How to ace incidental exercise and get your 30 minutes without thinking

  • Date: 17 April 2018
  • Category: News
Walking pram resize

If you don’t have time every day to take spend an hour at the gym or yoga class or whatever it is you like to do, don’t despair! You can still hit your daily 30 minutes of physical activity without even noticing.

So what’s the secret? Incidental exercise! Incidental exercise is any activity that is built up in small amounts over the day, you just ‘happen’ to be exercising while doing something else. Watch as your physical activity adds up, you get all the benefits of exercise on a daily basis, and you can fit it into your busy schedule.

Ideas to increase your incidental exercise:

  • Don’t drive to work. If possible, take public transport where you will probably be walking to and from bus or train stops. Ride your bike if your work isn’t too far from home. If you do have to drive, find a park 10 minute walk away from your workplace, that way you’ve already managed 20 minutes exercise per day without even trying. Plus, walking increases blood flow to the brain, so you’ll be much more productive at the start of every work day, instead of relying on coffee to wake-up.

  • Walk up the stairs instead of using an elevator or escalator. We’re often faced with the choice of taking the stairs or a lift - at a shopping centre, train station, perhaps our office building. It may take a couple minutes longer and require more effort, but your body will thank you later once those extra minutes of exercise add up.

  • Stand up where you can. You can even watch your favourite TV show standing up to keep your blood flowing. Add in some stretches or gentle walking on the spot. If you have access to a standing desk at work, use it. If you work in a career path such as retail, stand or walk around instead of sitting down during quiet periods.

  • Cook for yourself. Walking around the kitchen while you cook, not to mention the chopping and stirring, will get your body gently moving. Plus cooking for yourself is often cheaper and healthier than getting takeaway or buying ready-made meals!

  • Be active while socialising. A lot of our social life is spent sitting down, like at the movies or a cafe. Suggest a walk in the park or bike ride with friends or family.

  • Walk and talk. Instead of texting people from your desk or kitchen table, call them and walk around while you’re doing it. Hold a walking meeting, or even just go for a quick walk around the block on your lunch break.

Don’t forget that when you register for Premier’s Active April you receive a 10 Visit Pass Card for your local YMCA Centre, so you can keep active in many ways throughout the month.