How To Lose Weight When you Are Too Busy to Exercise

When You are Too Busy to Exercise…

Our goal should be a minimum of 30-60 minutes of activity a day; but many of us just don’t have 30 minutes to an hour to spare everyday. The good news is that you don’t have to do all 30 to 60 minutes consecutively to reap the weight loss benefits. These 30-60 minutes can be split up into smaller segments each day.   In other words, if you are too busy to exercise, try sneaking your exercise into your day. In fact, I was able to lose my baby weight by eating healthy and sneaking in exercise.

How I Lost my Baby Weight by Sneaking Exercise Into My Day

After my baby was born, I was just too busy to exercise for an hour a day so I decided to sneak in exercise by walking up our stairs 10 times a day. I did 2 flights of stairs right before I ate my meals, when I was waiting for food to warm in the microwave, as I was leaving my house, and as soon as I came home.  I also did 10 push-ups, a 20 second plank hold, and 20 jumping jacks every morning before I jumped in the shower. That was it! I didn’t have time to exercise for an hour with a baby always wanting to nurse so I squeezed in the exercise, and it worked!    I also did other things like always taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking far away in parking lots. Do you want more clever sneaky exercise ideas? Well here it is, a list of 53 ways to sneak in exercise when you are too busy to exercise.

How to Lose Weight When You Are Too Busy to Exercise

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53 Ways to Sneak Exercise Into Your Day: Follow These Tricks at Work, at Home, and Out and About

  1. Whether you work from home or at a business, try setting an alarm to go off 3 times day, and walk or do a 5-10 minutes mini workout each time the alarm goes off. Here is a mini exercise routine you can try: 10 sit ups, 10 push ups, 10 crunches, 10 jumping jacks, hold a plank for 20 seconds, and hold a pike leg stretch for 20 seconds.
  2. Take several 2-3 minute walking breaks throughout the day.
  3. Make a goal to climb 5 extra flights of stairs a day.
  4. While in a rocking chair, push off the floor with your feet.
  5. Do some kind of exercise several times for 5 to 10 minutes throughout the day.
  6. Walk during lunch, and eat a bag lunch at your desk.
  7. Walk your dog.
  8. When walking, go up the hills instead of around them.
  9. Get an active dog that forces you outside.

Sneak in Exercise When You are At Home

  1. Every time you come home and as soon as you enter the house, do some exercises of your choice. You could decide to do a couple of those mini workouts I mentioned above: 10 jacks, 10 crunches, 10 push-ups, and 10 jumping jacks.  The key is to make sure you do something before you sit down when you get home from work. If you are tired, you probably won’t get back up if you sit down first.
  2. Or do 2, 5, or 10 minutes of exercises every morning when you get up.  You can add more or less depending on your time. Find some exercise ideas in tip #1.
  3. Set an alarm for 30 minutes, and clean your house as fast as you can. Don’t stop to think, just clean whatever you see as you go.   I work up a great sweat doing this. I don’t think. If the next thing I see is a dusty desk, then I run get a duster and start dusting; then, if I notice floors next then I RUN to get a broom and sweep. If I see something that needs to be put up I grab it and go.
  4. Walk to the restroom furthest away. Go to a restroom on another floor if that is an option.
  5. Do sit-ups in front of the TV or march/jog in place during commercials
  6. Actively clean to music.
  7. Stand while doing things instead of sitting. Standing an extra 2 hours can burn around 300 calories a day (Examples: stand while checking emails, playing with your children, reading, talking on the phone, etc)
  8. Put the remote away from the TV so that you will have to get up to change the channel and turn up the volume.
  9. March in place while cooking. Or do a few jumping jacks or bicep curls with canned food while you are waiting for your water to boil or while you are waiting for your food to finish cooking in the pan or microwave etc.
  10. Sit on an exercise ball in front of a TV. This burns more calories and tones more than sitting in a chair.
  11. Walk while talking on the phone. Twenty-five minutes of brisk walking can burn 100 calories.
  12. Instead of carrying everything to a room or up the stairs at one time, take several trips. By turning one trip up the stairs into four, you could go from burning 10 calories to burning 40.
  13. Take a walk after dinner instead of watching TV.
  14. Stretch before bed to give you more energy when you wake.
  15. Break up your physical activity into 10-15 minute sections throughout the day.
  16. Aim for at least 30 minutes total a day.
  17. Take up a physical hobby like gardening.
  18. Rake leaves.
  19. Wash windows.
  20. Replace a Sunday drive with Sunday walk. Or replace some of your other leisure activities with physical leisure activities.
  21. Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV or walk in place while watching TV.
  22. Walk instead of sitting around. Examples: Walk while you are on the phone, or walk while you are reading a magazine.
  23. Take your dog on longer walks.
  24. Take a quick 10-minute brisk walk before lunch or dinner. Not only will you get in some exercise, you’re less likely to choose something unhealthy after being physical active. Plus sometimes exercise actually decreases your appetite.
  25. Using a FitBit like the Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch, Blue-Gray/Silver, One Size (S & L Bands Included)or a pedometer can help keep track of your steps. Set a stepping goal for yourself. Remember, 2,500 steps equals 1 mile.
  26. Whenever you have to climb stairs in your home, climb your stairs an extra time. You could climb your stairs every time you walk in your door before you sit down. You can use indoor or outdoor stairs. If you have only a few entry steps, then climb them several times.
  27. Watch no more than two hours of TV a day. Exercise or do something fun instead.
  28. If you have stairs, climb your stairs one time every time you are about to eat a meal or a snack. You can use indoor or outdoor stairs. If you have only a few entry steps, then climb the several times.
  29. Use hand tools instead of power tools.
How to Sneak Exercise Into Your Day

Sneak In Exercise When You are Out and About

  1. Sit on an exercise ball at work. This burns more calories and tones more than sitting in a chair. You can actually purchase exercise ball desk chairs like the LuxFit Exercise Ball Chair, Black.
  2. For every purchase you make at the mall, take another lap around the mall.
  3. Walk the mall.
  4. Bicycle or walk to the store instead of driving.
  5. Take a walk or do desk exercises instead of a cigarette, coffee, or snack break.
  6. Take small trips on foot. For example: Instead of calling or emailing a co-worker, walk to their desk or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
  7. Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office. You never know when you will have a chance to exercise.
  8. Walk around the building or field while you are waiting on your kids to finish soccer, band, football, or dance practice.
  9. An oldy, but a goody- Park far away in the parking lots. This tip has stuck around for a good reason. It works!
  10. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator when stairs are an option.
  11. Walk to work.
  12. If it is safe, get off the bus one stop early.
  13. Walk instead of driving whenever you can.
  14. Walk your children to school.
  15. Do some kind of volunteer labor like walking dogs at an animal shelter, participating in litter clean up, or building and repairing projects.
  16. Walk to your place of worship instead of driving.
  17. When you are waiting in a waiting room, slightly lift your legs off of the floor to subtly work your leg muscles. If you lean back as if you are leaning against the chair, but keep your weight off of the back of the chair, you will get an ab workout without anyone in the waiting room noticing.
  18. For more ways to exercise when your Kids are ALWAYS around, check out this list.

A Few More Thoughts…


  • Last tip, make sure you do take the time to rest at some point. One idea is to workout hard all day, and then give yourself an hour of down time before bed. If you are doing these exercise all day you will BURN a lot of calories, but you also don’t want to burn yourself out. Rest is a part of health too.
  • If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.
  • Did you find these tips helpful for times and seasons in your life when you are too busy to exercise? Which tips did you find the most helpful?

Related Posts

How to Exercise When Your Kids Are ALWAYS Around

How to Develop Your Own Exercise Plan

34 Creative Ways to Exercise

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What you Need to Know to Develop Your Own Exercise Plan

What you Need to Know to Develop Your Own Exercise Plan

So you have decided to start an exercise plan or routine, but where do you begin? Use these tips below to develop an exercise plan that works for your lifestyle.  You can always develop one plan, and then pick another plan if your original plan doesn’t workout (pun intended).

    Develop your Exercise Plan

Consider these Basics When Developing an Exercise Routine

  1. Remember to drink water before, during, and after workouts so that you won’t “hit the wall” or become dehydrated. Make sure you stay hydrated so that you can work out harder and burn more calories, and more importantly drinking water prevents dehydration which can be dangerous.
  2. If you want to prevent plateauing, vary your activities. Changing up your exercises will cause muscle confusion so that your muscle are always having to work. Plus when you vary your activities you won’t get bored. Click here for 34 Creative Ways to Exercise.
  3. Include strength training. Muscle burn more calories than fat, so try twenty minutes of strength straining two to three times a week. Strength training also reduces injury, improves balance, and helps maintain your bones.
  4. When you do hit a plateau, increase either your exercise intensity or duration.

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Pick an Activity that Fits into Your Schedule

  1.  Are you a morning person? If you need to set your alarm an hour early so that you can workout before work, then do it! Many people find morning workouts ideal. Why? People often do better with their eating throughout the day when they have started the day off well. After you have had a hard exhilarating workout, you are motivated to keep going the rest of the day. The same goes for getting an early start during the week. If you do well on Monday with your exercise and eating habits, chances are you will stay motivated for the rest of the week; however, slipping up on Monday can slow down your motivation IF you let it.
  2. What if working out in the morning just doesn’t fit in your schedule? Try working out after work. Some of my clients made a committment to workout right after work, before doing anything else. They even pack their shoes and workout clothes so that they don’t even have to go home first. Once you go home and begin relaxing, you might get too relaxed to jump up and exercise. Even if you exercise at home, you can still decide to exercise first- before you sit down.
  3. Maybe you have to wait until the evening to get that workout in. Your kids need you until bedtime, but after bedtime you have free time to workout. This might be a little harder for some, but I know many who have made the committment to workout in the evening.
  4. Okay, so you have read the three above tips, and your saying, “I hear you, Lacy, but I really don’t have 30 spare minutes in my day and I KNOW I’m not going to workout late at night OR get up earlier than I already have to! What do I do?” I have an idea you might enjoy. May I share it with you?…You can sneak in your exercise! To find out how, check out my post entitled, “How to Sneak in Exercise when you Don’t have Time to Exercise
  5. Perhaps your children are ALWAYS with you so you need to find a way to workout with them around. For exercise ideas you can do with your children check out “How to Exercise When Your Kids are ALWAYS Around” post.
  6. Whether you workout in the morning or the evening, choose an activity that fits into your daily life and make sure you schedule your exercise into your week.

Pick an Activity that Fits your Personalityzumba photo

  1. Choose activities you enjoy and you will be more likely to stick with them. Explore new physical activities or find a physical hobby.   For more creative fun ideas, check out my post “Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be Boring” for ideas.
  2. Ask yourself, would you prefer working out in a group or alone. Do you want to go to a gym or workout at home? If you like working out in a group, perhaps you could join a walking group. Don’t know of a walking group? Create your own walking group! Do you want to workout with a friend? Ask a friend to workout with you. You can encourage and motivate each other! Do you prefer working out by yourself at home? You could try an exercise app like the Fitbit Coach app or the Beachbody on Demand app. These apps have a huge variety of workouts you can follow the daily. These apps often even include calendars so you can either follow their schedule or pick which ever workout you feel like doing that day.  You can find exercises in these apps that fit into any schedule, and you can watch these videos on your phone, ipad or stream it through compatable TVs. If you have the Fitbit Ionic Watch, you can even watch the Fitbit Coach app through your watch. You don’t even have to pull out your phone! Click on the link to check out the Fitbit Ionic watch: Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch, Blue-Gray/Silver, One Size (S & L Bands Included). On a personal note, I am currently doing Beachbody on Demand, and I love it! I have used them for a long time so I know these workouts work! I also love having a set workout plan for an extended period of time, and I am currently doing an 80 day program. Beachbody on Demand even provides you an online coach. You usually purchase Beachboy on Demand through your very own coach. Click here or any of the Beachbody links in this post to go to my friend and coaches site. Her name is Healther Wilson, and I just love her!
  3. Do you like variety? Pick a different activity to do each day. One day you could aerobics and another day you could wash your car. Or Pick exercise from the lists here, here, and here.

Plan for the Unplanned

So you have made your schedule. You have your routine down to a science and then…life happens. You can actually plan for the unexpected.

  1. When you can’t get to your normal workout, you can try to sneak exercise into your day. Say you normally get up in the morning to exercise, but for some reason you couldn’t fall asleep last night and now you NEED to sleep in. Instead of doing an hour workout, try sneaking exercise in throughtout the day using the ideas in the “How to Sneak in Exercise” post.
  2. If you normally walk or workout outside, but the weather is bag. Have a backup plan in place like “I will exercise with a video if the weather is bad.” Remember to find a way to stay active in the winter.



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How to Exercise When Your Kids Are Always Around: Exercising with Kids

Ah, The Joys of Parenthood…

Ah, I remember my life before kids. I could workout in peace without many interruptions… then my kids came along, and boy did life change. Exercising with kids around is completely different. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! They bring me double the joy AND double the worry and tears. But if I didn’t have those tears, I wouldn’t have double the joy either, right? Although I love this life, exercising with kids can be hard! I needed to finds ways to continue exercing with kids who were ALWAYS AROUND!

How Do I Exercise When My Kids are Always Around?

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  1. Plan a daily physically activite game you can do with your child. Play tag, catch, soccer, or freeze dance with your children. You are playing and checking exercise off your list all at once. And just like that you are exercising with kids!
  2. Make your weekend family outings physical ones like biking, swimming, or miniature golf. Go to an amusement park, or a park and play on the playground. Try canoeing, rock wall climbing, hula hoop, fly a kite, ice-skating, or jump rope. Go to a bowling alley, batting cage, or hit golf balls at a driving range. Set up fun obstacle courses using fun outdoor toys, play outdoor games like catch or tag. Play laser tag or ultimate Frisbee. Okay, now I am ready for a weekend just thinking about these fun activities.
  3. Walk around your yard while you kids play outdoor games.
  4. Play with your kids 30 minutes a day.

    kids playing photo
    Photo by donnierayjones
  5. Buy a set of hand weights and play a round of Simon Says with your kids. You play Simon Says with the weights; they play without weights.
  6. Swim with your kids.
  7. Walk the dog with your children.
  8. While watching your child’s sporting events, walk during time outs or half times.
  9. Play a physical Wii or Xbox one game with your children. I like the Wii sports: Wii with Wii Sports Game – White and the Just Dance 2018 – Wii or Just Dance 2018 Xbox one.
  10. Play Physical board games with your children like Classic TwisterPeaceable Kingdom / Feed the Woozle Preschool Skills Builder GameDisney Junior Super Stretchy Game, or gofindit – Outdoor nature scavenger hunt card game for families.
  11. Take a family walk after dinner.
  12. Push a stroller.

    moms with strollers photo
    Photo by Serge Melki
  13. Exercise or go for walks while you are waiting for your children at practices like dance, soccer, or piano practice.
  14. Exercise while child plays at park.
  15. Walk in the pool with your baby or while your older child plays.
  16. You can even do sitting exercise when you are trying to be subtle like flexing your stomach or legs. Hold your legs just above the ground to strengthen you leg muscles. Do this while you are waiting in waiting rooms at your children’s check-ups.
  17. Go for a run with your stroller.
  18. Do exercises with your stroller like squats, lunges, and jogging.
  19. Take the stairs with child.
Creative Ways to Exercise with Kids
  1. Set timer at home and dance with child before and after meals.
  2. Walk the perimeter of the playground while your child plays.
  3. Do squats, step touches, or march in place while you are pushing your child in a swing.

Fun Games to Get Your Family More Active

Did you like the games mentioned above? Below are the links for those games and a few more fun phisically active family games. You will


  • I hope you found some great ways to continue exercising with kids. What were some of your favorite “exercising with kids” ideas? This is a post in my DIY weight loss series.  If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet Self Assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dietitian.

Other Related Post

How to Develop You Own Exercise Plan

How to Lose Weight When You Are Too Busy to Exercise

34 Creative Ways to Exercise

DIY Diet Self Assessment and Evaluation

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34 Creative Ways to Exercise

Sometimes we get bored with our regular exercise routine and are ready for a change. Or perhaps you have always found conventional exercise boring. If you are looking for creative ways to get in your exercise, you have come to the right post. Check out these fun and creative exercise ideas. One might be boring and conventional to one person might be a perfect fit for another. You find what works for you.

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    1. Use fitness dice like the 10-Sided Fitness Dice (pair)to make exercise a game.

2. Ride a bike. Bike riding is such an exhilarating way to workout!

3. Dance! Turn on some music or try a dance video game or dance exercise video.

4. Jump rope! 3-In-1 AB Wheel Roller Kit – Odoland AB Roller Pro with Push-Up Bar, Jump Rope and Knee Pad – Perfect Abdominal Core Carver Fitness Workout for Abs – with Workout Guide is a fun exercise set that includes an exercise jump rope.

5. Find different places to walk: Visit museums, zoos, farmer’s markets, parks, malls, or in a pool. Walking is so much fun when you are surrounded by interesting scenerary.

6. Swim or try water aerobics. Many gyms and community pools offer classes or you can purchase a water aerobics kit (Ivation Water Exercise Set – 6 Piece Set – Water Workout and Aerobics – Floatation Belt, Resistance Gloves, Dumbbells) and do your own pool workout.

7. Take an aerobics class. Many gyms have a large variety of classes so you may find the perfect type of class for you.

8. Play a sport. So many to try. You can often find beginner level classes for sports like Tennis.

Ideas for When You are Bored with Your Exercise Routine

9. Go for a hike.

10. Jump on a trampoline. You can use one in your backyard or get one meant for exercise like the Urban Repounder: MaXimus Pro Gym Rebounder Mini Trampoline with handle bar. Package Includes Great Compilation Rebound DVD, & 3 MONTHS FREE VIDEO MEMBERSHIP! 150kg user weight.

11. Mow the lawn (don’t use a riding lawn mower).

12. Take up Golf. Walk instead of using a golf cart.

13. Take a karate class.

14. Take a dance class: ballroom, jazz, ballet, tap, clogging, contemporary, line dancing. So many fun choices!

15. Watch you tube or music videos and try to learn the dances.

16. Take kickboxing.

17. Do an exercise video. The choices are endless.  I love Beachbody on Demand. You have probably seen their DVDs on a commercial. This is the company that makes those amazing workout programs like P90X, Insanity, Piyo, 80 Day Obsession, and so much more. In fact, they have 600+ workouts. Now instead of purchasing one of their workout programs, you can do any of them by purchasing Beachbody on Demand. Once you purchase Beachbody on Demand, you can use any of their workouts for a whole year. You can do the workouts anywhere by playing them on your phone or iPad. They have everything from yoga to weight lifting to hip hop abs.

18. Try Yoga. You can do yoga at yoga studios and gyms or in your own home with the help of videos or yoga apps.

19. Palate. Like yoga, you can do palates at home or in a gym. Palates focuses on your core muscles and is a particularly great way to exercise your abs.

20. Try canoeing or kyaking. Canoeing is a great upper body workout you get to do in the beauty of nature.

21. Standing/cast fishing

22. Try fitness pole dancing

24. Take water aerobics

25. Try Zumba or Mixxed Fit. You can find classes at many gyms or you can use a dvd like the Zumba Fitness Incredible Slimdown DVD System.

zumba photo
Photo by JBLM MWR Marketing

26. In the pool, walk in deep water. You can even carry water weights if you want to take it up a notch.

27. Join and go to a gym.

28. Wash your car.

29. Play racquetball.

30. Play basketball with friends.

31. Skate.

32. Run with a Friend.

33. Instead of exercising for 30 minutes to an hour, try sneaking in exercise throughout the day.  You can find ways to sneak in exercise in the post “How to Lose Weight When You Are Too Busy to Exercise .” (This post could also be entitled “How to Exercise When You Get Bored Exercising for An Hour.”)

34. Find Ways to exercise while you are playing with your kids. For more exercising with your kids ideas check out the post, “How to Exercise Whe Your Kids Are Always Around.”

Want Some More Ideas?

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