Personal trainer reveals how to exercise without exercising

Kristine Tarbert
·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read

One of the biggest barriers people face when it comes to exercise is time. Whether a nine-to-five job doesn’t end at five or a young family is pulling parents in all directions, the constant juggle of life, work and family can leave little time for self-care.

We've also hit that time of the year where many a good intention to incorporate more movement into your life may have dwindled ever so slightly, but the good news is exercise doesn't have to mean a sweaty session at the gym.

Exhausted young Caucasian woman lying on comfortable sofa in living room sleeping after hard-working day, tired millennial female fall asleep on couch at home, take nap or daydream, fatigue concept
Are you struggling to find the time for exercise? Photo: Getty

FIAFitnation Senior Trainer & Assessor, and personal trainer, Alicia Turner says it’s easy to subtly squeeze some exercise into each day without even trying.

"When it comes to exercise, every bit counts and even a few minutes here and there will contribute to weight loss, stress release or just an overall sense of wellbeing," she says.

Exercise is defined as physical activity or movement that contributes to one's overall health. So to reap the benefits of exercise all we have to do is move more.


Here Alicia has shared some tips and tricks with Yahoo Lifestyle to help incorporate exercise into each day without really exercising – and the secret?... it’s all about incidental exercise:

Take the stairs

It’s a no brainer! If there is a lift or stair option, train and discipline yourself to take on that small challenge. Over the course of a day, this will contribute to your overall step count, improve cardio health, burn calories, and can contribute to strengthening muscles.

modern businesswoman working woman close up legs walking up the stairs in modern city in rush hour to work in office a hurry. During the first morning of work. Leave space for writing descriptive text
Taking the stairs is one of the easiest way to up your movement. Photo: Getty

Invest in a stand-up desk

If you have a desk job, give a stand-up desk a go. Whether you're working from home or in the office, standing over sitting can assist in blood glucose levels returning to normal a lot faster than if you were seated after meals, and those that stand experience less shoulder and back pain. Plus you burn more calories standing.

Young man having a online video meeting with office colleagues at a standing desk while working remotely from home
You actually burn more calories standing. Photo: Getty

Have meetings or catch ups on the go

Instead of holding a traditional meeting in the office or board room or catching up with a colleague or friend for a sit-down coffee, take that catch up to the pavement and walk while you chat.

Walking can help you think clearer, feel more positive about yourself, which might even help the ideas and conversations flow. In a bonus, getting outdoors will give you a healthy dose of vitamin D you previously would not have gotten inside, and it’s a good way to burn a few calories.

Be an active family

It’s hard to fit structured exercise into a busy family timetable so try and make family activities more active. On the weekend, go bike riding, bush walking, and visit the beach or explore what your local parks offer (don't forget your ball!).

You will be positively contributing to you and your family's health through increased energy output while also feeling good about yourself.

Walk instead of drive

Replacing part of your drive with walking by either parking a couple of streets further away from work or the station can again increase your step count, contribute to heart health and burn more calories.

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