Great Things come from small startsIn our increasingly busy world many of us are looking for ways to do more in less time. Often, that means multi-tasking. Here are some ways to combine exercise with everyday tasks. You can do these moves virtually anywhere. Excuses, be gone!

Standing calf raises – You can do these in line at the grocery store, ladies room or even while standing at your desk. Lift yourself onto your toes, notice the stretch in your calf muscles and slowly lower your heels to the floor.  If the line is long you might have time for two sets of ten, if not just do what you can in this line. There is sure to be another line you can make the most of in your near future.

Stand on one foot –Research has shown that functional fitness is increasingly important as we age. Given that, it makes good sense to pay attention to things like balance and flexibility no matter how old you are. Boost your functional fitness with an easy balance exercise you can do virtually anywhere. Stand on one foot for one minute, or as long as you can. If it is safe to do so, close your eyes. Try this one while you are waiting for your car at the garage or car wash. Notice what you see (if your eyes are open), hear and feel. Breathe deeply as you stand.

Abdominal lifts – Give this one a try when you are at the theater or your child’s PTA meeting. Be careful that the chair is sturdy enough before you begin.  Place your hands, palms down beside your thighs. Now keep your knees together and lift your bottom up from the chair. You should be holding yourself up by your hands.

Squeeze and release –This is a great exercise for your abs, glutes and thighs. Do these while you’re waiting for the copier at work or in the carpool line.

  • Ab squeeze – stand or sit tall with your spine straight. Now pull your abs in tight (pretend you are trying to make your stomach look flat) and hold for a few seconds and release.
  • Glute squeeze – contract your glutes and thighs, hold for a few seconds and release.

Fidget –A study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise touts the value of fidgeting. Researchers found that study participants burned as many as 300 additional calories a day through incidental movement. Give it a try – do a step touch wherever you happen to be standing, drum your fingers on any available surface or lift your arms for a deep stretch.  Small movements throughout the day can add up to big fitness gains over time.

No more excuses. When you are creative about just moving more all day you get small fitness wins that add up.