Upping your fitness game doesn’t always have to mean spending hours at the gym. Here are some simple and surprising everyday ways you can become more fit.
Take the stairs: We’ve all heard this one, but it’s true! Choosing the stairs over the escalator or elevator helps your body burn more calories and also increases the strength and power of leg muscles. Stronger legs is one way to encourage better balance, and having more muscle mass means your body can burn more calories while at rest.
Walk when you don’t have to be sitting: Some activities require sitting at a desk, but oh so many don’t have to! When you’re talking on the phone or even reading a book, get up and walk around! All those steps can quickly add up to a lot more activity in your day.
Sit up straight: When you do have sit, you can still improve your fitness. Sitting with good posture—back straight, shoulders back, and head up, belly lifted (not sucked in!) —strengthens muscles in your back and core, which are important in staying healthy and strong at every age.
Stretch: Fitness isn’t all about cardio or strength-training: stretching increases the range of motion your muscles, which in turn decreases the chance of strains and tears. Stretching also acts as an analgesic or natural pain reliever.
Drink water: Staying hydrated keeps your muscles moving well and helps you feel energized. Also, sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re really just thirsty. Being under-hydrated can also ramp up sweet cravings, so drink some water before looking for a snack.
Park farther away: Why are those spots in the back of the parking lot never filled? They’re the healthiest! Walking a little farther means a little extra physical activity in your day, which can really add up.
Shop with a basket: If you’re not buying a lot at the store, take a basket instead of a cart. Carrying everything around the store strengthens your arm and core muscles and gets progressively more challenging as you shop!
Clean the house: Chores can do double duty as a fitness booster too. Any time you’re up and moving around, you’re burning extra calories and getting in shape.
Play a game: Running isn’t so bad when it’s around the yard with your kids or across a sports field with your friends. Any game or sport is great for your health, especially when it’s lots of fun!
Go barefoot: Kicking off your shoes feels great at the end of the day, and not wearing shoes is also great for your fitness. Shoes help stabilize your feet, but without them the muscles in your feet and ankles grow stronger and help improve balance.