The To-Do List Workout

Here are 15 ideas for “errand exercise,” easy to fit in while working, shopping and going about your daily routine

by | Jan 1, 2023

work fitness

It’s that time of year when many of us resolve be more active, eat better or generally commit to a healthier lifestyle. The good news about the first goal is that exercising doesn’t have to mean carving out two hours to pump iron at your local gym.

“Errand exercise” can be a great way to burn calories and experience mini cardio boosts by making slight changes to your everyday routines. Incorporate these modifications with intent, so that ultimately, they become mindless, healthy habits—a resolution your much more likely to keep.

Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work, for example. Start by taking the stairs twice a week and slowly work your way to eliminating the elevator entirely. Remember: making any kind of lifestyle change takes time and effort; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Shop Strong
1. Get your steps in by parking at the far end of the parking lot.
2. Swap the cart for a handbasket at the grocery store to incorporate upper body conditioning.
3. Window shop. When time allows, wander the store to extend the amount of time you’re on your feet.
4. Strap on ankle weights to engage your glutes and legs while crossing off items on your shopping list.
5. Instead of scrolling through your phone while waiting in line, consider doing a few calf raises or 10-second standing core holds until you get to the register.

Cardio Cleaning
1. Offer to take your neighbors trash and recycling bins to and from the street. Pulling heavy cans will elevate your heart rate and work your lower body.
2. Deep cleaning your appliances, like scrubbing your oven or wiping out the fridge, is a surefire way to break a sweat and be productive.
3. Dust your trim and baseboards for a full-body workout that engages your core, legs and shoulders.
4. Planting a garden will not only save you money on your grocery bill but digging in the dirt burns major calories. Plus, watering your crops guarantees extra steps every day.
5. Make a habit of doing a 10- to 15-minute exercise routine before your morning shower such as yoga or bodyweight movements.

Desk Drills
1. For meetings that don’t require technology or notepads, consider conducting your meet-up on a walk instead of a traditional sit-down.
2. Stay hydrated. This is an easy trick to disrupt the sedentary demands of a desk job. When nature calls, you’ll have no choice but to take the walk to and from the restroom.
3. Trade your chair for a stability ball. Eliminating the back support of a standard chair will not only force you to engage your core but will help improve your posture too.
4. Invest in work-station equipment such as standing desk or under desk bike pedal exerciser.
5. Take lunch outside. The office picnic table doubles as a dining spot and pseudo-gym where you can do step-ups, tricep dips, Bulgarian split squats and other bodyweight exercises.

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