Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

January 7, 2017

10 Sneaky Ways to Fit Exercise into a Busy Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias

Centrum® MultiGummies® has given me some ideas for meeting my fitness goals this year!  I have really ambitious fitness goals for 2017, which include joining my municipality's fire department.   I'm excited about some aspects, like getting my DZ license and driving the truck, but I'm also worried that I won't be strong enough for the work.  In the summer, I'm pretty active and I feel stronger, thanks to fun activities like swimming, canoeing, and sailing (which is a ridiculously good core workout when Lake Superior decides to kick our butts).  But in the winter I go into hibernation mode and I've got such a long list of reasons for not staying fit: I'm super busy, I live too far from the gym, I'm still embarrassed about the time I fell asleep in a Pilates class.  I was starting to warm up to some winter activities, like snow shoeing and skiing, but then the temperature really plummeted - even my hardiest neighbors, the ones who jog all winter in fancy jogging clothes, seem to have disappeared indoors.  

But we have an idea!  Hubby and I are looking into some kind of treadmill or elliptical machine that's small, so we can transform the office nook into a teeny tiny hidden home gym.  We were even thinking of eventually installing a small TV, plus maybe a fan for some airflow, and hiding the whole thing with some kind of door when it's not in use.   

In the meantime, inspired by Centrum® MultiGummies® (which is a great-tasting and super easy way to sneak in some vitamins), I'm on a mission to sneak in as much fitness and activity into my day as possible.

Yup, they're a gummy, but these multi-benefit multivitamins include 100% or more of essential nutrients, Vitamins B12, D, and E.  Antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E and Zinc help support normal immune function* and B Vitamins aid in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.* Also, B-vitamins to help support daily energy needs.* Lots of important health benefits, but it feels like I'm just popping a couple of sweet treats in the morning.  So easy!

Here are my 10 sneaky, excuse-proof ways to fit exercise and movement into a busy day:

I Put on Wrist Weights for Random Tasks...

I hate lifting weights.  Hubby really wants to get into it, so we added weights to some yoga workouts - it was tough, but good for me.  Then I stumbled across this genius idea:  put on some small wrist weights when simple tasks, like blow drying my hair.  It adds some resistance training to something I'm already doing!  Sneaky sneaky.

I Park Farther Away...

This might be the oldest trick in the book, but those extra few steps taken during every errand or appointment really add up and it's a great way for me to get a little more exercise, no matter how busy my day is.

I Phone a Friend...

My biggest success with dedicated exercise was with our treadmill, which I ended up using a ton because a friend of mine loved her treadmill too (she was so fit, people at her gym started a rumor she was training for the Olympics!).  When we couldn't meet up for a walk in person, we'd pop in our Bluetooth ear pieces and have "treadmill dates," which was really motivating for me because it didn't feel like exercise.  I loved swapping a coffee date for a walk because it really just felt like getting together with a friend.  When Hubby and I moved from Ottawa, we sold our treadmill - and I actually miss it, which is why we're trying to fit one into our office closet!  I also miss having a workout buddy, but everyone I know is secretly my fitness buddy because anytime the phone rings, I grab my hands-free headset and go for a walk, do some gentle stretches, or even just swiffer the house - as long as I'm moving!  People used to ask me about the suspicious rustling and heavy breathing, but now everyone knows I just can't sit still and chat!
I PVR a Free Yoga Program on TV...

Over the years I have taken a ton of fitness-type classes, including self defense, fencing (for real), dancing, Pilates, step aerobics and more, but these days I like exercising in the privacy of my own home because it's easy, cheap, and no one will laugh at me if I accidentally doze off.  I have a huge collection of workout DVDs but I get bored quickly so I found a program on TV that delivers a new yoga routine every day.  I set my PVR to record it, which means I have extra motivation to watch and delete them because, if I don't, my PVR fills up super quickly and there's no room for Nashville or The Walking Dead!

I Get Active on Commercials...

After some exceptionally long and busy days, all I want to do is curl up on the sofa with The Big Bang Theory, so I bargain with myself: watch the show, but do some stretches or push-ups on commercials!  It's a great way to sneak in a little exercise on those days when I'm just beat. 

I Play "Tag" and "Keep Away" with Szuka...

I love going for walks but sometimes it's way too cold or muddy to brave our dirt road, so Szuka and I have some games we play in the backyard instead.  We can both get our hearts racing (and tongues wagging) faster than walking, so it's an easy, speedy way for us both to get some exercise - but it just feels like we're playing.  She loves fetch, but she also loves to play tag and keep away.  She likes me to chase her around the yard (that's tag) or I grab one of her toys and try to evade her by running around the property (that's keep away).  Does a short burst of games ever get my heart rate up!  We even play this inside, which wreaks havoc on our hardwood floors, but it's a great way to keep both of us active, especially when neither of us is keen on braving the blizzard raging outside.  Plus I think the mental challenge of trying to catch me (or find me if I'm lurking in the trees) is good for her brain.

I Set a Timer for Working...

Getting lost in a busy work day is sometimes the biggest obstacle to working out, so I try to remember to set a timer.  Every half hour (or hour on a super busy day), my timer goes off (in another room, to make sure I actually get up and turn it off) and I try to move around a little.  I do some stretches, grab a glass of water, or take a quick break with Szuka - anything to get up and out of my desk chair for a few minutes! 

I Do My Own Snow Removal...

When we lived in the townhouse, the condo dealt with grass cutting and for many years we hired out snow removal too.  These days we do it ourselves and I hate it, but it's such a good work out.  The snow blower we use does a lot of the work for us, but it still requires some manhandling and we do quite a bit of shoveling.  I can definitely get a good sweat going by clearing the driveway.  Some days I'm super tempted to hire it out to a neighbor who has a plow on his truck, but I remember that I need this activity to be healthy and I power through.

I Dance When I'm Cleaning...

Don't laugh, but to make cleaning more fun - and to get my heart rate up a little - I often dance while I'm cleaning.  Once the music is pumping, the tasks fly by and I find that I'm moving more without even realizing it.  Szuka joins in whenever I bust a move, barking and hopping - it's the cutest.  After an hour I'm winded, Szuka is ready for a nap, and the house is that much tidier.  It's my favorite hack for squeezing in more exercise and staying on top of the mess!

I Got a Pretty Fitness Tracker...

You can always lure me into doing something with jewelry.  Hubby did a fitness challenge through work and had to get 10,000 steps a day so he was wearing his step counter every day and I got one too - solidarity!  It helped me see just how much all of those little changes (parking farther, moving while I'm on the phone, dancing while I'm puttering) logged steps and got me moving more so I could top up my steps and reach my goal (of beating Hubby). 

For some people, exercising is something they look forward to but I only look forward to certain things - a lot of which are warm weather activities.  To keep me moving in the winter - and overcome the litany of excuses I dream up - these are my little tricks to keep moving and work on my fitness, no matter how busy (or lazy) I feel.  I'd love to hear your tips!  

Sometimes it's just nice to make something you should do feel more fun and less like a chore.  That's the spirit of Centrum ® MultiGummies for adults: you can take your daily multi-vitamin in a tasty gummy you look forward to each day!  Plus Centrum ® MultiGummies are gluten-free and have no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

I picked up a bottle at Wal-Mart which was so convenient - I didn't have to brave the kind of supplement shop where other patrons clearly don't need to trick themselves into getting fit and active.  Click here for some great coupons!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


  1. Nice tips! As for me I do P90x3. Its a fitness video where you only do it 30 mins a day.

    Since its so short I was able to do it after work before sleeping. Thing is though it might be hard for some people.

    1. I've heard of it - that's a great way stay committed, 30 minutes a day sounds so manageable. Good luck with it!

  2. Cute tracker! What kind is that? I have a fitbit flex and its battery life is getting worn out. Might be in the market for a new one soon.

    1. Thanks! It's the Mira Wellness and Activity Tracker (it's not showing up clearly, but it's hyperlinked). It's around $130ish, but I really like it. It feels like "real" jewelry and the little tracker snaps out so I can wear it on my clothes when I'm not feeling a bangle. It came in different metal tones, too.


You've made my day - I love hearing from you! I approve comments only to keep out the spam, so don't worry if your comment doesn't pop up right away.

© Dans le Lakehouse | All rights reserved.
See What Inspires Me on Pinterest