Even if you're usually diligent about squeezing a workout into your routine most days, life still has a way of just getting super, super busy on you every now and then. Whether you're clocking in longer hours at the office, or you're spending more time with family, sometimes you just can't find a way to weave a workout into your day. But there's no need to beat yourself up; in fact, so many of the little things you do every single day count as actual exercise.
Your everyday routine is sort of a legitimate workout in and of itself. Researchers refer to that energy you use to make it through your day as non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT.
So, seemingly mundane activities like grocery shopping or catching the subway can actually count toward your recommended amount of daily exercise -- isn't that NEAT? (I'm sorry.)
Here are 10 everyday activities that may not feel like a challenging HIIT circuit, but are still getting the job done.
1. Grocery Shopping
Next time you're snagging your cookie butter from Trader Joes (#BlessUp), consider it a workout.
Grocery shopping qualifies as walking, which can burn more than 200 calories per hour.
And those heavy bags you have to carry all the way home? Not a bad upper body workout, amirite?
I guess when your mom used to nag you to clean your room, she was really reminding you to stay active?
You should probably call her and thank her, because as it turns out, vacuuming, sweeping, and Swiffering can all count as cardio.
Try putting on some of your favorite music as you clean to get your body moving even more than usual.
3. Washing Your Car
If you want to save money at the car wash and get a good workout in at the same time, strip down and wash that bad boy yourself.
Try to do it on a hot day to break an epic sweat, and challenge yourself by reaching across your car rather than moving your body around so you can really feel the burn in your upper body.
4. Taking The Stairs
Ditch the escalator and take the stairs for a surprise, mini sweat sesh.
Climbing stairs on a regular basis is good for your heart and can help prevent high blood pressure.
5. Trying On A Bunch Of Outfits
Is it just me, or is it impossible to not break a sweat in a dressing room?
Well, the next time you find yourself in a fitting room, take a moment to realize how much you're actually moving your body. You're technically doing leg lifts, walking in place, and stretching your arms.
Milk those movements with everything you've got to make your next shopping spree a bona fide workout.
6. Shoveling Snow
Shoveling snow feels eerily similar to torture sometimes, but that may just be due to the fact that this winter activity can be a serious full-body workout.
Feel that blizzard burn, baby.
7. Having Sex
Endorphins, improved heart rate, and orgasms? Enough said.