Exercise isn’t always fun, and we don’t always feel like schlepping ourselves and our gear to the gym. But who says exercise is restricted to the gym? The dishes aren’t going to do themselves, and the dog isn’t getting any younger, so here are some creative ways to get in some non-traditional exercise.

1. Toothbrush side lunges: As you brush for the required two minutes, lunge from side to side. Set a timer, and don’t cheat. Your teeth and your butt will both thank you.

2. Dishes back kicks: You may have a dishwasher, but you still need to rinse. Rinse all of the dishes before loading them, and as you do it, kick one leg back at a time. It needn’t be a big kick back, but see if you can initiate the movement in your glutes instead of just kicking the foot back.

3. Walk your dog: He loves you. Go for a walk. Even ten minutes will make him happy.

4. Run to get what you need: If you have kids, you see this all the time. They say they need a pencil, and they get up and run to the other room to get it. Warn your family members, then any time you need something, run and get it. Stairs, too. Just not with scissors.

5. Insta-Clean: Following the same principles as suggestion #4, set a timer for five minutes and clean steadily for that time. Run to put stuff away. Run that stuff up the stairs. Scrub the bathtub furiously. Sing while you do it. Not only will you be moving, your house will be cleaner. Do this every day and your friends will be impressed.

6. Jumping jacks: Get off the couch during commercials and do as many jumping jacks as you can. Then sit back down and enjoy your popcorn with maybe a little else guilt. Do this for every commercial break until you are done watching TV. Side benefit: watching less TV.

7. Calf raises up the stairs: As you walk up the stairs, pause at each and do a calf raise. Only do one leg at a time, and alternate as you walk up. Step up with the right foot, pause, rise up on tiptoe, step up to the next step with the left, pause, rise up on tiptoe. Do it without holding on to anything and engage your core for balance. Bonus!

8. Drop and give me five: Pick a random word that is somewhat common in your house (like coffee or dog), and every time you hear it, drop down and do five push ups. Make them quality push ups, keeping your knees down if you have to, but do it every time.

These are all silly ideas with benefits that can really add up! How do you exercise without exercising?

Image by Pam loves pie via Flickr


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