5 Ways To Exercise Without Even Trying

5 Ways To Exercise Without Even Trying
Carly Jacobs

I tend to get a bit shitty when exercise instructors claim that every one has time to exercise EVERY DAY. I’ll admit that yes, most days I can squeeze in a quick half hour on the treadmill if not a longer workout a few times a week. However there are actually some days when I have 5 deadlines, several meetings, a couple of events and important dinner plans and I literally do not have the time to exercise. If I haven’t spent even one second watching TV or surfing YouTube then I feel like I can legitimately say I didn’t have time to exercise, because they are my primary exercise procrastination activities. Here are a few sneaky hacks that I use for when I honestly do not have time to exercise.

Use a pedometer

Pedometers were invented in Japan by a man called Y Hatano who did years of medical research and concluded that 10,000 steps per day is the optimum amount for weight maintenance if no excess calories are consumed. I used to have a FitBit One that I was utterly addicted to and now I have the Apple Watch and I don’t think I’ve ever left the house without it since I got it. I try to do some type of formal exercise most days of the week but some days I simply don’t have the time. As long as I walk my 10,000 steps every day, I feel a lot less guilty about skipping the gym.

Watch your favourite TV show while you work out

If I ever have a day where I’m exhausted and just want to go home and flop on the couch with a few episodes of The Mindy Project, I allow myself to have a lame workout day. I take my iPad to the gym and do a slow, gentle, fat burning jog while watching a show on the iPad. It’s the perfect way to have a day ‘off’ without actually skipping your workout. It’s also perfect for multi-tasking: watching your favourite show while working out at the same time.  I also have a treadmill at home set up with a TV which is the best thing in the world. If you have the money and space to do this, do it.

Walk to the supermarket and carry the groceries home

I suggested to a friend that she try this and she recoiled… “But… it’s like an hour return trip!“. I was all… yeah so? Once she accounted for traffic and finding a park it was only going to take her an extra 20 minutes to walk and it would be so much better for her health. Exercise is a lot easier if it’s functional. I find jogging to the shops a lot more inspiring that running in circles around an oval, getting no where. Multi-task your to-do list and work in a work out while doing your grocery shop. Going on a long walk to get the groceries is going to take a lot less time than grocery shopping and THEN going to the gym.

Clean vigorously

Every second week I have a major clean of my house and scrub it from top to bottom. It usually takes a few hours and I sweat like a demon so I always count that as my workout for the day. 30 minutes of vacuuming will burn about 100 calories which is the same as 15 minutes of kick boxing. Bargain. You get a good work out and at the end of it all you get a super clean house to sit around and be awesome in. Win.

Have walking catch up sessions with your girlfriends

I often catch up with girlfriends when I’ve finished work for the day but we usually meet at a pub for a glass of wine. I try to squeeze in a gym session in between work and our catch ups but it doesn’t often happen, so one of my friends and I have started to walk to an out-of-the-way pub about a 30 minute hike away to get some extra steps in. It works brilliantly – we drink less because we spend an hour walking and we manage to squeeze in some physical activity without forfeiting our entire evening.

What are some of your favourite ways to cheat on a full workout?


  1. Cecylia Kee 6 years ago

    I’ve never set foot in the gym 😀 I take the stairs whenever I can 😀

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      Incidental exercise is the best kind of exercise. 🙂

  2. daddownunder 6 years ago

    Ipad in the gym, why did I never think of that? I will hide the vacuuming being beneficial for your health fact from Anna for fear that it gets added to my daily routine

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      It’s the best thing ever! Total distraction.

  3. Nicole 6 years ago

    We lived on Hardware Lane when we were living in Melbourne. Without a car, we pretty much walked most places; with the exception of Doncaster Westfield, that we caught the bus to. So, walking to the grocery shops was a regular occurrence, especially because we were way too un-organised to go just once a week. If we wanted a shorter walk, we went to Woolies in the QV, but if we wanted to add a few more blocks and an uphill walk home, we went to the Coles at Southern Cross Station. And then if we were mostly lazy, and only needed a few things, we would brave the crowds of Melbourne Central Coles.

    All this walking/grocery carrying would be great if we didn’t love the Katsudon + Naan creation we would put together on a regular basis.

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      We walk every where too! We live in Fitzroy and never, ever go to the city unless we walk. Trams make me feel ill and paying for parking is a nightmare and walking is honestly just as quick.

      • Nicole 6 years ago

        Yeah, there was a little fruit and veg shop either in Fitzroy or very close to it that we would often trek to. It didn’t feel like exercise if we were getting something else done at the same time. I agree with you on the trams thing, that jiggling back and forth feeling was way worse than Sydney trains that I was used to.

  4. Julia Manson Cheng 6 years ago

    I am a fitness instructor & wellness coach and even I don’t like working out in a gym! I have a nice area in my garage with a few small pieces of equipment and weights, and that’s all anyone really needs. If you absolutely don’t have any room for equipment you can always buy a set of exercise bands. They’re excellent! You can take them with you on your walks, etc. I have to say though that just being physically active in many different ways is a wonderful approach vs. doing “killer” workouts in a gym (I hate that description for workouts). Exercise is just one part of the equation and we all need it to have healthy, resilient bodies, without “killing” ourselves doing it!

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      I agree, just being as physcially active as possible is always the best approach. I have treadmill at home and it’s the BEST! I just pop on an episode of my favourite show and sweat it out.

  5. Rebecca B. Bird 6 years ago

    Watching your favorite show whilst working out is a great tip. It’s also a great way to keep track of how long you’re jogging for… if you manage to watch a sitcom episode without getting off the treadmill then you know you’ve done 22 minutes! 😀

    • Author
      Smaggle 6 years ago

      I do it all the time! I love watching an episdoe of Grey’s Anatomy too. 42 minutes!


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