10 ways to exercise without realising

10 ways to exercise without realising

Not enough time to get to the gym? Try these sneaky tricks to get fit with almost no effort at all

1. Stand up
If you can, stand during the day as often as possible – get up every 20 minutes. And going for a brisk walk even if it’s just around the building or house or to the next block – you can burn hundreds of kilojoules compared to sitting at a desk for the same amount of time.

2. Take a deep breath
Studies show many of us tend to breathe with a shallow breath, especially when we’re stressed or anxious. Learning to breathe more deeply – taking in air right down to your core and slowly exhaling from there, rather than just tightly breathing into your chest, is an excellent metabolism-boosting exercise.

3. Squeeze and lift
Stuck in traffic? Don’t just sit there, work that pelvic floor – seriously, don’t laugh. If you are new to pelvic floor workouts, imagine that you’re trying to stop yourself from passing wind. You should feel your muscles contract and lift, pulling up your pelvis.

4. Use your head
If you like to ‘zone out’ for hours on end (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t if given the chance?), try engaging those brain cells a bit more often. On average, your brain uses 20 per cent of your body’s energy a day. So switch off the TV and grab that Sudoku, and start crunching those numbers.

5. Enjoy a belly laugh
A good giggle can actually help you stay fit. Studies have shown that people who indulge in a hearty laugh burn about 200 kilojoules in just 15 minutes. So seeing a rom-com at the movies can now almost be a legitimate part of your workout routine.

6. Practise model behaviour
If you have a desk job, chances are your posture is affected. Use your upper back, shoulders and abdominal muscles to hold great posture like fashion models, and try squeezing an imaginary ball between your legs to work the inner thigh muscles. Better still, (if your work will let you…) sit on a Swiss ball, which will get your core muscles working.

7. Get into bed
We love this fact: sleeping burns up to 2000 kilojoules in eight hours. Your mind might be out for the count, but your heart keeps pumping and your body systems continue to do their work – just an another great reason to make sure you get enough sleep, it keeps you slim.

8. Multi-task while watching TV
Use the five-minute commercial breaks to squeeze in a bit of extra exercise. Try running on the spot, planking or setting a push-up personal best. Once the credits roll on your favourite program, turn the TV off. A study found that people who cut their viewing habits in half burnt an extra 500 kilojoules a day. Too easy!

9. Embrace retail therapy (no, really)
According to recent research, we on average make 132 shopping trips a year, adding up to nearly 160 hours of walk time – that’s about 200,000 kilojoules burned for the average woman. Throw in a couple of heavy shopping bags and you’ll get a pretty good upper body workout, too.

10. Act like a tourist
How well do you know your city? Grab some friends and plan a “tourist day”. You’ll be surprised how many kilojoules you can burn by exploring hidden corners, forgotten museums and local attractions.

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