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Incidental Exercise


It’s little wonder medical professionals encourage incidental exercise. This form of general activity you get performing day-to-day tasks often occurs in small chunks, and has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and and weight loss, making it a simple tool for improved cardiovascular health. Here, five easy ways you can get more movement in your life.


Walk the Talk
In an ideal world you should be getting 10,000 steps in a day, but in our ever-increasing sedentary world, that’s proving to be more and more difficult. Firstly, invest in a pedometer so you can count how many steps you’re doing each day, and then use any opportunity you can to walk further. Our pick? Using the time you talk on the phone to walk around rather than sit at your desk or in the car. Make a promise to yourself to use that time on the phone as exercise time, where possible, and you’ll quickly turn this pastime into a useful exercise tool.


Skip Your Stop
If you rely on public transport to get you from A to B why not jump off a stop or two early and walk the extra way? It’s a simple way to up your incidental exercise and the new perspective might make the trip more enjoyable. Drivers can do the same thing, just park further away than normal and walk the extra distance, it might even end up saving you money if you aim to avoid parking metres.


Get Dancing
Dancing is a great way to get your heart pumping and your endorphins flowing, making it the ideal option for incidental exercise. Put the music on while you’re getting ready for work in the morning or making the kids breakfast, and get moving with reckless abandon. You might just make the family laugh while you’re at it.


Hide the Remote
Think about how many times you change the channel or adjust the volume on the TV on an average day. Now think about what a good opportunity it would be to increase your incidental exercise if you hid it. Yep, jumping up and down every time you need to adjust the TV is a good way to work your glute and ab muscles, turning lounging around into a fitness class.


Stand Up
More and more offices are embracing stand up workspaces as they encourage better health in a variety of ways - including heart health. If you’re new to standup desks, start slowly and aim to spend a few hours a day on your feet, gradually increasing the periods over time. Make sure the space is set up correctly as well, ensuring your computer is at eye level and at least 40-80cm away.


Find Your Inner Clean Freak
Cleaning your house, windows and car burns serious calories while providing mental clarity, so be sure to schedule in daily cleaning sessions if you can. If you’re pushed for time clean one room - like the kitchen - that requires dishes to be done and plates to be stacked away. You won’t even know it but you’ll be squatting, reaching, lifting and pulling, all while making things spotless. It’s a win/win.



 Words by Yasemin Trollope, image under license of