5 Ways to Sneak Exercise Into Your Day

Written By Kailey Trewartha

Image of people crowded on the escalator and no one on the stairsWho has the time to exercise? With work, family, and the everyday things we have to do, it’s hard to find the time to fit in exercise too. According to Stats Canada, only 55.2% of people do physical activity in their leisure time. It is so easy to brush off, even though we know how important it is for our health.

I know how it goes. After a long day at work, exercise is often the last thing on my mind. So I’ve found ways to sneak in a little bit of exercise throughout my day.

1. Mix it in to your commute.

So much of my time is spent commuting: to and from work, visiting family and friends, running errands, etc. The list goes on! I make a habit of walking to the train station instead of taking the subway. I find the walk relaxing. If you take public transit, why not get off a stop early and walk that extra little distance? With rush hour traffic, you may even reach your destination faster!

2. Make it social.

My mom and I take the dog out for walks and use that time to catch up while getting exercise. If I’ve scheduled time with my running buddy, I am much more likely to do it and feel motivated. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurts. Instead of going out for dinner or dessert with friends (I know, hard to resist), how about going for a walk or heading to a fun workout class? Instead of watching a movie, why not go outside and throw a ball around or go on a bike ride?

3. Turn commercials into activity breaks.

I am not about to give up TV, especially when my favourite show is on. But when the commercials come on, I walk laps or do some lunges or squats to get my legs moving, at least until the show comes back on. Or, if I’m particularly busy, I’ll head to the kitchen and start making my lunch. Sometimes while the show is on, I’ll grab dumb bells (you can also use soup cans) and do some bicep curls or shoulder presses. Anything to get myself moving without interrupting my show!

4. Take the stairs.

Every time I leave the subway, there are mobs of people heading for the escalator. I like to take the stairs instead. It’s usually faster and it’s also a great way to wake up my legs before sitting at my desk at work. If you only need to go up or down a floor or two for your morning coffee or tea, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. A little bit of stair climbing is better than nothing.

5. Take a stroll during lunch.

Instead of going to the same restaurant or take-out place every lunch hour, take the opportunity to walk outside and head to another restaurant. If you bring your lunch, walk to a park and eat it there. Or if you have extra time after your lunch, use those last few minutes to go for a quick brisk walk instead of sitting around and waiting.


Being active, even if it’s only 5 minutes here and there, starts to become a habit. What better habit is there?

These are some ideas I use, but I’d love to hear your tips! Share with us on Facebook.