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10 great incidental exercise hacks

10 great incidental exercise hacks

By Dear Molly

We all know the importance of regular exercise and the role it plays in both our physical and mental health.

But for some of us, hitting the gym, pounding the pavement, or pushing our limits in the pool quickly slips down the to-do list in the constant battle to get everything done.

That’s where incidental exercise comes into play (and yes, according to experts, it absolutely counts!)

What is incidental exercise?

Incidental exercise is the type that happens as part of your daily routine. Along the way it keeps your metabolism functioning, burns calories, increases strength, and improves your fitness in general.

In a world where we tend to be planted in front of devices for a good portion of our day, incidental exercise isn’t quite as common as it once was. But the good news is, it’s pretty easy to embrace it by changing some simple habits.

Where to find incidental exercise

The great thing about incidental exercise is that you can quite easily incorporate it into your daily routine just by looking at things differently.

For example, lifting shopping can count as incidental exercise, as can walking up the stairs, and even having sex.

So, let’s take a quick spin through 10 hacks that increase your incidental exercise.

Walk where you can

Yep, we know the pure joy of securing that prime parking spot right next to the supermarket entrance. But why fight it out when you could increase your exercise just by parking a little further away?

Next time you’re shopping, park in the farthest corner of the carpark, then take satisfaction in that extra walk you get along with the physical activity of pushing a laden trolley right on back.

Take the stairs

Sure, lifts and escalators offer convenience, but a quick ascent or descent of the stairs is far better for your health. When next you’re given the choice, take some steps in the right fitness direction.

Clean with verve

Looking for the bright side to your weekly cleaning routine? Well, it’s to be found in the calories you burn.

Armed with your Windex or duster, pump up the volume on your stereo and get stuck in for a fast-paced cleaning frenzy.

Savor that shopping

We’re back to shopping again now, because it’s just such a mundane chore. But what about doing it at speed, while stretching to reach those higher items, and squatting to get down low?

While you’re at it, how about carrying those bags back to the car, gently lifting and lowering them to increase those lovely arm muscles?

Shag your way fit

We’re not going to offer any pointers here, but suffice to say studies have found women burn 3.1 calories a minute during a steamy session between the sheets, while men burn 4.2.

Phone it in

Statistics indicate we spend an average time on the phone of 3 hours 15 minutes on the phone each day. So how about using that as a catalyst to get moving? Take the call standing up, pace it out, stretch a little, or even pop in a few pelvic floor exercises.

Play like a four-year-old

Kids are natural incidental exercisers with all that exploring, running, and jumping they do. Next time they’re out in the backyard playing, dive right in and throw a ball, kick a footy, jump on the tramp, or chase them.

Limber up in line

Apparently, the average person spends five years of their lives waiting in line. So, surely that’s a great opportunity to multi-task.

Next time you’re faced with a queue, use it to discretely balance on one foot then another. This builds up muscle strength!

Commit to the commute   

This one’s fairly obvious, but if you commute to work, why not park a little further away or get off the bus a stop earlier. Then take the opportunity to focus and re-energise by walking your way to the workplace.

Got any other incidental exercise tips? Feel free to share with us here.

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