes it easier to flow right into a more rigorous routine when you are ready.

  • While running errands

Some simple modifications while running errands can help slip in exercise too. I'm sure you've heard of some of these before, but they are very much worth repeating as a good reminder to us all.

If you have kids and you need to pick them up from daycare or school, try walking or riding bikes if you are close enough. When the weather is good here, I pick up our son from daycare by walking there and back as often as possible. Round trip, it's only about a mile and a half; but, multiply that by 5 days a week, and it starts to have a bigger impact on my body. This can also be done when going to the store or when completing other tasks that are close by.

Speaking of going to stores, you can always remember to park in a spot that is farther away from the entrance (if it's a store that isn't close enough to walk or ride your bike to). This may actually help save some time too because you are not wasting time trying to find that often impossible closer spot. Another trick to try is to purposefully walk to the other side of the store before going to obtain what you went there for. Now, I'm not suggesting to purchase more by doing this. The idea is to to walk more to get more exercise. Plus, walking to the other side of the store really doesn't take all that much extra time; this is especially true if you walk at a healthier, brisk pace than you otherwise would.

Have an errand to run in a building that is multiple-floors? Use the stairs to get to your destination instead of using the elevator. It's even possible to get to your destination quicker than if you stood there waiting for the elevator! (I also recommend parking farther at away at work and using stairs at work, if possible, as well.)

  • While watching TV

Again, I'm sure we've all heard this one before, but let's all remember how we can make TV watching just a little healthier. You can always find some type of exercise to do while the commercials are on.

Though these are only a part of and a beginning to a good exercise routine, the idea is to just get you started. When you are ready, you can then slip into a healthier, more rigorous exercise routine. By starting slow like this, I've found that these exercises are really easy to increase and I hardly notice the "extra" time it takes. By slowly increasing these exercises, I will soon reach a much healthier, more rigorous exercise routine while setting a better example for my son. And since I started slow, I've found it's much easier to adjust my schedule around it in addition to not even noticing it since it "naturally" became normal.

Keep Going Once You Start

I know just how easy it is to want to give up after initially starting. However, giving up will never produce results. Sure, starting slow like this isn't going to give you major results, but the idea is to recognize the progress you are making.

Just by doing the things I have mentioned above, I have noticed how much easier it is to climb stairs. I am also getting stronger and even lost 5 pounds already even though I've only recently begun. Just this alone has produced more motivation for me to keep going and I've already gone longer with this than I have in the past because of this "new" approach for myself. I have found what works for me and maybe this is what can work for you. You will only see results if you keep going!

Remember Your Diet

Another important aspect to exercising is to also adjust your diet to a healthier one. I have done this by really reducing sweats and what we typically think of as desserts. Instead of having something such as ice cream, I'll reach for unsweetened apple sauce, watermelon, or yogurt instead. I've found that since I've started doing this, I've literally lost my taste and desire for the unhealthier options. It just happens naturally over time and I didn't even really realize it was happening!

Though diet adjustments are important, I'd recommend staying away from dieting. I have never tried a diet program and never will. I see dieting as a short-term solution that usually doesn't solve much. Seriously, how many times have we all heard people gain all their weight back, and then some, after the end of a diet? There really is no way to cheat exercising and genuine diet plus lifestyle changes.

In the end, it's about doing it for yourself and you have to want it. Spend some time with yourself and write down your personal motivators and decide why you want to do this for you. Though I know this list is not comprehensive and is not rigorous enough to really get you in shape, the idea is to just get you starting with something.

If you have other ideas on how to sneak in exercise, please share your thoughts below!

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    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      9 years ago

      Lol JohnAugst and thanks for sharing! Enjoy and I'm glad you'll have some fun squatting!

    • JohnAugst profile image


      9 years ago from Boulder, CO

      Haha - I can just see the look on my wife's face the first time she catches me doing squats in the shower. Brilliant!

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      9 years ago

      Thank-you and I am glad you have discovered a new way to sneak in exercise luckycharmz! Sometimes we've just got to get creative! ; )

    • luckycharmz profile image


      9 years ago from Washington

      Great hub. Now that I think about it, I wasted so much time when I could've been doing more exercises. Thanks.

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      9 years ago

      henry1robertson: I am glad this was helpful! Happy exercising!

    • henry1robertson profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles, CA 90013

      Wonderful very interesting blog related to exercise, get more information as I got from.thanks

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      10 years ago

      Thanks FrugalGal! It sounds like you have found a lot of opportunities to sneak it all in and that is good. Keep on goin' and I'll keep some of your methods in mind too. (:

    • FrugalGal profile image


      10 years ago

      Great hub, thank you. I keep a set of 10 pound hand weights handy. I can do part of my routine while my tea heats up. At work, when no one is around, I can do the plank, stretches, and abdominal exercises. I can hop off my stool and do squats while reading the computer screen.

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      10 years ago

      caoltrane_ant, I hope these methods work for you too. I know how many years I was 'too lazy' with a large side helping of excuses! I'm finally doing something to change all that for myself and being 'sneaky' like this has made all the difference. : )

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      10 years ago

      kashmir56, I not only agree, but also see how important it is for my older relatives to move around on their own as much as they do. It really does keep them healthier and I'm starting to ensure a better future for myself by starting this now. Thanks.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      You sneaky ... :) I think you've pointed out some useful tips. I'm too lazy to do a full exercise routine, there's always an excuse. Maybe it's a time to use your method... Thanks for sharing

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hello Moon Willow Lake thanks for this great hub on exercise. Exercise not only helps you to feel better but helps you to be able to get around better and be more active has you get older .

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      10 years ago

      Thanks liswilliams! I totally agree and have found that to be true too!

    • liswilliams profile image


      10 years ago from South Africa

      Great hub!, you always feel better after exercise.

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      10 years ago

      Congratulations on all the hard work and results primpo! I am looking forward to when I am ready to get more rigorous to see more results. It certainly is an emotional change as well as a physical change. I am glad that you will be able to use my tips too. Thanks for sharing.

    • primpo profile image


      10 years ago from Howell, New Jersey

      I have recently started exercising in a gym.. I drop the kids off in the morning and head straight there, or I wont get there, I lost 185 pounds in two and 1/2 years and I am on my way to lose 70, just lost 18 more.. I was at a standstill for three years. I drink lots of water, eat little bits , five meals a day, mostly veggies and protien, but its a constant battle. To all you weight watchers out there, if I could do it, so can you.. good luck and thanks Moon Willow Lake for more tips, because I also try to sneak in extra when i am home..

    • Moon Willow Lake profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Willow Lake 

      10 years ago

      I am glad you like them mecheshier! Thank-you so very much!

    • mecheshier profile image


      10 years ago

      Wonderful tips on how to get excercise. Thank you!

      Welcome to Hub Pages. I look forward to reading more of your articles.


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