Squat for a Free Ride on the Subway — and 7 Other Places Id Love to See People Exercising

As a busy mom, I’m always looking for ways to sneak in exercise (and share them with you, like ways to sneak exercise into your work day and ways to walk more every day). So, of course, I loved this video about how subway stations in Moscow are getting into the Olympic spirit—by encouraging passengers to squat for a free ride.

Train riders can earn free rides by doing 30 squats in front of an interactive machine. Sure enough, watch the machine spit out train tickets as people get their exercise on:

I love both how this gets people active and how much fun people seem to be having as they’re exercising. It seems like doing something a little out of the ordinary is pretty fun for these people, not to mention that they’re probably pretty stoked about the free ride! I know I would be. It reminded me of the fun stairs a few years back that had people skipping the escalator in favor of the stairs because the stairs were designed to look and play like a piano.

It also made me fantasize about a world that encouraged activity in these ways, and made it more normal to exercise when you have nothing better to do. I once saw a man who was a parking garage attendant exercise as he was waiting for cars to enter and exit the lot, and I had so much respect for the fact that he didn’t care what people thought as they came and went. I’d love to see exercise encouraged in everyday activities, and here are a few ideas I’d love to see. Think any of them can catch on?

  • 7 Places I’d Love To See People Working Out 1 of 8
    placescollage

    Wouldn't it be fun if we could sneak exercise into our most mundane tasks?

  • DMV 2 of 8
    dmv

    What is worse than the DMV? Tough call! It's one of those dreaded chores—the forms, the waiting, the humanity. So wouldn't it be great if the trip to the DMV could be turned into a dance party? Crank some music into the joint, and if you choose to dance, you get to skip to the front of the line.

     

    Photo credit: brianholcomb, Flickr

  • The Doctor’s Office Waiting Room 3 of 8
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    Need to head to the doctor's office for your check-up? The wait usually seems interminable, and you can only read so many magazines from 2010 before going crazy. I think you should be able to do 50 jumping jacks and be seen by the doctor immediately as your reward.

     

    Photo credit: iStockphoto

  • Grocery Store Checkout 4 of 8
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    We could make waiting in line at the grocery store a workout by pumping iron with canned goods. It would be better for our health than reading the tabloid covers!

     

    Photo credit: CarbonNYC, Flickr

  • Post Office 5 of 8
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    No need to go postal while you're mailing packages this holiday season. Do high knees while you're in line with your packages. Bonus workout if you use your packages as weights!

     

    Photo credit: iStockphoto

  • Airport 6 of 8
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    Flying can be stressful, so exercise should be encouraged in airports — beyond hauling our luggage around. Exercising in the security line could be a bit of a distraction for airport employees, but the rest of the airport often has wide-open spaces. I've been known to walk laps in the airport, but the long stretches at the gates make for perfect places to do walking lunges. Plus, you can always find quiet corners for stretching or yoga.

     

    Photo credit: emilio labrador, Flickr

  • Dentist 7 of 8
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    Terrified of the dentist? Get a little zen in the dentist's waiting room before you get your teeth cleaned. A little down dog and warrior action could get you in the right frame of mind for a little drilling.

     

    Photo credit: icethim, Flickr

  • Bus Stop 8 of 8
    busstop

    Time spent waiting at the bus stop is time that could be well spent on exercise. I'd totally do some leg lifts while I was waiting. Or hang jump ropes in the bus stops so people can do some double dutch and make friends while they're waiting. Hey, you never know. Bonus if I could get a discount on the bus fare!

     

    Photo credit: Tim Green aka atoach, Flickr

So none of these will catch on any time soon, but it is fun to imagine a dance party at the DMV, right? And remember, you can always work your abs by doing isometric holds and stretch without looking like a totally crazy person.

 

Also from Erin:

14 Healthier Swaps for Your Favorite Junk Foods

10 Ways to Stay Motivated When It’s Cold Out

7 Superfoods That Go in Almost Any Smoothie

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Marriage

Read more of Erin’s writing at Fit Bottomed Girls and Fit Bottomed Mamas.

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