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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10 thoughts on “How To Lose Weight When you Are Too Busy to Exercise”

  1. Very good tips, I think anybody could do a bit more work out. I used to go to gym 4 times a week, plus I have a treadmill at home. Right now I’m so busy with work, that I’m happy if I can get down for a run for 10 minutes, but it still helps to boost my energy.

    1. I think it is wonderful that you still fit in a 10 minute run. Many think you have to do an hour to really get any benefits. Every little bit goes a long way. You are so right. When I fit a little workout into my day, I have sooo much more energy.

  2. I really like this approach! Very sensible. I use the subway in our city most days and always take the stairs (two at a time) rather than the escalator 🙂

  3. Wow….what a list! This post absolutely proves that (no matter how busy you might think your day is) there is no excuse for not fitting in exercise. No longer could you say ‘I have no time’ in your day. Just brilliant thinking about maximizing time and opportunity to create a healthier version of yourself.

  4. I got my boss to buy me the swissball chair for my desk and I love it! It really does make a difference! I struggle to find time to get activity so every little thing helps!

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