Everyone knows that exercise has various physical, emotional and cognitive health benefits. Although most people know this, we often struggle to fit an adequate amount of exercise into our daily schedules. Whether you’re working full time, caring for grandchildren or are engaged in various volunteer efforts or other activities, here are some easy things you can do every day to get adequate exercise:

  • Take the stairs. If you don’t have knee problems or other physical things that could make stair-climbing uncomfortable, forego the elevator and escalator for the stairs. Depending on how many flights you’re taking, this really will only add a few minutes to your daily routine.
  • Park in the back of the lot. If you get to an appointment early, rather than parking in the front and then sitting in a chair in the waiting room, use the extra time to get a little more exercise.
  • Everyone has their favorite TV shows, and no one can blame you for relaxing and watching TV for an hour after work. But rather than sitting still on the couch, sit on the floor and stretch or do some basic strengthening exercises. Or, go to a gym with individual TVs and walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical while you watch your favorite show.
  • If you care for your grandchildren, take a nature walk when they are visiting. It’s a great way for you to be active while spending time with the ones you love. You’ll also be modeling healthy habits by teaching the kids to put down the video games and have fun outside. Even if your grandchildren are too young to take walks, don’t let that stop you. Put them in a stroller and head out for a walk and some fresh air.
  • Rather than having a lunch date with a friend, catch up during a long walk or bike ride together.
  • If you’re doing some shopping at the local mall, plan to park in one location and walk around the mall rather than driving from store to store.
  • Make a pact with your spouse to take a walk together every day before or after dinner. This will help you hold each other accountable and will create a nice routine for you to spend time together.
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