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Incidental exercise: How to shake off that winter weight

Sarah Megginson is a freelance writer, journalist and editor. She currently edits Ultimate, Australia's highest-circulating entertainment magazine available nationally through Sanity stores and writes for magazines including Cosmopolitan...

Incidental exercise

From SheKnows Australia
In today’s society, it’s becoming harder and harder to stick to a strict exercise regime. But with fitness being the key to good health, we need to try and sneak in a quick workout where we can. Enter incidental exercise, your sneaky way to help with weight loss and shave off those excess winter kilos!

standing on scale

Think about your daily routine and start looking at ways that you can squeeze in a little cheeky exercise to get the heart rate up -- and ideally, burn a little fat!

1Pace

Do you spend all day on the phone? Is it possible to stand up and walk around every half an hour or so? Just pacing for 10 minutes while you're talking can burn calories. If you're on your mobile phone, even better, because you're not tied to a cable.

2Take the stairs

Do you take the lift or escalator to get to work? It may be more convenient than walking, but you're not doing yourself any favours by standing still for 30 seconds. Instead, search for the stairs and take them! Obviously, if you happen to work on the 58th floor, you may not want to walk the entire way, so look at getting off a couple of floors early and walking the rest of the way.

3Lunchtime walk

Do you normally eat your lunch in a staff room, café or cafeteria while reading the tabloids or gossiping with colleagues? Why not eat your meal and then head outdoors for a walk around the block? Don't forget to pack a pair of decent walking shoes, though; you'll be less likely to walk for any decent length of time in your work heels.

4One stop early

If you catch public transport to work, consider getting off one stop early and walking the rest of the way. Alternatively, if you drive to work, then park a little further away and walk the extra distance.

5Around the house

Do household chores with vigor! When you vacuum the living room, put in some extra effort to get moving and burn some calories. By amping up your heart rate you'll get through the work more quickly and sneak in some exercise.

6Get involved in play time

It's easy to take the children or dogs to the park and sit down while they play, but why don't you get in there and play as well? Running around with your dog or kids can increase the heart rate and give you a little burst of exercise you wouldn't have previously had! Likewise, if you have a dog, add a little extra length to your normal walking track or try and squeeze in an additional walk during the week. Your dog will love it, and so will your thighs!

7Just dance

When there's no one at home, turn the radio or fire up your iPod, and dance, dance, dance! No one can see you and dancing is a sure fire way to boost your happy endorphins and burn off the love handles.

More health and exercise tips

Can't get to the gym?

Swing set fitness is a form of resistance training that is perfect for weight loss or strength training. Watch this video for examples of swing set exercises for the legs, chest, shoulders, arms, butt, core, and other muscles.

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