7 Ways to Be Intentionally Active (Without Going to the Gym)

The most important aspect of incorporating your activity is to find a way to make it fun.

By Nicole McCray

April 10 2022

When you think about being active, you immediately associate being active with intentional exercise or working out at a gym.

However, being active and burning calories throughout your day doesn't involve the need for a gym.

Instead, you can make simple behavioural changes that will lead to great success for your health.

So, how can you be more intentionally active? Here are seven ways to get a little more exercise without huffing and puffing during an actual workout.

Park Further Away From The Building

Usually, when you go to the park at work or the store, you try to get the closest spot to the building.

Usually, this is because it's more convenient and easier to get back to your vehicle.

But instead of fighting for that nearest spot in the parking lot, you should park further away from the building and do some walking. 

You will have to walk further to get to the building, which gives you some added physical activity.

And, as a bonus: if you buy a lot of groceries that you have to carry, you get even more of a workout by carrying heavy bags when you walk further to your car. 

Take Your Pet (Or Someone Else's) Out For A Walk

If you have a pet or a friend who has a dog or other pet that needs to be walked, offer to bring it out for some fresh air and exercise.

Pets need physical exercise just like humans do, and you'll benefit from the physical activity for both yourself and the pet.

Take it a step further and bring a toy for the pet to play with so you can stop at a park and allow your pet to run around. You can get some added physical activity and playtime with the pet to make it more fun and not seem like a chore.

Commercial Break Challenge

When you are just idling sitting and watching tv, think about doing something more intentional.

For example, during the commercial breaks, get up and do simple lunges, squats, or jumping jacks.

Even walking in a place is an excellent physical activity for a couple of minutes.

You can do it in intervals or change the activity for each break.

Or, if you feel like you need to do more, you can incorporate the action during the show's entirety, so you get a full thirty minutes or more of exercise.

Do More Household Chores

Household chores are an excellent form of physical activity.

Scrubbing, vacuuming, stripping and making beds, sweeping, mopping, and more are great ways to be active and ensure that your house is sparkling.

You can make it more fun by blasting your favourite music while cleaning. 

Outside chores count, too!

Mowing the lawn, working in the garden, shovelling snow, or raking up leaves are all methods of cleaning and exercise.

Choose To Take The Stairs

If you work in a high-rise building or are going shopping in a big mall with multiple floors, choose to take the stairs over the elevator.

The stairs help you burn more calories and get more steps in, so you can be intentional by getting more exercise with this small change.

Dance, Dance

Having children can make it challenging to find the time to get some exercise.

Having a fun dance party for 15 minutes or more is one way to include your children and enjoy yourself while burning some of those calories. 

Blast some upbeat, fun music, jump around the living room, or dance and play music while you pick up your children's toys together.

You could also make a game out of dancing together. For example, watch a movie, and you have to get up and dance anytime you hear a song.

Go For A Classic Walk

It may seem like the simplest form of adding activity to your day but taking a brisk walk around the block helps relieve stress, making you feel much better.

You can listen to music, walk in some woods, and clear your head. If you're in a new location, you can walk around to explore your surroundings and look for interesting sights.

Walking can help relieve stress and calm your nerves, so think about it the next time you feel anxious or frustrated.

Stop what you're doing and get some fresh air with a walk.

If the weather is uncooperative, walk around your house or the building you're in to give yourself a break.

You'll return refreshed and feel more productive.

Enjoy Being More Active

It can be challenging for people to exercise due to chronic illness or joint pain.

Be sure to talk to your doctor about your intention to increase physical activity and research methods for helping relieve pain.

For example, men with achy or swollen feet can benefit from men's compression socks for circulation, so physical activity is more manageable and leisurely.

The best way to enjoy getting more active is to make sure it's something you don't mind and won't exacerbate any pain or injury.

The most important aspect of incorporating your activity is to find a way to make it fun.

As long as you like what you're doing to be more active, you can keep at it, eventually turning it into a habit and improving your health.