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It’s the New Year. The time when many people make a resolution to lose weight, work out, go to the gym more.

In fact, most of us have probably made that resolution at some time or another.

But we find that following through is much harder than we thought. After all, it’s hard to find time to work out.

You’re a busy woman with lots of responsibilities. It isn’t easy to balance the demands of family, home, work, friends, and church and still able to take care of yourself.

Soon, negative thoughts creep in and you decide that you just don’t have time to exercise after all. Maybe next year.

But before you give up:

I want to challenge you to try a few of these tips for staying active during the day without necessarily having a specific “workout time” or going to the gym.

Try to incorporate these on a regular basis and see if it makes a difference for you!

1. Turn regular activities into exercise.

Instead of staying inside, have an active playtime with the kids. Kick a ball around, chase each other, put them in the stroller or on their bikes while you walk or jog with them. Walk to the park instead of driving, if at all possible. And once you’re at the park, don’t just sit on the bench. Push your kids on the swing, walk around, join in the fun.

Also, if you have stairs in your house, use them as much as possible. During the last trimester of my pregnancy, my husband and I stayed in a condo for a few months while he was attending a training. The only bathroom in the condo was upstairs. Talk about motivation for staying active during the day!

And, if you need a reason to keep up with household chores, think of them as burning calories. Vacuuming, dusting, carrying laundry can all be exercise. And think how clean your floors will be if you start vacuuming three days a week!

2. Change stationary activities into active ones.

One of my favorite activities is having coffee with friends. Instead of just sitting at the coffee shop chatting, grab your girlfriends, kids, and even dogs and go for a long walk while enjoying your to-go coffee!

One of my friends and I started doing this while I was pregnant and she had just given birth to twins. It was a great way to burn calories and still enjoy each other’s company. Now that we live in different places (such are the lives of military wives) I’ve continued this practice with other friends.

Instead of having a lunch date with your hubby (and kids), make a picnic and then hike somewhere to enjoy it. The setting will be private and beautiful, and you’ll get some exercise in the process!

3. Incorporate short amounts of exercise into your day.

Instead of going to the gym for an hour (plus drive time) check out some of the awesome (free) 10-15 minute workout videos on YouTube and try to do one of those in the morning and one in the evening. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), yoga, weight training. Just try different ones until you find something that works for you! You’d be amazing at how much of a difference short bursts of activity can make in how you look and feel.

4. Multitask.

I have a close friend who lives in a different state so we frequently have “phone dates” to catch up with one another. I’m always impressed by her because she goes for a walk while we chat. She’s using the time that we would spend talking to get outside and be active. She’s not multitasking to the point where she can’t pay attention to the conversation, but she’s using her time wisely and fitting in activity wherever she can. 

5. Make it a family affair!

If you and your family have a habit of watching TV or vegging on the couch after dinner, try doing something active instead.

Go for a long walk around the neighborhood. Get outside and play together.

Maybe you live in a cold place right now. Have a snowball fight, shovel the driveway, build a snowman, go sledding.

You can even get in some indoor activity if you’re creative. When I was growing up my family would play “the balloon game.” We would have a balloon and basically just try to keep it in the air for as long as possible so we’d all be running around the room like crazy, trying to not let it hit the floor. We would laugh so hard that that was probably a work in itself! So simple and a lot of fun.

Get creative with your activities and find ways to burn calories that don’t even really feel like a workout. Every little bit helps! Don’t let negative thoughts about not having enough time defeat you before you even start.

What are some ways that you stay active without actually working out? I can’t wait to read your comments!



  1. This is a great list! Changing stationary activities into active ones is a great tip.

    I laughed when you mentioned that your friend would walk when catching up with you over the phone. My mom and I always do that! If we haven’t talked in a bit and want to catch up, we try to set up a time when I can take my girls on a walk in the stroller and we take “walks” together. Separately, but together since we are on the phone. 🙂

    • Bree

      I love it! Such a great way to spend time together (even if you’re long-distance) and still get in some activity! I can’t wait for stroller walks after I have the baby (less than 2 weeks to go!) 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Emily!

  2. I love finding ways to be active at home. In my brief time as a stay-at-home mom, I lost 10 pounds just by never sitting down ?

    One of my favorite things to do is an impromptu dance party with my girls or do squats/lunges when I have a few minutes to burn.

    • Bree

      I love that! My husband and I have random dance parties too! I’m sure these will be even more fun with little ones running around 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. I’m not good at fitting in exercise, so I’m always trying to sneak it into my day. These are great tips! Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday Linkup!

    • Bree

      I love to exercise, but sometimes it can be really hard to fit it in! I’m always looking for ways to get in a little extra calorie burning (well, maybe not at the moment since I’m about to have a baby but in general! 🙂 )Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    • Bree

      Thank you! I am as well! It’s great to be able to get some activity in without even feeling like you worked out. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  4. These are great ideas! I work from home and during the winter I found myself using the “excuse” that it was too cold, too rainy, too whatever outside to exercise. Needless to say, the pounds started creeping on. I definitely had to change my mindset and find creative ways to stay fit and active. Thanks for some more ideas to add to my list. Appreciate you linking this up at Small Victories Sundays! Enjoy the rest of your week!

    • Bree

      I tend to be the same way! I’m not a fan of cold weather at all so I’m much more active in the summertime. But if I can just find quick, easy ways that fit in with the rest of my day, it keeps me from gaining too much throughout the winter! I’m so glad you stopped by and commented!

  5. I love helping my clients move. If you love to exercise, do it. If not, then just get movement in whenever you can. I have selected your post for my feature on Let’s Get Real Friday Party. Thanks for sharing on last week’s link up.

    • Bree

      That’s great advice, just get moving! It’s encouraging to think that even little things can make a big difference 🙂 Thank you so much for the feature! Can’t wait to share at the Let’s Get Real Friday Party again!

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