The sneaky way to exercise more
You’ve probably heard the age-old saying, “Every little bit helps,” and it turns out, there’s a lot of truth to it. However, many people struggle to see it that way. But what if we reframed everyday activities as opportunities to move more while getting things done?
Let’s take a look at some familiar tasks:
1. Vacuuming the House:
Vacuuming may feel like a chore, but it’s also an opportunity to get in some extra movement without hitting the gym.
2. Weeding the Yard (Gardening for Enthusiasts):
If you enjoy gardening, weeding the yard isn’t just about maintenance; it’s a chance to engage in physical activity that you might relish.
3. Taking the Dog for an Extra Walk:
Instead of seeing it as an extra walk for your dog, consider it an additional chance for you to move and enjoy the outdoors.
4. Shooting Hoops in the Driveway:
Playing basketball in your driveway can be a fun way to exercise without feeling like you’re working out.
5. Marco Polo with the Kids (Instead of Watching Them Play in the Pool):
Joining your kids in a game of Marco Polo at the pool is not only enjoyable but also a sneaky way to be active while bonding with them.
For many, these activities may initially appear as inconveniences or time-consuming tasks. However, when viewed through a different lens, they become opportunities to increase your daily energy expenditure, accomplish more, and even have fun—all without the need for extra time in the gym. It’s essentially a two-for-one deal, which is precisely what many of us need to prioritize self-care.
This approach can be applied to activities you might not particularly enjoy, such as household chores. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania suggest pairing a “should” activity (something you feel inclined to do but don’t enjoy) with a “want” activity (something you look forward to doing).
For example, consider saving your favorite podcast (the “want”) for when you vacuum (the “should”). By reframing vacuuming as a form of exercise (another “should”), you accomplish two “shoulds” at once and still get to enjoy your favorite podcast. It’s a win-win-win scenario that can make seemingly mundane tasks more enjoyable and productive.
Now, let’s explore this sneaky way to exercise more and make daily activities work for your health and well-being.
The Power of Reframing: From Hassles to Opportunities
It’s common for many people to view household chores and other daily responsibilities as burdens or hassles. The idea of vacuuming, mowing the lawn, or doing the dishes can seem like time drains that take away from more enjoyable activities. However, by reframing these tasks as opportunities to sneak in some exercise and movement, you can change your perspective and reap multiple benefits.
1. Maximize Your Efficiency:
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine allows you to be more efficient. Instead of allocating separate time for exercise, you can seamlessly integrate movement into your existing tasks.
2. Enhance Daily Energy Expenditure:
Every little bit of physical activity counts toward your daily energy expenditure. These “sneaky” exercises contribute to your overall calorie burn, helping you maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
3. Improve Cardiovascular Health:
Even light to moderate physical activity, like vacuuming or weeding the garden, can provide cardiovascular benefits by increasing your heart rate and improving circulation.
4. Reduce Sedentary Behavior:
Incorporating movement into your day reduces sedentary behavior, which has been linked to various health issues, including obesity and heart disease.
5. Boost Mental Well-being:
Physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. Sneaky exercise can improve your mental well-being and reduce stress.
Pairing “Shoulds” with “Wants”: A Winning Strategy
The idea of pairing “should” activities with “want” activities comes from research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania. This strategy can make dreaded tasks more appealing and provide an extra incentive to complete them. Here’s how it works:
1. Identify Your “Should” Activities:
Start by identifying the tasks or activities that you may not particularly enjoy but are necessary.
2. Find Your “Want” Activities:
Think about activities you genuinely look forward to and consider rewarding. These are your “want” activities.
3. Create a Connection:
Pair a “should” activity with a “want” activity. For example, if you enjoy listening to podcasts (your “want”) but dislike vacuuming (your “should”), make a rule that you can only listen to your favorite podcast while vacuuming.
4. Enjoy the Benefits:
By connecting a “should” with a “want,” you accomplish both tasks simultaneously. You may find that you start to look forward to your “should” activities because they allow you to enjoy your “want” activities guilt-free.
Examples of “Should” and “Want” Pairings:
Should: Cleaning the House
Want: Listening to Your Favorite Music or Audiobook
Result: Cleaning becomes more enjoyable as you listen to music or your latest audiobook.
Should: Yard Work
Want: Spending Time Outdoors in Nature
Result: Yard work becomes an opportunity to connect with nature and get fresh air.
Should: Home Repairs
Want: Trying Out a New Recipe
Result: Home repairs become a chance to experiment with cooking and enjoy a tasty meal afterward.
This approach transforms mundane tasks into opportunities for self-improvement and enjoyment. It helps you shift your perspective, making it easier to tackle “shoulds” with enthusiasm and accomplish more in your daily life.
Maximizing Efficiency and Enjoyment
The sneaky way to exercise more is all about maximizing efficiency and enjoyment in your daily routine. By recognizing the potential for movement in everyday activities, you can seamlessly incorporate exercise into your life without the need for additional time or equipment.
Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of this sneaky exercise strategy:
1. Create an Active Playlist:
Make a playlist of your favorite upbeat songs that motivate you to move while completing household chores or other tasks.
2. Involve the Family:
Encourage family members or housemates to participate in these activities with you. It can become a fun and bonding experience.
3. Set Timers:
Use timers or reminders to break up long periods of sitting. Every 30 minutes, take a quick walk around the house or stretch.
4. Track Your Progress:
Keep a journal or use a fitness tracker to monitor your daily movement. Seeing your accomplishments can boost motivation.
5. Reward Yourself:
Treat yourself after completing “should” activities paired with “want” activities. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of tea or watching your favorite TV show.
6. Stay Consistent:
Incorporating movement into your daily routine is most effective when done consistently. Make it a habit to maximize the benefits.
7. Be Mindful of Safety:
Ensure that any physical activity you incorporate is safe and suitable for your fitness level.
Conclusion: A Sneaky Path to a Healthier Lifestyle
The sneaky way to exercise more offers a practical and enjoyable approach to increasing physical activity in your daily life. By reframing “should” activities as opportunities to move and pairing them with activities you genuinely enjoy, you can enhance your efficiency, well-being, and overall quality of life.
Remember that every little bit of movement counts, and small changes in your daily routine can lead to significant improvements in your health and fitness. So, the next time you consider vacuuming, gardening, or even walking the dog, think of them as chances to sneak in some exercise and make the most of your time while accomplishing other tasks.
Incorporating movement into your daily life doesn’t require a gym membership or elaborate workout routines. Instead, it’s about seizing the opportunities presented by your daily activities and finding joy in the process. So go ahead, embrace the sneaky way to exercise more, and watch as your health and well-being flourish.
I hope this helps, and while you’re here, I want to make sure you know that if there’s any way I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, I’m here for you.
I offer online nutrition coaching to clients who are ready to quit dieting and start looking and feeling better, with more confidence and increased energy levels – without complicated diets or painful workouts
What exactly is “nutrition coaching”… and how will it help you reach your goals?
When it comes to losing weight and getting the body you want, “eating better” is one of the most important steps. The only problem?
Most of the common diet advice you receive simply isn’t sustainable…
- “Avoid your favorite foods… forever!”
- “Don’t eat after 7pm!”
- “Weigh and measure every morsel of food you eat!”
If you’ve tried something like this before and “failed”—or just couldn’t stick with it—you’re not alone.
(And it’s definitely NOT your fault.)
I talk to people every day who are trying to muster up all the willpower they can find to diet their way to a better body… but they still aren’t getting the results they want.
The good news? There’s a better way.
My nutrition coaching focuses on strategic, doable daily actions that are designed to fit into YOUR lifestyle. With this approach, you’ll learn how to:
- Eat better—without dieting or feeling deprived.
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Bottom line: My goal is to help you learn how to “eat better” so that it becomes easy, consistent, and automatic.
No restrictive dieting. No weighing or measuring your food. No “one size fits all” meal plan.
Instead, you’ll learn how to bring healthy eating into your lifestyle and get in amazing shape—while building the habits you need to stay that way for good.
How is nutrition coaching different from fitness coaching or personal training?
As a coach, my number one goal is to help my clients reach THEIR goals. Doing that effectively requires me to constantly look for opportunities to learn new skills and hone my craft.
This is exactly why I chose to become a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition.
I’ve now been trained by the best of the best, so I know what works.
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The best part? The knowledge and skills I’ve gained can help you finally get the results you want—and keep them for life.
Through the rigorous training I’ve received, I learned that while exercise is a crucial part of losing weight, feeling good, and achieving optimal health… it’s only half the equation.
The other half—as you may have guessed—is nutrition.
I’d actually argue that nutrition is more important than exercise, because while you spend a few hours working out each week, challenges around eating and food can happen anytime (some would say all the time!).
That’s why having a coach there to guide and support you is crucial.
Don’t get me wrong: Exercise is very important. But no amount of exercise will ever be able to “outwork” bad nutrition habits. So in order to help you get the life-transforming results you deserve—I’m excited to be able to offer nutrition coaching in an official capacity.
What I learned while becoming a Certified Nutrition Coach opened my eyes to a whole new way of doing things. And through this science-proven approach, I’m ready to help you get even better results through healthy nutrition habits.
Interested? Have questions? Let’s talk…
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, or if you have questions about what this would look like… I’d love to discuss how my online nutrition coaching program could help you get the results you’re looking for.
Click here to get started and I’ll answer any questions you have. Plus, we can connect to talk more about what this would look like for you.
Dedicated to your success,
P.S. Just so you know: I’m offer fitness coaching as well—and it doesn’t have to be “either or.”
If you’re in a place where guidance and support from an experienced coach could help you reach your goals, I’m here to help in whatever capacity will be most beneficial for you.
Simply learn more here and we can talk about the different coaching options I have available.