12 Simple Ways to Add Exercise to Your Day

Being active is important – so important that it was the focus of FLOTUS 44’s campaign Let’s Move…and she only focused on childhood obesity. The amount of overweight and obese adults worldwide has more than doubled since 1980. Globally, and in America specifically, we’ve adopted a culture of convenience, and became comfortable with that…as in couch potato comfortable. Guess what? It’s time to get uncomfortable and take part in simple routines that add exercise to your day without even realizing it. No fries needed.

12 Simple Ways to Add Exercise to Your Day

The whole idea of adding physical activity to your day subtly and without intention has a name: incidental exercise. Luckily, there are various ways to incorporate physical activity to get more out of your normal day at work and at home, without setting aside too much time to do so. Check out the video below made with mysimpleshow to learn the basics on adding exercise to your day!

Park far

Wherever you are, park far. Whether you’re walking into work, a restaurant, a festival, a store, or the like, not parking your vehicle close to the entrance is a guaranteed way to burn some extra calories. Walking the long way to your destination is even more helpful!

Take the stairs

Instead of taking an elevator or escalator, just walk! It’s easier to walk down than up, so you can even gauge your level of physical intensity. There’s a practice called the 3 Floor Rule for those who have trouble walking multiple flights of stairs: take the stairs if your destination is 3 floors or less. If you’re somewhere with a moving walkway, like some airports or theme parks, just walk without technology instead 🙂

Drink more water

This tip is simple – drink more water so you have to walk to the restroom more. Drinking more water also has other benefits – it fills you up, hydrates you, cleans out your body, and you need about 2 liters of water a day to comply with health and nutrition suggestions. P.S., a healthy lifestyle reduces overall stress at work. P.P.S., by drinking more water at work, you’ll earn yourself more 5 minute bathroom breaks than you ever have in your entire career.

Exercise with Video Tutorials

When you have downtime at work, research online video tutorials that show you how to do exercises at work or at your desk. There are tons of explainer videos online that will provide you with great tips!

add exercise to your day

Replace a desk chair with a stability ball

Swapping your desk chair at home or at the office for a stability ball is highly beneficial. Using an exercise ball helps you work on your balance and stability while practicing better posture and working your abdomen to compensate for any balance shifts. You may even feel more attentive overall while sitting on the ball, as you are focused on being balanced. If you want to take things to the next level, replace all of your home or work chairs with exercise balls. Goodbye Ikea, hello adulting (or would it be ‘kidding’ at that point?)


While relaxing (aka being a couch potato), you can still fit in some exercise…bka couch-ercise. Hide your remote so you have to get up to get it every time you want to change the channel. Do some quick exercises during commercials: dips on a sturdy coffee table, push ups on the carpet, or couch-ups while sitting down. What exactly is a couch-up? Let’s coin it as doing any fitness activity while being on the couch: working your biceps by lifting weights (aka the wifi receiver in one hand, and your dinner in the other); doing scissor kicks while laying down; contracting your abs while sitting up straight on the couch. 1, 2, 3, 4…let’s get moving!


Being outside and enjoying nature is a great way to incorporate fun and exercise. Going on a walk or a hike to find a geocache is a way to get active while exploring new places, and finding one adds an exciting element of surprise to a normal day!

Clean more 

Regular cleaning requires a lot of moving – lifting, stretching, and walking to be specific, which all burn calories and contribute to physical activity. Have you ever broken a sweat while cleaning? I sure have, especially when cleaning for something big, like a garage sale or moving. Washing dishes by hand, using elbow grease to clean the grout between the shower tiles, skimming the pool, washing the car, and putting laundry or dishes away one item at a time are just a few ways to get active while cleaning. Blasting music and dancing while you do it burns even more calories..and is way more fun (consider that a personal recommendation 😉

add exercise to your day

Grocery shopping

After you’ve parked as far as you logically can, put away your own groceries instead of possibly having a store employee help you, and then walk the shopping cart back to the front of the store when you’re done instead of leaving it in the parking lot. And don’t treat yourself to candy once you reach the check-out!

Find your ‘Green Thumb’

If you’re already a pro at gardening, you’re likely two steps ahead of the rest of us. Doing yard work isn’t easy – working outside in the sun will make you sweaty, and pulling weeds, digging holes, moving dirt, and planting seeds or full grown plants will make you even more sweaty. Learn how to curate a colorful landscape and be that fit gardener you always wanted to be.

Walk the talk

Have an in-person business meeting? Skip the coffee calories, and walk around the park to discuss things before making decisions instead. Casually talking to a friend on the phone after work? Walk around the block or pace around your space.

Move your feet

In big cities, this is easy to do. Walk those extra 5 blocks instead of hopping on the train, hailing a cab, or calling a car ride service. Or, get off the train a few stops before yours, and walk the rest of the way. Ride your bike to work or to your next doctor’s appointment. Walk into an establishment instead of sitting in your car at the drive-thru. Have an active lunch break and take a walk with your colleague. Walk your pet while talking to a friend on the phone.

If you’re ready to take things to the next step, getting a pedometer to monitor your incidental exercise is a great way to keep yourself accountable and truly understand how much movement happens in just 24 hours! Maybe you’ll be inspired by the numbers on the screen, and will want to move your body even more, or easily make your own exercise tutorials for others using mysimpleshow. Practicing these 11 tips will help you adult while making you feel youthful!