Quick Exercises for a Busy Schedule

Even on your busiest day, you can squeeze one of these activities into your schedule. Check out this list of ways you can sneak in some activity throughout your busy day:

If exercise slips off your to-do list, try these on-the-go activities. You can do these anywhere, anytime, and without equipment.

Even on your busiest day, you can squeeze one of these activities into your schedule. Check out this list of ways you can sneak in some activity throughout your busy day:

Busy people need exercise too!

  • Stop lights – Stretch your neck by lowering your ear to your shoulder, one side at a time
  • While brushing your teeth – Leg exercises such as squats, lunges, and heel raises
  • Before getting out of (or into) bed – Try some easy ankle rolls and foot flexing
  • Reading emails – Shoulder rolls, neck stretches, back stretches, even flexing your abs
  • Waiting in line at the grocery store – Try shoulder shrugs or heel raises while holding your basket for an extra challenge!
  • In the shower – Heat helps muscles relax, so this is a great place to stretch!
  • Watching TV – You can do practically any of these exercises instead of just sitting on the couch

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Benefits at Work

We know that sitting at a desk all day isn’t the best for your body. Especially if your work ergonomics are a little iffy. A sedentary workplace can make you feel sluggish and unmotivated, and can contribute to poor physical health.

Instead, make time for some stretch breaks at work. Stretching and moving throughout the day makes you more alert and productive. After a quick stretch break, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next item on your to-do list.

While at work, set a periodic timer to remind you to get up and move. You can even schedule a stretch time on your calendar so you don’t forget.

Whether it’s a walk around the building or a quick stretch of your back and shoulders, you’ll feel better.

Remember, you want to be proactive, not reactive. That means taking care of your body before you get hurt. Staying active through the day will help prevent pain from muscle tightness.

It’s All in the Timing

Like most goals you want to accomplish, it’s easiest to break up exercising into small sessions throughout the day. Studies show that people stick better to a program in the morning than waiting til the end of the day. You’re more likely to complete your activities throughout the day, instead of waiting til after work.

Want to boost your commitment even more? Make a list of the exercises you want to do, and where you want to do them. Writing goals down increases your chances of completing them.

Grab a Buddy

Since these exercises are so easy to do, get your friends and coworkers involved! Doing these activities with someone else will help you stay on track, and it’s simply more fun.

Grocery shopping with the kids? Keep them entertained with exercises in the check out line. Or, have a family stretch during movie night. You’ll help your kids exercise, and spend quality time with them.

At work, invite your coworkers to join your daily stretch breaks. They’ll appreciate the refresher too!

Friendly Competition

To really engage with your coworkers, try a step count competition. Have everyone download a team pedometer app, and see who can get the most. Reaching 10,000 steps per day is a healthy goal.

You can divide into teams for a monthly competition, or see who steps the most daily. You’ll be surprised how a little friendly competition motivates people to get active!

Step up your count with these quick tricks:

  • Park in the farthest space from the door – get extra steps entering and leaving work
  • Take a short walk during your lunch time
  • Walk the stairs instead of taking the elevator
  • Go an extra block when walking the dog
  • If it’s a reasonable distance, walk to your destination instead of driving
  • Walk while brushing your teeth or talking on the phone
  • Take a lap around your house during TV commercial breaks
  • Enter other activity as steps (if the app allows step conversion)

Making time in your busy day for yourself will improve your overall wellness in the long run. Aim to do some of these mini exercises every day. If you do, you’ll feel more energized and productive, and live a healthier, happier life.


Shellie Neirderer PTA, CEAS III
Onsite Clinician II
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