If I had a dollar for every time I justified skipping a workout because I couldn't find the time, well, I'd probably have enough money to cover my woefully neglected gym membership for a year. But the reality is it can seem impossible to devote a decent chunk of the day to exercise.
Still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't. Happily, there are about a million sneaky ways to fit in a workout—even when time is scarce. For now, let's start with these eight:
Squat Your Way through Your Morning Routine
Have you ever noticed that many of the routine things you do in the A.M. require standing in one spot for prolonged periods of time? Brewing your morning cup of Joe, brushing your teeth, and scrutinizing your wardrobe can all be converted into extra calories burned if you squat while doing them. Besides, in addition to working your lower body, it'll make time spent doing tedious tasks fly by.
Lunge Your Way to the Mailbox
Or, if you're worried about what the neighbors might think, you can also lunge across somewhere in the privacy of your own home, like the living room. Who says leg day has to be boring? You won't even realize how much muscle you're toning if you do this in small increments throughout the day.
Lean on the Wall When You're in a Hall
This one rhymes, so it should be easy to remember. Anytime you find yourself lingering in a hallway – let's say before a big meeting – place your palms on the wall and lean in and push yourself back out. Recognize the pattern? Wall pushups are a great workout for the upper body.
Take the Stairs
OK, so you've probably heard this one before. But there's a reason it bears repeating—it works! Opting out of elevators and escalators in favor of taking the stairs is fast, free, and fantastic for your heart. Plus, it could lead to some pretty killer calves if you stick with it.
Bike While Watching the Boob Tube
If you were already planning to spend an hour in front of the television watching the nail-biting new episode of Scandal or your other favorite primetime shows, why not pull do double-duty by parking your stationary bike in front of the TV set? You can even increase the intensity during commercials to seriously work up a sweat.
Dance it Out
When in doubt, dance it out! Crank the volume on your headphones or your bluetooth speaker and let loose to a few songs. Doing so could burn anywhere from 300 calories to more than 800 calories per hour, depending on your body size and type as well as the style of dance. (I'm a freestyle girl myself.)
Squeeze Your Way to Good Glutes
If you're stuck sitting at a desk most of the work day, isometric glutes training is for you. What is that, you ask? Basically, it's a fancy way of saying you can tone your butt—without leaving your desk—by discreetly (and repeatedly) squeezing your buttocks, holding for around 10 seconds, and releasing.
Take a Seat
No, I'm not suggesting you're going to enhance your health with the mere act of sitting. However, if you sit against a wall, that's a different story. Supporting your body weight in the wall sit position will improve leg tone, core strength, and endurance.
Do you ever cram small workouts into your day?