Six simple ways to squeeze a little more exercise into your day

-Aug 26, Hannah Hargrave, Fitness -

An hour a day of exercise doesn’t sound a lot, but when you have a hectic schedule it can be tough to find those sixty minutes. You can still tone your muscles and burn calories even when you’re sitting in a traffic jam, working at your computer or doing your shopping.

It probably comes as a surprise to hear that you can burn up to 500 calories a day just by fidgeting, so imagine the good you can do by adding some purposeful little movements into your daily routine.

Although these exercises shouldn’t replace your regular workouts, they are a great way to squeeze a bit more fitness into your life and give your body a boost even when you think you’re too busy to exercise.

Bottom squeezes

No one even needs to know that you are doing this. All you have to do is clench and release your bottom muscles to give your butt a workout. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at your desk, standing in a lift or waiting in a queue at the post office, this simple move can pretty much be done anywhere at anytime.

Tummy tuck

Of course you deserve some time to relax and if you choose to do this in front of the TV you can get a mini workout in the ad breaks. Either fit in a few crunches or if that’s too much you can try taking a deep breath and pull your stomach in. Blow it out in three short puffs, releasing your stomach a little more with each one. Start over again. You can do this from seated or standing.

Don’t just stand there

Just think how much time you spend standing up idle while doing tasks such as brushing your teeth, taking a shower or waiting for the kettle to boil. Add a few squats in at these times to get the oxygen flowing and your muscles working. You’ll be amazed how many you fit in in a day.

Dip on the sofa

Tone up your arms while you watch TV with some simple tricep dips using the edge of the sofa. Sit on the edge of the seat with your hands palm down on either side of you. Move your body so your bottom is just off the edge of the sofa. With your knees bent, bend your elbows behind you and lower yourself toward the floor and straighten back up again. Repeat several times for a tricep workout.

Take your calls on the wall

Instead of taking your phone calls from the comfort of your office chair try speaking while pretending to sit down. With your back against a sturdy wall, lower your body by bending your knees to a 45-degree angle – or as close to that as you can manage. You’ll look as though you’re sitting in a chair only the chair isn’t there! Hold the position for as long as you can while keeping the conversation going.

Stretch it out

You can take a stand against bad posture with this simple exercise. Each time you go to walk through a doorway stop, stretch your arms up straight and place your hands on the top of the frame (or on the wall above it if you’re tall) and gently lean into it to get a good stretch and hold for 10 seconds. If the frame is too high modify the exercise by placing one forearm on the side of the doorframe with your elbow at 90-degrees and take a step forward to stretch. Then do the same on the other side.


It’s never too late to get in shape. Read our experts’ tips to working out after 50 and learn why it’s never too late to start horse riding.

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