by Sharon Feiereisen
Although workout studios and in-home workouts are on the rise, exercising is still a challenge for many.
Finding the time and drive to work out is still a major barrier for a good chunk of men and women hoping to improve their fitness.
Luckily, there are are some simple strategies you can incorporate into your work and home routines that will help you get a workout while staying productive.
We asked trainers and nutritionists for the best ways you can work exercise into your everyday life in a seamless, cost-effective, and easy way.
Here’s their best advice:
Turn to your animal as a workout buddy
Walking the dog for two or three miles isn’t just for your pet’s pleasure, it’s great for you as well.
“Aim for 30 to 45 minutes, and if you want a more steady state fat burning routine, walk briskly instead of leisurely,” Phil Catudal, personal trainer and author of “Just Your Type: The Ultimate Guide to Eating and Training Right for Your Body,” told Business Insider.
To take it up a notch, jog with your dog. To take it up even higher, work in some interval training by alternating one-minute walks or slow jogs with 30 second fast sprints. The change in heart rate will help blast away fat and calories.
Take your business meetings on the treadmill
Yoga instructor Lauren Zoeller suggested scheduling your meetings in the morning via phone and walk on the treadmill as you talk.
“There are several treadmills on the market that will allow you to type and chat while you work,” she said.
Related: I walk four to five miles a day on my treadmill desk, and it’s completely changed the way I work
Park farther away from the front door
This tip is especially great if you live, work, or socialize in areas where parking can be a challenge, as you’ll no longer find yourself wasting time looking for a spot.
“Parking far from your front door is a great way to get in your steps for the day, so grab a parking spot far away from the door,” Zoeller said.
Ideally you’ll be working your way up to at least 10,000 steps a day, which you can easily track with phone apps or fitness trackers.
Clean your home
It’s no ones favorite activity, but if you think of cleaning as a workout it can make the mundane task more satisfying.
“Throw on some music and get to work on cleaning your house,” personal trainer Derek Pope told Business Insider. “You’d be surprised how many calories you burn during an hour of mopping, scrubbing, and sweeping.”
In fact, by Catudel’s estimates, an hour of cleaning can burn up to 300 calories.
Get a standing desk
Inactivity can have serious consequences on health.
“Even if you exercise the recommended three to five days a week, the excessive sitting in the remainder of the day can slow down your metabolism,” Ilana Muhlstein, a dietitian and nutritionist, told Business Insider. “Standing also burns more calories than sitting and can improve your overall energy throughout the day.”
All the more reason to consider getting a standing desk.
Use your kid as a weight
Babies and even big kids can serve as weights for toning exercises.
“My kids love it and it’s a great way for us to bond,” Muhlstein said. “If you have a baby, you can hug him or her tight while doing squats. Do three to five sets of 15 reps and you’ll be amazed at how sore you feel the next day. If you have a bigger child, they can go on your back and you can give them a piggy-back ride or even do sets of lunges if it feels right.”
Turn your stairs into an interval workout
Always opt for stairs over an elevator, when possible.
If your office has low-traffic, easily accessible stairs, set an alarm and every two or three hours spend a few minutes doing an interval workout. It’s easy to do because it requires no equipment. You might want to consider doing this in your socks, however, depending on what shoes you’re wearing.
Here’s how to do it: Sprint up one flight of stairs as fast as you can and then walk down to catch your breath. Repeat this five times — you’ll be surprised at how fast this gets your heart rate up. If you want to intensify this even further, after doing those intervals, Catudal suggests jumping up a few steps at a time with both legs and then jumping back down and squatting 10 times for a total of three sets.
Skip the car
Try biking or walking to work depending on how close you live to your workplace.
“Not only is this a way to keep you active throughout the day, but you’re also participating in an eco-friendly practice,” Koya Webb, health coach and author of “Let Your Fears Make You Fierce,” told Business Insider. “Sometimes being active doesn’t only have to benefit you; it can benefit the environment as well.”