5 ways to do the bare minimum exercise

Hate exercising but love life? Here are 5 ways to do the bare minimum

It’s an age-old conundrum.

You know that you need to exercise to stay healthy and, well, stay alive.

But frankly, it’s really just a lot of effort.

You eye-roll at the overused fitness hashtags on Instagram.

But as much as you scroll past these, you know deep down that you have to do something if you don’t want to end up with a bad back and dodgy knees, or worse a heart condition.

So, here are ten ways you can improve your health with very little effort.

Take the stairs or walk up the escalator

This sounds like it might be an effort, but actually, once you get some momentum going, you’re already halfway up and so you might as well keep going. If you walk fast (it will be over quicker) you can burn up to 11 calories per minute.

This may not seem like a lot, but it’s 11 more than you’d burn if you took the lift.

Walk for a reason

By this, we mean to have a reason other than just to exercise.

That way you’ll be thinking about the end goal, and not dragging yourself off the couch just to walk.

Is there a particular coffee shop you’ve wanted to try out but haven’t because your regular one is closer? Is there a friend who you think lives far away enough to use public transport, but if you really map it out, it’s probably only about a 25-minute walk?

Just do it once to prove to yourself that it’s not the effort you’re imagining it is.

Distract yourself with something else

Someone once quipped, “my favourite machine at the gym is the television”. If you really don’t want to go outside for a walk, then a good trick for getting motivated to exercise indoors is to distract yourself from just focusing on the exercise. Those TVs all over the gym are there for a reason.

Listen to an enthralling podcast, put on a gripping TV show or play music at unacceptable levels (provided you live on a farm and not a block of flats, in which case you won’t need to do this because you’ll be getting fit and healthy by taking the stairs). Then, do 10 push-ups and have a 2-minute rest and then another ten. Then do 10 sit-ups and have a 2- minute rest, and then another ten

See if by the end of the month you can keep that up until the end of the episode or until you’ve listened to an entire album.

Stand up at least once every hour

Sitting still all day is bad for you. It’s bad for your muscles, your heart, and your brain development. Stand up at least once every hour. Set an alarm if you have to and go and talk to a colleague. Or if you’re working from home, water your plants, wash your dishes, play with your cat, or make some tea. Even small movements like that can improve your health.

And bonus, if you’re getting up to do something productive then that’s two things you can pat yourself on the back for accomplishing, and that’s just in the first hour!

Be a kid again

Borrow your kid’s or your neighbour’s bike or skateboard and just ride down the street. You’ll be amazed at how much fun you’ll have without putting pressure on yourself to put on cycling shorts and actually sweat, or count miles on a smartwatch. Book a night at an ice-skating rink with friends. You’ll all look ridiculous but it will be loads of fun and you can go home and secretly tick off ‘Exercise’ on your daily “Making Healthy Life-Choices” To-Do list.

We understand if you’re excited about starting your new health and wellness journey with these fun not-really-exercising exercises, but please don’t ignore your diet. You do know, deep down, that a burger will cancel out a fast walk up a flight of stairs. It’s just not worth it.

Please eat some leafy greens.


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