With all the distractions and temptations of the modern world – having the time to maintain a super healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy…

Maybe you’re chasing that next promotion at work and spending more hours at the office than you’d like. Maybe attending your friends birthday on Friday has wiped out half your Saturday. Maybe you’ve got kids – and it’s difficult enough finding the time to spend time with them, never mind heading to the gym for 1.5 hours on the weekend!

Now more than ever, it’s easier for us to skip the gym and fall into unhealthy habits.

  • Don’t have time to cook? Simply order a takeaway from your phone.
  • Don’t want to walk around the supermarket? Have it delivered.
  • Want to travel to see a friend? Press a button on an app and you’re there.

All these convenient options make it less and less likely for us to move enough in the day. The statistics for modern day health are staggering. Since 1980, worldwide obesity has more than doubled, with more than 1.9 billion adults being either overweight or obese. [1]

Fortunately – there are some sneaky steps we can all take to help tip the scales in our favor.

In terms of moving more, even the easiest exercise can not only help improve your fitness but also make you happier!

One group of researchers used an app to track how movement changed people’s happiness. They found that “People reported feeling happier when they’d done any sort of physical activity beyond sitting or lying down in the past 15 minutes.” This means simply moving in any way can help you feel happier! [2]

So how can we move more during the day without heading to our local gym? Read on! Here are 19 ways to sneak more activity into your day.

8 Ways to Sneak More Activity Into Your Day at Home

#1. Park Further Away When Shopping

When we head to our local Wall-mart or Tesco, usually we’ll aim to park somewhere near to the supermarket. It makes sense right? Park close, pick up what you need and get out.

By doing this, we’re missing an easy opportunity to sneak a few extra steps into our day. Not only this, we may become a little frustrated when we spend another 5 minutes driving around to find a good parking spot!

Next time you go shopping, try and park at the edge of the parking lot. This will mean you can have a little walk before you get to the supermarket. It should also be pretty easy to find a parking space!

As noted above – even a little walk can help you feel happier! 🙂

#2. Shopping Shrugs

You may not have heard about shopping shrugs before, because it’s relatively unheard of!

When walking with bags, we often carry them to wherever we need to be, whether home, the car or anywhere else.

Shopping shrugs, are what it says on the tin – shrugging your shopping up and down as you go! Next time you’re carrying bags of any kind, try lifting your shoulders up to your ears periodically.

​This will work your trapezius muscles near the back of your neck. You may get a couple of unusual glances from people nearby. On the positive side you’ll have burnt more calories and firmed up your back muscles!

#3. Explore Your Local Area

If you’re anything like I am – you find yourself following the same routines all too often. Wake up, go to work, sit at the same desk, come home, leave the bag in the same place, cook food, see friends, go to sleep.

​There’s nothing wrong with this, but have you explored the natural beauty where you live?

Routines are great (as long as they are healthy!) but they can lead us to forget what’s around us.

Next time you’re heading home from work, take a different route. Try and walk around a road you’ve not been to before.

One of the great results of the Pokemon Go craze was it helped people to explore. Rather than trying to catch imaginary monsters, go exploring the places you’ve never been to nearby.

#4. Play More

When we were younger – playing was a big part of our lives. With responsibilities, jobs and daily stresses, it’s easy to forget about play-time.

Play is an excellent way to be a bit more active than you would otherwise be. If you’ve got kids or a partner, try wrestling them spontaneously! Not only will this be lots of fun*, but also a great way to sneak more activity into the day.

*Of course, make sure the timing is right! If your friends and family are in the middle of something important/serious, it might not be the best time to tickle or wrestle them to the ground!

#5. Dance

It’s an easy one to do – but how often do you put on your favorite songs in the morning and have a quick boogie when nobody’s looking?

A personal favorite – I often wake up and put some some great songs when I’m getting ready. Whether I’m heading to pack my bag for the day or walking to get some clothes, it’s easy to throw some shapes when you’ve got great songs in the background!

If you love to dance, why not sign up to a nearby dance class too? A salsa class in particular can burn up to 450 calories an hour!

#6. Clean Your Home / Chores

Admittedly this one is less of a favorite. Still, it’s an effective way to sneak more activity into your day. Try combining this tip with #5 – throw on your favorite album and give your house a spring clean!

Take a look at the number of calories you could burn spending 1 hour on some of the usual household chores:

  • Mopping – 150 calories
  • Vacuuming – 180 calories
  • Washing the car – 280 calories
  • Moving furniture / carrying boxes – 340

Not only can you burn off an extra hundred calories or so – but your home will be even cleaner as a result!

#7. Buy a Dog

OK – maybe this one is a bit of a commitment. A dog is for life not just for Christmas, after all!
If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog and you’re keen to stay healthy, the following study might be interesting.

One study of 5,000 people, including 3,000 dog owners found dog owners typically spend more than 5 hours exercising with their pet each week.

Compare this to your average person without a dog who spends an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes per week exercising at the gym or heading out for a jog. The study also found that 47% of non-pet owners did absolutely no exercise at all!

The key difference was that people saw taking their dog out for a walk as enjoyable. Spending 30 minutes on a gym treadmill isn’t always seen as fun unfortunately!

#8. Get Steamy with Your Significant Other

One of the disadvantages of the next tip is that it requires another person. On a positive note – it’s one of the most fun things you can do without even getting out of bed!

I’m sure you’ve all got the idea… So long as you’re not experiencing much of a dry spell, a passionate session between the sheets can be a great way to boost your heart rate. Getting down to business is also a fun way to sneak more activity into your day before leaving your bedroom.

Enjoying a steamy session with a partner can give you plenty of activity, how long it lasts simply depends on your stamina! Guys can burn up to 270 calories per hour in an intense session, with women burning up to 220.

The biggest variable is of course, how long you last!

6 Ways to Sneak More Activity into Your Work Day

#9. Take the Stairs

I’ll have to admit – this one is a personal pet peeve for me. As a man who spends the majority of his days in various offices, people getting the elevator to go up 1 floor is a regular annoyance.

Often I’ll be rushing between meetings and heading up to the top floor of a building in a crowded elevator. When this happens and we stop on floor 11, for one person to go to floor 12, I can’t help but shake my head in disapproval.

Apart from general elevator etiquette – taking the stairs is a fantastic way to sneak more activity into your day. Not only do you help keep your co-workers happy, but walking up stairs can burn around 10 calories every minute!

Taking the stairs is an easy way to boost your fitness over time and firm up your lower body. Try a week of taking the stairs every time you want to go up or down by 1 floor.

After a week, increase the rule to two floors. So if you’re on floor 10, make sure you take the stairs to floors 8-12.

Increase your rule every 2 weeks after that, before you know it you’ll be climbing sets of 10 floors with ease. Much more convenient than heading to the gym for a legs, bums and tums class!

#10. Try a Standing Desk

Those of us sitting in offices typically spend way too much time at our desk. We’re often sitting without great posture, hunching over a keyboard and staring at a screen.

It’s a bleak picture to paint, but over time this can have a whole heap of negative health effects. One of the simpler effects is that you’re just not as active as you would otherwise be!

Using a standing desk can help you easily avoid some of these negative effects. Apart from helping improve your posture, use a standing desk and you’ll burn roughly 40% more calories than sitting down for the day [3].

If your boss ever offers you an adjustable desk that allows you to stand, take it!

#11. Stop Sending So Many Emails

Email. It’s one of the blessings of technology, but can also be a curse. It allows us to send emails to anyone in the world (that has an email address of course!). It can also stop us from walking to the other side of the floor to speak to people in real life.

I’m sure many of you have been there – whether it’s coming back off holiday, or returning from a training course. You sometimes find yourself with 10, 100 or maybe even thousands of emails to clear through.

When we’re busy, it’s easy to get lost in email. It’s quicker to send a message by hitting that glaring “reply” button, but at what cost? We know that hunching over your computer for extended periods of time isn’t great for anyone.

You may also find that you’ve simply added to the already-filled inbox of one of your colleagues. Potentially you may have to wait for a reply so long you send a “chaser”, just to make sure they respond.

This is the situation many of us find ourselves in when busy in office based-jobs. Fortunately, there is another way, one which can help you get a response even quicker AND take you away from your desk.

Why not try simply walking over to speak to a colleague in person? Not only will this help you get away from your desk and get an immediate response, but it’s also nice to see your colleagues in person once in a while!

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should never send emails. When you’re next trawling through a heavy inbox, give this next tip a try. Try to identify a couple of emails where you could go and speak to someone to move the conversation along quicker than if you sent another email.

​Your colleague may even be grateful for the chance to get away from their screen for a minute too!

#12. Bike to Work

Driving to work can be expensive, whether it’s paying congestion charge, paying for parking or even paying the extra fuel costs. Depending on where you live, public transport might not be much better either. Whether it’s the unreliability, or the cost and travel conditions – public transport options in your area may not be ideal.

What else can we do if we don’t live close enough to where we work? One other option is to cycle to work. If you’re close enough (i.e. cycling to and from work won’t eat up more than 2 hours of your day) this might be something you could try.

If you’re not quite fit enough to complete a 30 minute + ride to work, build up your fitness. One way you can do this is through a couple of weeks of spin classes. You’ll soon have the leg strength to power you to where you need to be!

​You might not have a bicycle at home yet. If you’re spending hundreds or even thousands on transport each year at the moment, a bicycle sounds like an great investment! Not only do you give your legs and heart a healthy workout, but it’s better for the environment too!

#13. Drink More Water

8 glasses, 10 glasses, or more, whatever recommendations you follow it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. (How many glasses will also depend on how big your glasses are!)

Some doctors have stated that up to 75% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration [4]. This number seems astonishingly high – whether it’s 75% or lower, we can all agree it’s important to drink plenty of water.

With a significant part of your body being water – the effects of dehydration can be damaging on both well-being and performance. Some of the negative effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lack of focus
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth

…and more

A simple solution? Try and drink a small bottle of water every hour. If you’re able to fill up the bottle of water at a nearby fountain, then even better.

This means you don’t spend longer than 59 minutes at your desk. It should also mean you take more trips to visit the bathroom than you may otherwise do!

Both of these regular trips will keep you hydrated, active and with regular breaks from staring at a screen. Check out these tips from a clinical nutritionist if you want to know how to check your hydration levels.

Just make sure you don’t drink too much water if you have a long meeting ahead of you!

#14. Get off the (Bus) 1 Stop Early

This one is a classic – and it’s so easy to do! Whether you’re traveling by bus, car or even the subway. Leaving transport a few minutes from your scheduled stop can help you walk between another 400 meters to 1 mile – depending on how far you are away!

This is great when you’ve got a specific step goal in mind. If you’re aiming for 10,000 in a day, the extra 1,000 from getting off the bus early makes achieving the goal much easier.

5 Ways to Sneak More Activity into your Day Through Motivation!

#15. Set a Goal

We all need goals in life. Without them, it’s difficult to have a clear path.

Setting goals for your health and fitness can be a great way to identify what specific areas of fitness matter to you. You’ll want to pick a goal that ensures you’re doing what you should do to stay healthy!

Whatever the reason, apps and new fitness technology make it easy to keep track of goals that matter.

You could even make a goal out of some of the ideas from this list. Maybe you want a goal to climb a specific number of floors a day. Your goal may be to drink a glass of water every hour.

With many fitness apps and trackers, you could also easily set your goal to be a specific number of steps each day!

Whatever goal you set – having a clear target to aim for each day can help you make better choices and continue to sneak more activity into your day.

#16. Get an App That Pays

We’re lucky in the modern world. So long as you have a smartphone there’s 00’s of businesses who will reward you for a whole range of things.

Some reward you for completing surveys and some… will even reward you for moving outside! One of these apps is Sweatcoin. Sweatcoin is an app that converts your outdoor steps into goods, services and experiences.

It costs nothing to use and can give you great rewards in exchange for your sweatcoins. Some of the rewards include free fitness classes and programmes, fitness clothing and even gadgets! It also has a battery saver mode to maximize your battery life. What have you got to lose?

There’s also a range of other apps which pay you to help stay active. Simply give “fitness apps that pay” a search online to see the latest apps on offer.

#17. Get an App That Gives to Charity

Sometimes, personal incentives just aren’t enough. If that’s the case – maybe the opportunity to help those in need is just the ticket.

In the varied world of apps – there is at least one that can convert you moving into donations to charity.

One app that offers this functionality is Charity Miles

Charity miles is an app that tracks the miles you walk, run or cycle during your workout. Simply select a charity and get moving!

The app has raised over $2m so far by people walking, running and cycling over 40 million miles. Next time you head outside why not download the app and make a positive impact on the world as you move?

#18. Get Competitive

I’m a little bit competitive. Whether it’s in a fitness class, “racing” the person on the treadmill next to me, or just ensuring I perform better than I did a month ago.

It’s human nature to want to both improve our performance and try to make sure we’re doing well vs others. If you’re someone that responds to a bit of healthy competition – fitness trackers are a great way to satisfy the instinct to compete.

Whichever fitness trackers you use – there is usually the functionality to add friends and see their progress. You could have a competition on a range of different variables.

You could try to have a step competition to see who can hit the most number of steps per day. Or – you could see who drinks the most water, or loses the most weight over a given period. Whatever works for you!

Why not add some of your friends now and set up a healthy competition for next week?

#19. Be Reminded!

Life is busy. Jobs, friends, deadlines, partners, kids and even sleep can put us into a routine where we aren’t moving as much as we should.

The final way to sneak a bit more activity into your day is simple. Set up a reminder to move more!

One fitness tracker which offers this functionality is Fitbit. Fitbit trackers can add a regular 1 hour reminder to encourage you to move at least 250 steps every hour.

Whatever tracker you have, even if you don’t have one at all – you can set reminders up easily for yourself. One way you can do this includes vibrating reminders on your phone. You can even set the regularity, time and frequency to fit your goals.

By ensuring you get a reminder you’re much more likely to take a short stroll wherever you are and take steps to a healthier, happier you.


It’s way too easy for us to fall into habits which aren’t as healthy as we’d like them to be. This list will give you a whole range of ideas to sneak more activity into your day, whether at work, home or otherwise!

​So what is your favorite way to be active?

Are there any friends struggling to fit more movement into their day?

Then why not share this article with them and help them out? 🙂


[1] World Health Organization – Obesity & Overweight fact sheet: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/
​[2] NYMag – Even the Easiest Exercise Makes People Happier: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/01/even-the-easiest-exercise-makes-people-happier.html
[3] OEM – Standing-based office work shows encouraging signs of attenuating post-prandial glycaemic excursion: http://oem.bmj.com/content/early/2013/12/02/oemed-2013-101823
[4] Medical Daily – 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration According to Doctors: http://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393