From gardening to soft hiking and grabbing a coffee – 8 ways to exercise without really trying | The Sun
YOU don't have to drag yourself to the gym to get the benefits of exercise.
It turns out, you can sneak physical activity into things you're already doing throughout your day.
While a workout class or run are perfectly acceptable ways to get your heart pumping, there are many ways to reach your recommended levels of movement.
The NHS says adults up to 64 should be doing some type of physical activity every day and vary between moderate, intense and strengthening actions throughout the week.
But personal trainer Mollie Mollington said that many people have negative associations with working out.
She told The i that, in fact, "all movement counts as exercise".
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"You don’t need to be sweating loads, unable to catch your breath or in a stereotypical exercise environment for movement to have benefits.”
1. Bite size workouts
Ever heard of 'exercise snacking'?
Just as you might have little bites of food throughout the day, the term refers to doing short bursts of exercise at different times instead of all at once.
While you might think spreading out your activity stints might not be as effective, a study found that people who exercised for five minutes twice a day increased their stamina and gained muscle.
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The best way to strength snack is to tagging your exercise onto other activities or moments when you're waiting.
The i gave the example of squatting while the kettle boils or doing calf raises while brushing your teeth.
These will all add up to a full workout at the end of your day.
2. Coffee walks
If you're meeting a friend for a coffee or nipping out for one in your lunch break, take it go instead of sitting to drink it.
This'll mean that you're reducing the time you spend sitting or lying down on a given day and you're breaking up long periods of not moving with some activity.
If you've been putting off cleaning your house and you've also been meaning to go the gym, you can actually combine these two activities.
A study conducted this year found that people can burn around 276 calories when cleaning their kitchen, while scrubbing the bathroom uses 173 calories and a bedroom burns 154.
Did you know that the NHS describes gardening as a muscle strengthening activity, especially if it involves digging or shovelling.
A Clinical Medicine report found that these two movements – as well as mowing – can burn as many calories as traditional exercise.
Who doesn't love a weekend boogie?
Turns out, if you cut out the booze and try dancing during the day, it most certainly counts as a workout – you'll get a lovely mood boost out of it too.
You can follow a dancing exercise class on YouTube or go to a sober wellness rave.
6. Soft hiking
If you're often lurking on TikTok, you might have noticed a trend called 'soft hiking'.
This involves not pushing yourself to the limit when you're out on your stroll and taking the time to appreciate the nature around you and enjoy moving your body.
"It’s important to take breaks, eat and actually take in your surroundings," the creators of the term said.
Who said trampolining was just for kids?
A 2016 study that found 19-minute trampoline workouts burn the same amount of energy as running at six miles per hour for the same time.
But you probably won't notice the exertion due to all the fun you're having.
8. Take the stairs
Many of us just use a lift or escalator instead of taking the stairs.
But you might change your habits once you find out that climbing more than five flights of stairs a day could lower the risk of premature death, according to a 2021 study.
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