101 Simple Ways to Be More Active

Easy Ways to move from a sedentary to a more active lifestyle.
Easy Ways to move from a sedentary to a more active lifestyle. | Source

Easy Ways to be More Active

by Christin Sander

Everyone has heard it – in order to be healthy we must eat right and exercise. Many people use a busy life as justification for lack of exercise, but honestly, there is no real excuse for continuing lifestyle habits that are detrimental to overall quality of life and health. America has a real obesity problem, and it doesn't just come from our love of food, primarily it comes from an extremely sedentary lifestyle. Studies have proven our lifestyle and food habits are killing us slowly. Sometimes the biggest, most difficult journeys begin with simple steps – literally.

As a mother, full time student, and freelance worker, I know all too well the restraints of time. I have learned to get movement and motion into my days despite a very loaded schedule and you can too with a little creativity.

Any movements that are not the “norm” for our body are going to cause us to burn more calories and help rev up the metabolism. Motion also keeps us limber and helps prevent stiffness aches and pains, arthritis issues and other painful health conditions caused by a sedentary life style. Most people focus on the obvious downfall – weight gain, but not moving often enough over time leads to many other chronic health issues, including an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

Regular movement and activity throughout the day, even in short bursts, increases metabolism, allows for proper circulation and helps joints retain their mobility.

The following is a list of 101 ways you can get more movement into your day. Even if you don't have time to go to the gym for a full workout etc. simply moving more is a great first step to better health and increased energy.

Easy Exercise Techniques Through Every Day Activity

Around the House

  • If you live in a 2 story house take a few laps up and down the stairs
  • Walk up the stairs two at a time
  • Stand on the bottom stair with one foot, place the other foot on the floor and lift the bottom leg up do several reps on each side.
  • As you walk across a room or down a hallway do lunges
  • Walk backwards down the hall
  • Place a pull-up bar in a sturdy doorway for easy use (and a visual reminder)
  • Put hanging plants around so you have to climb up to water them
  • Clean like you mean it – clean fast make it a race and try to outdo your previous time – fun and productive
  • Scrub the floors by hand once in a while
  • Wash the walls
  • Vacuum the entire house at one time (more work that way than room by room)
  • Grab a dust wand and go through the entire house doing ceiling fans, baseboards etc.
  • Move the furniture and rearrange or vacuum underneath (within reason don't injure yourself)
  • Forget the Swiffer – mop the old fashioned way it burns a lot of calories
  • Housework is great exercise – make it count
  • Clean out a closet
  • Clear clutter and organize shelves
  • Do a simple home renovation project like painting a room, something manageable and not overwhelming.
  • Hang framed art on the walls (store other photos/prints and change them out a few times a year)
  • wash/polish mirrors and windows
  • Take down and clean knick-knacks and other decorative items
  • Clean out the attic or basement
  • Prepare and have a yard sale with all of the stuff you are cleaning up with this list ;)

While watching TV

  • Get up and walk in place during the commercials (not to the kitchen!)
  • Do squats – stand up and sit down through the commercials
  • Do leg lifts while laying down and watching TV
  • While sitting, pull both legs up towards your chest without using your arms to brace you (hard!)
  • While sitting lift your feet off the floor and hold straight out in front of you for several seconds – do several reps.
  • Do triceps dips by sitting on the floor in front of the couch or coffee table
  • Do jumping jacks during commercial breaks
  • If you have a step – do step aerobics while watching television
  • Stick some resistance bands in an easy to reach location and use them to work your arms.
  • Keep a pair of dumbbells nearby and lift during commercial breaks
  • Jump rope – if you have room
  • Keep a yoga mat handy and do yoga while watching a soothing show or listening to music
  • Do a hula hoop

In the Kitchen

  • Do plie squats while waiting for your food to cook
  • Use the kitchen counter and do push ups bracing your hands on the counter
  • Use the counter for balance and stretch your legs behind you and to the sides.
  • Clean the kitchen as you wait for dinner to cook
  • Serve everyone's dinner on plates from the kitchen – you have to get up to get more and it discourages overeating.
  • Dance around the kitchen while you wait for food to finish do the dishes – turn on the radio.
  • Put the bread machine away and knead dough by hand
  • Cook the “old fashioned way” take time to chop veggies, stir by hand etc.
  • Harvest veggies from your garden and make dinner fresh

In the Bathroom

  • Do plie squats while brushing your teeth
  • Do sideways leg lifts while brushing one minute on each leg
  • Stretch in the shower while in the hot water – ahhh relaxing!
  • Scrub the shower doors and walls using big circles and stretch up to get high and squat down to hit the low parts.
  • Clean a bathtub thoroughly by spraying and wiping it down completely

In the Laundry

  • Lift the bottles of detergent like weights
  • Fold clothes while moving around
  • Take the clothes out and hang them on the line to dry
  • Carry clothes an armload at a time to put away (instead of all at once in a basket)

Family Room or Rec Room

  • Play ping pong instead of video games
  • Have an active family game night with a dance game for the wii or whatever system you have
  • Build an obstacle course and do relays with family
  • Play charades or Guesstures – any game that involves movement

In the Office (work or home)

  • Stretch Often
  • Get up every hour and walk around your office or walk to the watercooler. Try to spend five minutes of every hour moving. You'll be more productive and have more energy so the boss shouldn't complain.
  • Stop and stand up and touch your toes and then stretch up high like you're reaching for the stars – repeat a few times.
  • Ride your bike to work (if feasible)
  • Sit on a stability ball instead of a chair – it makes your muscles work to balance yourself
  • Stand – get a standing desk if possible and alternate. It is better for the body to stand for long periods than sit.
  • Do arm circles – place your arms straight out to your sides and move in large circles do 50 in each direction.
  • Practice holding the tummy in as you sit/stand at work (build core)

Keep track of all the calories you burn around the clock with a simple, easy to use armband that tracks calories, providing analysis on calories burned. I love that it's compatible with MyFitnessPal and SparkPeople. A great investment for those serious about losing weight and tracking health.

It's fun to watch your numbers as you engage in these different activities. Very motivating little gadget! :)

Outside the House

  • Plant and tend a garden
  • Play Frisbee or catch with the kids
  • Walk the dog
  • Pull weeds
  • Use a push lawn mower for at least part of your lawn
  • Carry in groceries one bag at a time
  • Take a quick walk around the block for a breather
  • Build a snowman (ok so this one is seasonal lol)
  • Shovel snow (or dirt for a garden in the summertime)
  • Rake Leaves
  • Build something – a retaining wall, brick patio, or tree-house work on it a bit each day.
  • Keep a jump-rope, balls and other active toys near the door and pick them up and use them
  • Wash and wax the car
  • Buy a pool and use it (no need to do an in ground get one of the inflatable ones)
  • Play hide and seek
  • Play tag
  • Set up and play washers or horseshoes
  • Ride your bike around the neighborhood
  • Power wash the sidewalks, siding etc
  • Wash windows with a pole washer

When you leave to do errands

  • Park in the far away spaces and walk
  • If only picking up a few items use a basket and carry them around rather than push a cart
  • Walk up and down the stairs rather than taking the elevator or escalator
  • Is there a park nearby? Take a few minutes and go for a walk or play on the monkey bars
  • If you are visiting places that are close to each other park in a central location and walk
  • Go mall walking – take a few laps around the entire place before you go shopping
  • Keep fun things in the trunk of the car – a kite, bat and ball, frisbee and while out stop to enjoy some extra activity.

Weekend/Days Off

  • Get a book of local hiking trails and go explore them
  • Buy a camera and get outdoors and take nature photographs
  • Play a sport with your family
  • Go on a family bike ride
  • Go camping – pitch a tent, build a fire etc.
  • Go to a recreation center and do something active – batting cages, driving range, mini golf etc.
  • Take a martial arts or dance class on your own - get "me time" and a great workout.

Other Exercise & Weight Loss Tips:

Buy a pedometer to keep track of the amount of steps you take per day – it is very motivating and informative. It will let you know exactly how much activity you are getting.

First thing in the morning to some type of physical activity – walk on the treadmill for ten minutes, do some pushups right out of bed, anything to immediately get you moving. This gives you more energy throughout the day, revs the metabolism, and will inspire you to be more active throughout the day.

As you move more, your overall energy increases, which means improved mood, clarity of thought, and more time to do what you love because you aren't dragging all the time.

Try as many of these activities as you can and see how quickly you get energized just by moving more. The fact is most of us could stand to move more and be more active and these simple things will really add up over time.

Share Your Thoughts!

Will you be getting more exercise now with these simple ideas?

  • yes, I am motivated and inspired to seek out ways to be more active now!
  • eh, maybe - some good ideas here, but I tend to fall back into old habits
  • yes, and I have a few more ideas of my own I can't wait to share in the comments!
See results without voting

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Comments 64 comments

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

My pleasure Christin. You too!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 10 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the read and comment Kristen - Happy Holidays :)

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great list to stay healthy and active inside and outside your home with exercises. Very ideal and thought out all year long. I'm going to get back to exercising next year before I head back to the gym.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks so much for the comments and votes. I think any way we can sneak in more activity is always beneficial to our health in the long run, so do whatever you enjoy that keeps you active :)

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, Interesting, and bookmarked.

Every day I am "going to do" exercises and then rarely do any or many. I might do limbering or muscle strengthening and toning or aerobic exercises but not all three. You've convinced me to give exercising higher priority.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Jane - I appreciate the comment - and the compliment :)

JaneKnowsbest profile image

JaneKnowsbest 4 years ago

Great tips! Incredibly clever and innovative ideas. Thanks for sharing!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks so much for the votes and the compliment glad you are going to print and post it :D

rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

Fabulous hub,voted up and useful. This is a print and post hub!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

thanks for reading and commenting pringoooals I appreciate it :)

pringoooals profile image

pringoooals 4 years ago from Edinburgh

Really interestong list. I enjoyed reading it and will put some of them into practice..

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

thanks for reading and commenting calyxxx.

calyxxx profile image

calyxxx 4 years ago from Slovenia

Great hub! Will defenitely try out some of these!:)

khmohsin profile image

khmohsin 4 years ago from London,UK

Your post penetrated in my mind. I am feeling indeed to study your post again and again. Really informative as compared to hundred of the hubs.

Like and voted up

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks peanutritious I appreciate the comment and the compliment. :)

Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

Wow! I'm knackered after reading that! Brilliant advice and an excellent thorough hub.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for commenting Pinkchic18

Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 4 years ago from Minnesota

Awesome ideas! These are all great ways to get a little more active.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the comment slackermom I appreciate it and yes, we women do love multi-tasking and this is definitely a great way to kill two birds with one stone so to speak :)

slackermom profile image

slackermom 4 years ago from Attapulgus GA

Great tips. No more excuses for not exercising or a dirty house. perfect.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the great comment sharkye11 I appreciate it. :)

Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 4 years ago from Oklahoma

Great hub! I love that you mentioned fast and furious housecleaning/house renovating. I use that all the time, and it works. Helped me lose all of my pregnancy plus some. You have some great suggestions here that I hadn't thought of, like moving my yoga ball into the office to use rather than the chair.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the comment southdenver I appreciate it.

southdenvercardio profile image

southdenvercardio 4 years ago from 1000 Southpark Drive, Littleton, Colorado 80120

great hub to read. I enjoy and some of your exercise tips works for me. I will add this additional tips to my list. Thanks you!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks robes, much appreciated.

robes profile image

robes 4 years ago

Awesome list! I'll be sure to shed this off to a few of my friends!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the comment GiblinGirl. The walking group was a fabulous idea and I'm sure it probably gave all of you more energy for the afternoon hours too. :)

GiblinGirl profile image

GiblinGirl 4 years ago from New Jersey

Great tips - it's so true that there are little things throughout the day that you can do to get some exercise. When I worked in an office, I started a walking group and we would zig zag through the parking lot every day at lunch.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you phdatz and dianetrotter - housework can definitely be considered multi-tasking :) I appreciate you both commenting.

thanks for the comment suraj

suraj punjabi profile image

suraj punjabi 4 years ago from jakarta

Wow. I love this idea. Im so gonna try it!!! Thanx a lot.

dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 4 years ago from Fontana

Great! The house gets cleaned at the same time.

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Fantastic list! And I did arm circles and stretches, and slow head rolls while I was reading it. Now I am going to skip to the laundry room to put the wet clothes in the dryer. :)

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

T4an thanks so much for the lovely comment - glad you found it motivating :)

T4an profile image

T4an 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

This is a great list of ways to get in exercise. Now all I need to do is actually do it. Great motivation. Thank you for sharing!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

I totally agree Laura - moving in the morning is a great way to feel good about yourself and it also boosts the metabolism right away as it takes energy and motion to generate energy. Thanks for commenting I appreciate it :)

LauraGT profile image

LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

Fantastic tips! I agree that wearing a pedometer is a great motivator. It makes tangible how much movement you've accomplished during the day. I also like the tip of getting some exercise first thing. There is nothing liking starting a day knowing that you've already treated your body nicely!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

You're very welcome Amanda thanks for commenting I appreciate it.

Amanda Gee profile image

Amanda Gee 4 years ago from Cameron, Missouri

Very wonderful ideas! I enjoyed it and learned some new things! I've been trying to find new ways to exercise and your hub gave me a great idea. :) Thanks so much!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Hi Ebonny, thanks for commenting. It's great that you get some exercise while at your desk and watching TV is an ideal time for exercise. Often you can get other family members involved also and make it a friendly competition or just something you share together. Best wishes!

Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 4 years ago from UK

Such great tips - I particularly like the one about holding stomach in and am doing this right now as I type, and will try to make it a habit as I spend long hours at the computer every day. I already try to do some leg lifts whilst at my desk.

I will also try some of your ideas for The ideas for moving/exercising for whilst watching TV.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you DeBorrah for the lovely comment - it is much appreciated :)

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 4 years ago

ChristinS, Wonderful hub! What great innovative tips for incorporating exercise into all aspects of your life! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for commenting FreezeFrame - a mini trampoline sounds like a LOT of fun :)

FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

Thanks for all of the reminders and tips to incorporate movement into our busy lives. I recently bought a mini trampoline that I started jumping and running on during commercials breaks on tv.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for commenting livingsta I appreciate it :)

livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

That is a great article Christin :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you roxygurl for the comment - truly appreciated and of course we are all super women :)

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

thank you guatemalancook I appreciate you taking time to comment.

roxygurl464 profile image

roxygurl464 4 years ago from New Jersey

Great tips! I feel like superwoman since I do a lot of these already, but there's a few new one I can't wait to try out!


guatemalancook profile image

guatemalancook 4 years ago from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Great tips for busy people will try some

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

you're welcome mama kim - glad you found them helpful :)

Mama Kim 8 profile image

Mama Kim 8 4 years ago

So many great ideas! Thank you, this is perfect for a busy mom like myself.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you vespa for the vote and share - I really appreciate that :)

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

These are great ideas that really work! We don't have to get on a treadmill to exercise, and multi-tasking means more can be accomplished without sacrificing our health. Voted up and shared!

workoutdvdworld profile image

workoutdvdworld 4 years ago from Perth

Awesome Hub. Thanks for all the handy hints. Being active throughout the day is so much better than just doing a workout and then lounging around. After all, there are 24 hours in a day and a workout only counts for one of them, so what we do for the other 23, apart from sleeping, will burn a lot more calories!

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

glad you found the list useful.

Kerlynb - I had not heard the 15 minutes info, but it makes sense. I have talked about getting a smaller "standing" desk to keep in my office as well, perhaps one on casters so I can move it with my laptop?

SilkThimble - yes I completely understand. I get deeply into whatever I'm working on and it's hard to remember - try a kitchen timer :) I set mine to ding every 45 - 60 minutes to remind me to get up and stretch or move around for a bit.

SilkThimble profile image

SilkThimble 4 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Great list! I especially need to pay attention to moving in the office. It's too easy to get caught up in work and suddenly realize I've been sitting at my desk for 3 hours straight.

kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Tons of options! Great work. It's just so important not to lead a sedentary life, isn't it? For people like me who spend hours working on the computer, it would also be useful to stand up every 15 minutes. That's right, every 15 minutes! I read on CNN and Yahoo Health that standing every 15 minutes while working on the computer can reduce our tendency to develop chronic diseases.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Hi Danette - when I lost weight previously staying moving was one of the techniques I used to keep my metabolism high and my energy levels up. I was on a forum then and a lot of us would find ways to "sneak" in exercise so it was fun to come up with all kinds of ways to do that :) thanks for enjoying the hub.

Injured lamb thank you for stopping by and enjoying the hub. I appreciate the comments and glad you found my hub useful.

Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago

What a fantastic list that energize up me much. I bet no one could ever find any excuses if they know you have listed out all the "solutions" for the excuses. Great hub Christin with all the useful tips here. Thumbs up!

Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

For 9 years I lived in a 2-story house and a basement with the laundry area. I definitely got my exercise going up and down all those stairs. But I never really thought about doing all those exercises while on the stairs or in the hall (lunges). Pretty encompassing list here. Bet you had fun coming up with it.

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks AngelTrader - the walking paths there sound fantastic! we have a lot of nice state parks in our area - one in particular where we always see a lot of wildlife because it is so quiet. Yoga is awesome too - I need to get back into it I have lost a lot of flexibility I noticed.

Stestifie - thank you for enjoying the hub and for your lovely comments - glad you found it useful :)

stestifie profile image

stestifie 5 years ago from Sin City

This is such an awesome list! There are the best things a person can't give an excuse to. Print this out and hang it somewhere because this just can't be passed up. Thank you so much for this hub it was excellent!

AngelTrader profile image

AngelTrader 5 years ago from New Zealand

Wow! Should have no excuses with that great list!

Just shows how, when you think about it, you can add a healthy component to whatever activity you are doing. Even though I do so much yoga I'm sure I can make an excuse to do a few things from your list.

I live close to a dormant volcano with loads of walking paths criss crossing it so I should get out and explore those a bit more oh! and as the thing is covered with snow maybe I should build a snowman while I'm up there!

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