Health & Well-Being

How to Sneak Exercise Into Your Day

Above photo by: Juan Garcia | Model — Bridget Bartlett ~ 

If you happened to see me in line at the post office recently, I probably looked like I was just standing there, six feet from fellow customers, idly looking at piles of Priority Mail envelopes for sale while adjusting my mask.

Well, I was doing more than just standing there: I was sneaking some exercise into my day while I was out and about.

I firmly believe exercise isn’t just a set-aside 30 minutes or hour or whatever. Instead, it’s a lifestyle, a sneak-some-in wherever you happen to be.

During TV commercials, for instance, I might decide to stand up . . . and sit down . . . and stand up again . . . and sit back down until my program returns — maybe even without holding onto the couch.

That exercise can’t exactly be done discreetly. But it’s in my house, so I go for it.

How to Fit in Some Exercise While Running Daily Errands

There are many places you may think don’t lend themselves to exercise. But trust me: They do.

Here are some examples, along with a movement you can do at each that nobody but you will know you’re doing. Go for it, and feel free to mix and match.

1. The post office.

Stand on one foot at a time, raising the other even a mere inch — low enough to not fall, high enough to where you’ll need to adjust and align your body so you won’t be leaning to one side.

This is good for your balance and your core. Switch feet every 20 seconds or so.

2. The waiting room.

I recently took my 90-year-old mother in for an appointment. The X-ray machine was down, so we had to sit in the waiting room for more than two hours. While there, Mom and I snuck in a very simple exercise; we lifted our feet off the ground a few inches, held them there, and put them down. Mom loved it.

Try it. You’ll feel your core tighten and your quads (thigh muscles) strengthen. Do these 10 times, take a break, and do 10 more. Or lift one foot at a time, like your marching in place while sitting down.

3. The car.

Whether you’re the passenger or the driver, here’s a simple core exercise you can do while sitting in the car: tighten your abdominal muscles and release them. Try 10, holding each contraction to the count of five, releasing to the count of five, and holding for another count of five. Next set, do 10 without stopping.

4. The grocery store.

Most of us have tight calves. Help them out by walking on your heels as you push the cart. Just try a few steps at a time; you certainly don’t want to lose your balance. Also, refrain from leaning on the cart handle as you walk, or you may end up with it on top of you.

5. The gas station.

You can even sneak in a simple move while filling your gas tank! Move your feet side to side. Then go up and down on your tiptoes, maybe five times very slowly followed by five very quickly.

It’s good for your calves and keeps the blood flowing.

There you have it, five simple ways to sneak in some exercise as you go about your day.

If you have questions, drop me a note at!


Leslie Barker

Leslie Barker is a native of Dallas and has been writing ever since she can remember. Most of her career was as a staff writer at the Dallas Morning News, covering primarily health and fitness. You can follow Leslie on her blog at:

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