How many things do you do in one day? From getting ready, to tasks at work, breaks, phone calls, copies, special trips, all the way to coming home, catching a movie, playing with the dog, eating some dinner, and so on. My estimate puts the “amount of things we do in a single day” at about 82,000. That’s a lot of things! And within those things are plenty of ways to sneak in some physical activity.

Get Ripped from Short Trips

How often to you run a “quick errand” or “stop by” somewhere that’s within a mile, or even half a mile of your starting location? I do it, too, especially when that wind’s howling, but come on, half a mile?

An elderly man riding a bicycle down a city street.

Whether he’s riding for fun or heading to get a few groceries, this guy’s BEING ACTIVE!

That’s like 9 blocks! So, my first tip is to skip the car for trips under half a mile. Get some Dr. Scholl’s in your shoes and hoof it, or hop on your bike if you’re in a hurry (no bike? Check out our video on getting a cheap bike).

If you’re going to be picking something up, a basket will hold plenty of stuff, and carrying bags is just that much more physical activity. It’s when you get to furniture, lumber, and the like that a vehicle becomes pretty necessary, though I’ve seen some people manage. (Please note: safety is our number one concern. Don’t overload your bike, but enjoy the photos.)

 

What Are You Stairing At?

This long escalator didn't scare me. I stayed on the left and walked the whole way up and down.

This long escalator didn’t scare me. I stayed on the left and walked the whole way up and down.

I could probably count the number of elevators in Buffalo County on my fingers and toes (and that’s not a bad thing), but just because they’re there, doesn’t mean you have to use them! There are some great benefits to taking the stairs. It’s some world-class physical activity. Try running stairs for a few minutes. In addition, it helps give your legs a nice stretch. Plus, you don’t have to worry about possibly getting trapped in a tiny, hanging box. My rule is anything under 10 I take the stairs, unless I’m running late.

 

Parking Trot

I Instagrammed about this, but it’s a great way to force a little extra physical activity on yourself. When you go somewhere, always park in the back, as far away as possible. Not only does this get that extra bit of physical activity in from walking a little more, but it reduces stress because there’s always a spot, no one will fight you for it, there’s no waiting for slowpokes, and no one is going to ding your doors.

Parking lot, parked far away from the destination

Not only will you be forced to walk more, but you’ll have fewer scratches on your car!

That’s like win-win-win-win-win-win (and probably a few more “wins” I didn’t think of).

 

The Daily Race

Make every day the Olympics and everything a challenge. How many of you were “timed” as children? It’s an old trick parents have used for centuries. You want your kid to get you something, but your kid won’t budge from the couch. Until . . . you mention that you’ll be timing him/her. Then it’s a no-holds-barred barrel run to the basement or garage or wherever. They’re back in ten seconds with the extra pillow you wanted and wondering if they broke the record. The moral is: time yourself, race your bests, race your friends, and make everything a race. How fast can you do the dishes? How fast can you dust the entire house? How long does it take to get from your front door to the front door of Target? There’s only one way to find out, so get racing.

 

Cut Loose

An imaginary study I just made up showed that Americans are dancing less and less, even as poppy dance music has been making a huge comeback. Analysts still aren’t sure why people don’t dance as much, but I say rather than looking at the data and the books, we get down and boogie! Dancing burns a ton of calories, and for some info on which styles are best, check out this blog post. I’d say my style is a mix between Hip-Hop and Moshing, so in half an hour of dancing I would burn probably 400-500 calories. That’s not bad. That would earn me an extra (healthy) snack before bed.

 

What About You?

So, you’ve heard our tips, and hopefully you’ll start dancing more and racing everyone across town, no matter how wild you look. But what are some of your tips for choosing the Active Option? How do you turn daily doings into full-fledged mini workouts? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, on Instagram, on Pinterest, or on YouTube, and you could win a pair of Storm Hockey Passes!