7 Ways to Stay Active When You Can’t Hit the Gym

Everyone gets busy and overbooked. You’ve got a dentist appointment, your kids have after-school activities, and there’s dinner to get on the table (the job that never goes away, darnit.) There goes the cardio class you wanted to get to at the gym.

If you know you’ll be too busy for a workout, plan to stay active in other ways throughout the day. Save these activities (and chores!) for days when an hour-long sweat session at the gym just isn’t in the cards. The best part is that they’re a little cardio, a little strength, a little flexibility, and a little rock ‘n’ roll (or pop…or country!).

  • Get The Groceries 1 of 7

    Turn the hassle of getting groceries into a combination strength and cardio workout for the day. Make it a race to push that cart up and down the aisles as quickly as you can for a cardio/strength combo. Work your core with isometric moves in the checkout line by simply pulling your belly button toward your spine and holding it. You can also do calf raises for some sneaky leg work. Decline help from your kids (if the saints offer) and bring the groceries in from the car on your own for an added strength bonus!

    Photo credit: Polycart

  • Do The Laundry 2 of 7

    In a house with kids, laundry is never, ever done. But turn your laundry into an opportunity for exercise—and I don't mean just carrying it up and down flights of stairs (which already counts, trust me, I know!). Keep your basket on the couch, and do a squat each time you'd normally bend down to pick up a piece of clothing. Your legs will be more toned at the end of a folding session, promise! Bonus points if you hang the laundry out to dry!

    Photo credit: funcrush28

  • Scrub Scrub 3 of 7

    Household chores are a great opportunity to fit in some sweat-inducing activity on days you can't hit the gym. When you make it a point to speed clean, we guarantee you'll break a sweat. Vacuuming works the whole body, from arms to core to legs, and a little bit of window washing will work the biceps and triceps. On your knees to scrub the tub? Core and balance work at its finest.

    Photo credit: bark

  • Take A Walk 4 of 7

    Kids at soccer practice while you're waiting to pick them up? Have 10 minutes before an appointment because you somehow made it early? Take a walk around the block or park. Keep a brisk pace for a cardio workout that adds up.

    Photo credit: Lora Rajah

  • Mow The Lawn 5 of 7

    Lawn need mowing? Keep scraping your car against a bush? Yep, a non-gym day is the perfect day for those outdoor chores. Lawn mowing is cardio and strength plus, and trimming a bush is practically guaranteed to make you sore.

    Photo credit: miggslives

  • Just Dance 6 of 7

    Making dinner and you hear your favorite pop song? Bust a move for a few minutes of heart-pumping cardio that will put you in a great mood.

    Photo credit: stevendepolo

  • Stretch It 7 of 7

    Whether you're at your desk, in a doctor's office, or at a stoplight, you can fit in a quick stretch. Do a seated cat-cow --instead of being on all fours, you can round and arch your back to stretch your chest and back -- or do gentle neck stretches. You can also reach your arms tall over your head and lean side to side for a nice side stretch.

    See? You're exhausted! Who says you need a gym to get a workout?


    Photo credit: lululemon athletica


    Read more of Erin's writing at Fit Bottomed Girls and Fit Bottomed Mamas.
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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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