10 activities to help boost your “incidental exercise”

Did you know there are simple things you can do each day to help boost your daily exercise which is often called incidental exercise? Like taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off the bus a stop earlier, doing squats when you brush your teeth, even phoning a friend for a chat.

How To Get Into Stair Running

If youโ€™re really serious about upping your fitness levels then working out at the gym or at home is the best way to go however if youโ€™re just starting out or want to add to your training, then every little bit helps.

10 activities to help boost your “incidental exercise”

1. Carry your shopping

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We all know how heavy those shopping bags can get. A great way to get those muscles into shape. So ditch the trolley and carry them to the car.

Many shopping bags are designed to lift 15-25kg, and even the average plastic bag can take 10kg without tearing.

2. Wear ankle weights while watching TV

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Perform five repetitions of the following exercises every time the adverts come on. The exercises will help strengthen muscles.

Seated with both feet on the ground, lift and straighten one knee as far as is comfortable. Hold this position for five seconds before returning your foot to the floor and repeating on the other side.

3. Climb the stairs on your tiptoes

How To Get Into Stair Running

This will strengthen calf muscles as well as the arches of your feet and improve overall body support.

4. Brush your teeth on one leg

Standing on one leg helps muscles and ligaments. Practice standing on one leg for a short period then alternate to the other leg and repeat.

5. Wash up by hand

Give the dishwasher a rest and washup by hand instead. While you are washing up do some squats or single leg stands to get you moving.

6. Get off the bus a stop early

Jump off the bus or train a stop or two earlier than you need to and walk or jog the distance to your destination.

7. Phone a friend


Sounds silly, but while chatting on the phone to your friend stand up, take a brisk walk around the house, do some chores or do some squats and leg lifts while you are talking.

8. Do the housework


Turn up your favourite music and do the housework at a brisk pace. Do some squats while mopping or dusting and some leg lifts while vacuuming or washing windows and folding the laundry.

9. Ditch the TV remote

Make yourself get UP and move every time you need to change the channel or turn up the volume. Do 10 squats or jog on the spot to get yourself moving.

10. Park further away

If you park a block or two away from your destination you can squeeze in a quick 10-minute walk that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Better yet, jump on the bike and ride instead!

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