Body & Fitness

7 ways to be more active

Need some ideas to get more active? We've got you covered - and none of these involve hitting the gym.

Does the thought of starting your day in a spin class with gym junkies’ sweat flying everywhere make you shudder? Do you find your coffee loyalty card taking priority in your purse over your gym membership card?

Then perhaps it’s time to look at ways you can include physical activity into your day without needing to head to the gym.

Gyms were created for convenience – to offer people the opportunity to train and have access to equipment, classes and supervision all in one convenient place.

Ducking in for a quick half-hour PT session in your lunch break or taking yourself through a weights programme may be convenient for those who have a gym next to their workplace.

But if you don’t have a gym close by; have the responsibility of looking after children or other dependants throughout the day; or are financially strapped, then using a gym may no longer be a convenient option. Cue incidental exercise!

It’s important to remember that it’s what you do outside the gym on a regular basis that really matters.

Three gym workouts a week without regular activity outside the gym won’t be as effective as daily incidental exercise, which is why building exercise into your daily routine is so important.

Here are our top seven ideas on how you can conveniently incorporate activities into your day that will contribute to a healthier, fitter you.



There’s a reason why dancers have such amazing figures – they move their bodies in every way possible for hours at a time, every muscle is being stimulated and their heart muscle gets a great amount of stimulation too.

Dance anywhere – whether it’s an organised class, with your girlfriends or solo at home. Dance like there’s no one watching and you’ll have maximum enjoyment and a great endorphin release!

Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Take the stairs

For some reason we have programmed our brains to avoid stairs at all costs, which is why so many of us automatically head towards lifts or escalators.

The fact is, stairs are one of the best forms of convenient incidental exercise and are a great way to tone and strengthen your legs and buttocks, as well as increase your **heart rate**.

Imagine how many additional flights of stairs you could tackle in a year if you consciously used them whenever you had the opportunity – every time you went to a **shopping centre** or walked up into your apartment or office; this is what really adds up.

These are situations that we experience daily, so make the most of these convenient heartbeat raisers every now and again. You can even take every second step for an additional butt burn!

Clean something

Clean the windows, car, fridge

Not only is there an element of satisfaction in looking through crystal-clear windows, or admiring your gleaming car after spending an hour washing and waxing it, but the amount of squatting, reaching and upper body movement involved when doing such activities is quite impressive.

Choose to clean at least one of these items each week for a great workout – not to mention the bonus mental satisfaction.

Give someone you love a massage

This is a beautiful way to give and connect with a loved one while increasing strength in your hands, wrists and core too.

You will burn quite a lot of **energy** as well – similar to the amount you’d burn on a brisk walk (depending on the length of massage, intensity and efficiency of technique).


Go for a walk

We all know how to walk, it’s the best way to get from A to B, it uses every **muscle** and keeps the heart strong – so do more of it!

Set your alarm half an hour earlier and start your day surrounded by nature; head to the park or to the **beach** and experience the sand between your toes and feel the waves roll over your feet.

Either option may be much more motivating for you than rushing to a class with an instructor pumping up dance music at 7am!

Jump off the train/bus a few stops earlier, walk to your work colleague’s desk to chat rather than send an email, make it a family routine to go for a walk after dinner, and aim for that 10,000 steps a day minimum.

Carry your shopping

Carry your **shopping** wherever you can rather than pushing a trolley. If you think your bags are too heavy or that they’re likely to break, just think about what the sherpas carry on their heads in the Himalayas!

Let’s face it, you’ll never get stronger if you don’t challenge your muscles – and if you’re not going to pump iron in the gym then it’s time to place your muscles under resistance in other ways.

We’re not talking about walking around with things on your head but you can certainly start taking re-usable bags (a plus for the environment) to your shopping centre, and loading your arms up with some (sensible) grocery weight, even if it’s only carrying them to the car.



It doesn’t just have to be your living room; vacuum underneath furniture, your office if you don’t have regular cleaners in, vacuum the car or even offer to vacuum your neighbours’ house if they are elderly or in need of some help.

While it is recommended you vacuum at least once a week for hygiene reasons, it’s the constant push-pull movement that does wonders for your upper body and **core** as well as burning a significant number of **calories.**

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