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Simple ways to fit in exercise — anywhere

Not enough time is one of the biggest roadblocks many of us face when it comes to getting — and staying — fit. But you don’t need to set aside large chunks of time to make a difference. We share some easy ways to squeeze in a workout no matter how hectic your schedule is.

woman exercising

Do it in smaller bursts

Not everyone has time to log an hour or more at the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get fit in the time you do have. Rather than lament the fact that you don’t have time for a kick-butt cardio class, break up your day’s calorie-burn into smaller chunks. Fit in a 20-minute walk on your lunch break, add another 15 or 20 minutes of walking, jogging or strength training after dinner, and aim for one longer session over the weekend. Add in some fun activities, like a cold-weather game of tag in the park with your kids, and you’ll have fit in daily workouts without taking too much time out of your day overall.

Walk everywhere you go

One of the easiest ways to increase the number of calories you burn in a day (without having to commit to longer workouts) is to walk to as many places as you can. This can be as simple as walking to the corner store instead of driving, walking over to chat with a co-worker instead of sending an email, parking as far away from the mall as possible so you log extra steps on the way in, or making time in the morning to take the dog for a walk rather than just letting her out into the backyard. The more you move, the fitter you’ll be.

Add working out to your schedule

It’s surprisingly easy to skip workouts what with so much to do between work, socializing, manning a household and just wanting to relax. But if you want to make sure you squeeze in a sweat session, we suggest adding it right to your schedule. Getting a notification that it’s time to work out means you’re much more likely to actually go to the gym, take a jog or head to a yoga or fitness class.

Calorie-burn during commercials

Commercials might be ideal times for snack breaks or clicking the remote to see what else is on, but why not use those two minutes to fit in some fitness? At each commercial break, do a different exercise until your show comes back on (mute the TV so you don’t have to listen if you hate commercials). Push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lunges — even jogging on the spot — are all ultra-easy ways to get moving minus the need for equipment.

Make it a family affair

Instead of sitting around after dinner, get your brood moving as a way to catch up on one another’s days and to burn some calories. Head to the park, bundle up for a walk around your neighbourhood, get on your bikes, throw a ball around — anything to get everyone active and having fun as a family. Even 20 minutes can be an exhilarating way to end the day.

Keep fitness gear accessible

If your running shoes are always visible, you’ll be more likely to use them. If your yoga mat is by the bed, fitting in some pre-work sun salutations just got a lot easier. If your workout clothes are all together in your gym bag, going to the gym will be a no-brainer. The easier you make the idea of fitting in fitness, the more committed you’ll be to working out regularly, even if it’s for smaller chunks of time.

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How do you fit fitness into your busy schedule? Share in the comments below!

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