3 ways to get fit without ‘working out’

It’s hard for busy working adults to stay fit. I certainly don’t need to detail for you how busy your days and weeks are… but I think it’s safe for me to assume that fitting in exercise is next to impossible.

It is, however, vitally important that you get at least 3-4 days of cardio training in even if only for 20 minutes here and there. Strength training is also vital to quality of life and building and maintaining strong bones to prevent falls and avoid osteopenia.

I also hear you saying, “Money’s tight and I have nothing left for the gym.” And of course, when it’s a choice of where to spend that free time and those free dollars… a little entertainment or time with the kids and family probably wins.

But there is a way to make this whole ‘getting fit’ thing simpler.

Almost every day I have clients asking me for simple ways they can stoke their metabolism, stretch their muscles, burn calories and get strong throughout their day.

And here is what I tell them…

There are plenty of daily activities you can do that keep you in fitness mode all day without having to get a trainer, go to the gym or pay any money to get fit, starting with…


Walking is so great because it boosts the metabolism, strengthens the legs and keeps the hip flexors supple. And a mere 20-minute walk can burn 100 calories. To increase all of these good things, make it a brisk walk and be sure to swing your arms!

No time for a special walk, no problem. Here’s how to fit it in:

  1. Park at the far end of your work lot and walk into the office
  2. Skip the elevator and always take the stairs
  3. Forget driving to your local market or store and walk instead.


When you are home, forget sofa time and instead get busy with housework. While it may seem mundane, doing your chores offers an instant metabolic boost. And the flexibility/strengthening effects of all the pushing, pulling, reaching and lifting add exercise to your day.

Not sure what to do, well 20 minutes of these simple activities burns 100 calories each. Combine three things and you’ll burn 300 calories, elevate your heart rate, tone your arms and keep the blood moving. Try these three:

  1. Vacuum the entire house, room by room
  2. Iron all your wrinkled clothes together once per week
  3. Clean the windows, mirrors, sinks and tubs.

Just for Fun

We all know the many health benefits of being outside. We draw fresh air into the lungs, get plenty of sunlight to convert vitamin D, tend to move about more, and walk, run, bike or play.

But you can have fun inside, too, while living the fit life…

For the working adult with or without kids, fun is often limited to the weekends. Not to worry, there are things you can do during your normal week that will also keep the metabolism stoked, burn calories, tone the muscles and keep the blood moving. Here are some examples:

  1. Run to get your mail from the box instead of walking.
  2. Walk the dog or the neighbor’s dog, and let them lead you at a quick pace.
  3. Make a lunch or after work appointment with a friend and go for a power walk, a run or enjoy a quick game of tennis.
  4. Turn on the radio and dance yourself crazy for a song or two — talk about a stress buster!
  5. Even playing fast-paced video games or Wii Fit is a fun indoor calorie burner.

The best part about all of these tips is that they get you up off your seat, keep you active throughout the day, reduce muscle stiffness and slowing of the metabolism, increase weight loss capacity, and help maintain a healthy, strong and supple body that feels alive and refreshed all day!

So whether you’re a serious gym rat or a sometimes fitness enthusiast, you are trying to lose weight and strengthen the body. Often there’s something about overcoming inertia… but once you get going, moving is easy whether you choose to join a gym, hire a personal trainer or get it in at home.

Once you get in the groove you’ll love it, feel good and see results.

So give these little things a try and see the difference they make when they all add up at the end of your day and your week. I know you’ll be surprised!

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.