Incidental Exercise – Whats the Skinny?

Incidental exercise is the physical activity that is built up through different daily activities. You don’t always have to be dressed in those fancy new leggings or Fluro running shoes to do exercise. Nor do you have to be at the gym to do physical activity. Even wearing heels or a business suit crossing between meetings you can still implement incidental exercise into your daily routine. If you are stuck thinking of ways to increase your incidental exercise, follow these easy tips to become more physically active throughout your day.

  1. Walk or ride your bike to work. This may be easier for some if you live close by to your work space. Alternatively, if you live too far to walk then you can either cycle to work, catch the bus half the way and walk the other half, or drive half the way and walk the rest. Even a 10-minute walk can make a difference. Added bonus: don’t have to find a park, pay for that extra petrol or get stuck in traffic!
  2. Shout out to all those binge watchers of “The Bachelor”. How many episodes do you watch in a row without getting off that couch or out of bed. Yes, we are all guilty from time to time. Try adding 10 squats per ad break or 20 high knees every 5 minutes. You could always try the traditional treadmill or exercise bike while watching. Every little bit helps. It might even stop you eating that block of chocolate you have in the kitchen if you are busy moving.
  3. Waiting for food or a coffee. Microwaves, toasters or the kettle tends to take FOREVER! when you are standing there doing nothing. Why not do a few bench pushups or star jumps until the timer is finished. It can make waiting for that first coffee in the morning seem a lot quicker.
  4. Brushing your teeth or hair in the morning. You could always try holding a wall squat while doing these daily activities. Brushing your teeth SHOULD take 2 minutes according to every dentist, so aim to hold the wall squat for this long. If you are just starting off, aim for 20 seconds wall sit, and a 10 second break and gradually increase it. Make your legs look as good as your sparkling white teeth! If a wall sit is too hard while brushing your hair, then now is the time to not skip lower leg day and add some calf raises. As an added bonus, this helps with your balance. It’s a win, win.
  5. Hands up if you have heard “take the stairs”! Yes, I believe all of us have. Why not do it. You could have quads of steel in no time and to top it off, you don’t have to wait in the lift awkwardly in silence.

Give these 5 tips a try, a little change to each activity could make a huge impact for your health and lifestyle.

Katelyn Earl
(B.Sc. Ex, Sport & Rehab, Grad Dip Clin Ex Phys)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)(ESSAM)