If you’ve got school-aged kids (or younger!) at home, gym time might be a luxury you just can’t afford on a daily basis. That’s why many moms and dads find workarounds for workouts, fitting them in whenever possible during the week. Others turn into weekend warriors and sign up for local running and cycling races. If you’re still trying to find time for your fit, here are a few simple (and silly!) ideas to help you rack up steps without spending a lot of time or energy.
Do a Little Extra…
1. Doing the dishes? Multitask when you stand at the sink and load the dishwasher. Do calf raises while rinsing, and pause to do a squat for every plate, bowl, or glass you put in the machine.
2. Side step commercials—literally. Take advantage of the breaks while watching TV. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Step your left foot to meet the right, tap, and go back to start position; repeat with the right foot. Keep stepping until the show comes back on.
3. Go upstairs, again. Doing a chore that requires your presence on the second floor? Slip in an extra flight on your way there, by walking up, immediately turning around to go down, and walking up again.
4. Slip in steps during the work day. Park in the farthest spot, take the stairs, go to the last bathroom stall, try sweatworking—every extra foot adds up.
Include the Little Ones…
5. Put on a pop station, crank up the volume, and throw a dance party in the living room. 30 minutes of your best moves can burn about 200 calories.
6. March before meals. Get in the habit of taking a tour of the house or doing a lap around the backyard before sitting down for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
7. Tag, Duck, Duck, Goose, Cops and Robbers, whatever you call it, you’re “it!” Get up and chase the kids!
8. Play follow the leader when it’s your turn to watch the little one. If he goes to the other side of the yard, you should head that way too. Let him in on the game, or see how long it takes for him to notice his big shadow.