20 Ways to Add Exercise to Your Life This Year
There are many different ways you can go about getting extra exercise that you will enjoy and be beneficial to your health. If you are like many out there thinking about how you can add activity to your life this year and make it convenient and enjoyable, stay tuned.
We’ve included these ideas to provide inspiration and options regardless of your age, fitness level, or location. Try a few of them in the coming days and stick with a regular exercise schedule to see gradual yet steady results that can positively impact in many ways.
Walking is one of the most convenient and affordable methods of getting into and staying in shape. Most people can walk at some point during their day. You may need to plan or carve out time from an already busy schedule, but the health and mood-boosting will be worth the extra effort you put into it, according to research published in Health and Well-Being.
Although many people prefer exercising in the morning, you may not have time to juggle that and all of the other tasks to get the day started. Waking up and taking care of pets, family, or simply a long commute can make it nearly impossible.
One alternative can be walking during your lunch break to get a local meal or smoothie, for example, and then walking back to work to fit it neatly into your workday. You can also consider walking in the evening if there is a safe place to do so in your neighborhood. Walking with a friend or partner is always the best and safest option.
Some people opt to sign up with a gym to use the walking track because it is safer, and they can go whenever they find the time, especially at a 24-hour gym.
You can start tracking your exercises, daily goals, and even gain access to personalized meal plans with a program like Noom. For a limited time, all Dietspotlight readers can gain access to a free trial offer from Noom.
Adopt A Dog
Dogs can provide many benefits to the owner, such as companionship, according to research published in BMC Veterinary Research. However, owning a dog is also a great way to commit to getting more exercise every day.
Being a good dog owner involves taking them for daily walks to get exercise and prevent potential weight gain while giving them something to look forward to daily. Whether it is a quick walk around the block or a few miles, you can get plenty of extra exercise by adopting a dog from your local animal shelter.
Before you adopt a dog, however, make sure you are physically able to provide them with the level of attention they require, which means you need to walk them regularly without issue and provide them with opportunities to go places and get exercise in addition to walking.
The activities your dog requires help add that extra exercise element into your daily routine. A few things to keep in mind before you adopt a dog are the basic and necessary requirements.
First, you must have the appropriate documentation and live in a home where you can legally have a pet. You must also be able to provide veterinary care and food for them financially. Additionally, you may need to provide other equipment such as collars, leashes, and kennels.
If you can provide this level of care and want a new friend to help keep you motivated, this may be an ideal option. You can do a good deed for them while helping yourself at the same time.
Bike to Work
Riding a bicycle can be fun and exciting, but it can also be an incredible resource for exercising and staying in shape while taking the time to enjoy the outdoors and the scenery along the way.
While it is true that most people may not have time to bike for leisure, some individuals may be able to make time for biking to work as the primary form of transportation. This strategy is ideal for people who live in a city setting or live within a few miles of the workplace.
Although some days may not be ideal for riding a bike due to the weather conditions, it can be worth trying to bike to work as many times as possible during the week. You will be shaping up and losing extra weight in no time.
Bike on the Weekend
If you cannot ride a bike to work during the week because work is too far away or the conditions are unsafe for a bike commute, you can still ride a bike on the weekend. You don’t even need to own a bike to ride one.
Some parks and recreational areas rent bikes to visitors for a reasonable fee, which means you can show up and not have to store your bike at home, especially if space is limited or you live in an apartment setting. If you don’t have access to either option, you can ride a friend’s bike in their neighborhood.
You can also ride your bike with your kids using precautions to help you both get exercise and feel great, as per scientific information published in Accident, Analysis, and Prevention. If you feel like you may use a bike regularly and have the space to store it, you may want to invest in one that fits your needs and provides you with a fantastic ride so you will be motivated to use it regularly.
Become a Community Volunteer
One thing many places are in desperate need of is community volunteers. When people volunteer, they may be asked to do work that involves physical exertion.
For example, some places help clean up specific areas in a community or repair or build homes for those in need. These activities require a certain level of movement that is great for getting in extra exercise and slowly, but surely, getting in better shape.
You can benefit others and yourself at the same time. Some ideas to get you started include working with your local housing program for area residents. These programs help build and repair homes for economically disadvantaged people and need a helping hand with living accommodations.
You can also work at a local community center or food pantry, picking up donations or preparing meals for the homeless or needy. Call your local community outreach or volunteer organizations to get more details and learn where to sign up.
Volunteer to Help Elderly and Disabled Neighbors
Perhaps you can’t commit to regular community volunteer projects, but you still want to get in some exercise while helping others. In many cases, there are elderly neighbors or disabled individuals in the area who could use an extra hand with chores and errands.
Older individuals living at home are at a higher risk of injuring themselves or having medical emergencies. Offering your help for tasks and projects that require balancing, exertion, and lifting can be a great way to get in your daily exercise without having to put them at risk.
If you don’t have elderly or disabled neighbors, you can volunteer to assist residents of your local elder care facility, retirement community, or assisted living home. They will be happy to have the help and company, and you will feel good about providing support to those who need it the most.
Reach out to the people around you to see if you can give them a hand so you can get out there and get moving.
Converting Space Into a Home Gym
If you are one of the many people who have a spare room or an area that isn’t currently used, you can quickly turn this area or extra room into a home gym. Having a home gym can initially cost money, but it is a better way to ensure you want to exercise on a schedule and prevent you from commuting to a gym or paying gym fees and dues.
There are many types of space-conscious equipment options on the market today that serve multiple functions. When those types of home gym pieces are combined with staples such as free-weights and a treadmill or elliptical machine, you can get a complete workout from the comfort and convenience of your home.
If you aren’t sure how to make the space to fit your equipment or want a home gym but have limited space, you have a couple of options. Some home gym equipment can be broken down to fit in a closet or even under a bed, and you can take it out when you need it and then fold it back and hide it when it isn’t in use. Some other ideas include dedicating a section of your garage or enclosed patio.
Take some time to get rid of clutter in these areas and leave a dedicated space for your home gym equipment. Just be sure it is protected from the elements and isn’t in a place where it will get damaged from the sun or extreme temperature change.
People who work out at home regularly are more likely to get the results they want and increase their overall health and well-being without scheduling workout time away from home into their daily routine.
Workout at a Friend’s Home Gym
There is another option for people who don’t have the ability or the space to create a home gym. Perhaps you have a friend who has made their home gym or has a few pieces of equipment lying around you can use.
This may be a good option if they live nearby and don’t mind you coming to workout with them. Keep in mind that some apartment complexes and community centers in subdivisions have a workout facility in the resident commons that may be a reasonable option whether it is at your location or a friend’s.
This strategy can not only help keep you in shape and looking great, but it is a great motivator for them to stay on track. When you workout with a friend, you tend to strive harder to achieve goals, and it can even spark some level of competitiveness, which can be a great motivator to keep pushing yourself to do more and achieve better results.
Join an Athletic League
If you are good at sports or athletically inclined, you may be the right fit for a position with an athletic league or sports team. There are many different sports out there depending on where you live in the country and the time of year.
There is a sport out there for just about every age, skill level, and preference. Before you join a team, the management or coach may want you to get a physical and the okay from your doctor or medical professional to make sure you aren’t posing an unnecessary risk to your health and well-being.
Before you sign up, make sure you have the time and the money you need to appropriately participle. You will need to carve out time in your schedule for practice and play other teams in the area and perhaps, out of town. You may also need to purchase a considerable amount of gear so you can play safely and adhere to the regulations.
Learn a New Sport
Even if you weren’t into sports activities in the past, you could always learn in the present. Learning new sports is a great way to get exercise and weave activities into your daily routine.
You don’t have to be incredibly fit or skilled to learn sports, and you don’t have to compete on a team or athletic club to get those benefits. For example, one sport that you can learn that provides some of the best exercises is swimming.
This activity is a favorite of people of all ages and abilities. One reason is that it can provide a high level of exercise while being low impact, which means it isn’t strenuous for muscles and joints.
You can start slow and work your way up over time, and even if you don’t know how to swim right now, you can easily learn at the local YMCA in your community. They teach swimming classes throughout the year and provide great water skills to ensure your safety while participating in this sport.
Some other sports to consider learning include cross country running, soccer, surfing, softball, basketball, and skateboarding. Each activity provides its benefits and is a great way to add some daily exercise into your routine. You can even learn more than one to your repertoire to have a back up if the weather won’t permit or if you can’t participate year-round.
Daily exercise, alongside a weight-loss program like Noom, can help you even more. That’s because Noom offers tons of tools to help users lose weight, like 1:1 coaching, personalized meal plans, and daily exercise goals. Make sure to check out their free trial offer, available for a limited time.
Adopt a Highway
Perhaps you have seen the “Adopt-a-Highway” signs in your city or community? These signs let others know that there is a project that they can participate in and that their efforts benefit the highways in the area.
According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, this type of work assists in maintaining and cleaning sections of a public highway. People can volunteer to help collect trash, keep the space looking nice, and stay safe for others to use.
To find out more about the Adopt-a-Highway program in your area, reach out to the local program or get contact information from the Department of Transportation or other local government managing the roads in the county or state. This option is also a great way to have a beneficial family activity while getting exercise and keeping the area looking nice.
Clean up Trash on Your Street
You don’t necessarily have to sign up with the Adopt-a-Highway program to get the same results. You can volunteer to clean up trash and debris in your local neighborhood or on streets where this is a problem.
Perhaps you are on your daily walk and notice trash laying around or in the ditch. You can make it a point to come back with a bag and some gloves to pick up the area’s trash.
Others may see you taking part in this activity and decide to help too. You will be getting extra exercise and helping to keep your area looking good and free from debris and additional pollution.
Do a Weekly Home Deep Clean
This particular project can be tackled by most people looking for ways to add extra exercise to their lives this year. Almost everyone who is physically capable can benefit from a weekly deep clean.
However, you may need some help from a friend, family member, or neighbor when you need to move appliances and furniture. Some people hire a maid or someone they know to do deep cleaning, but tackling this project yourself can help you stay in shape and save money along the way.
Make a list of areas to focus on each week, such as the bedroom, bathroom, or laundry room. Next, please think of the task or places you don’t clean as often and make it a point to focus on them. For example, if you are cleaning your bathroom, you may not wipe down your linen closet shelves often, but in this instance, that would be a perfect chore to add.
You can also clean vent fan covers, wipe down vanity bulbs, wash walls, and even scrub the grout. The same can be said of the kitchen or any other areas. Focus on the spaces that don’t get daily attention and make sure you have the right equipment to tackle the job, such as ladders and tools.
Help Friends/Family With Chores
Just like you may need help with certain chores around the home or yard, your friends and family could also use a helping hand from time to time.
Volunteer to assist with moving heavy items for cleaning or helping with tough jobs like cleaning ceiling fans, organizing the garage, and getting rid of old things in the attic or the top of a closet. They will appreciate your effort and likely offer assistance when you need it for your cleaning projects, and the real benefit here is the great exercise you will be getting in the process.
Volunteer to Coach a Sport
If you were ever a sports enthusiast, or you participated in sports frequently at some time during your life, you may want to consider volunteering to be a coach. Every community across the country has a wide range of sports teams for both young and old. This idea is an excellent way to get out there and get moving while also having a great time.
If you can get around with ease and like being around other people while taking charge, this may be the perfect way to incorporate some extra exercise into your life this year. To determine which athletic teams need a coach, inquire with local community volunteer programs or ask friends and family who participate or who have children who participate. Keep in mind that the available sports can depend on your location and the time of year you choose to volunteer.
Volunteer to Assist With Sports
Even if you don’t want to function as a coach for a sports team, you can volunteer to participate in the process. There are many roles you can volunteer for to help while getting in your exercise. You can bring the players water and other necessary equipment or even volunteer to escort the team from one location to another and serve as a type of chaperone.
To get started, you can reach out to any of the local community teams or organizations in your area and ask them if they have a position you can fill as a volunteer for one of their teams. In many cases, they will have multiple roles you can fill, or you can sign up to begin when the next season starts.
You can also assist with senior sports at retirement facilities or your local community center or volunteer organization. You will increase your overall activity and notice a difference in your fitness level while having a great time in the process.
Explore New Areas
Even if you have lived in the same area for most of your life, there is always something new to discover and explore. If you wonder what spaces are suitable for walking or hiking, you can inquire with friends, family, or local state parks and recreation facilities. There are lakes, communities, and even parks with spaces designated for people to enjoy and explore.
You can walk to adjacent neighborhoods to see what you may have missed over the year. Don’t forget to bring a friend or family member with you for safety and to make the process more fun for everyone. When heading out to a new area, be sure to take safety precautions and bring supplies for any potential emergencies or situations that can arise while you are away from home.
Local Hiking and Trails
Hiking in local areas and using designated public trails is a great way to add extra exercise to your routine.
These areas can be relaxing and enjoyable with light effort required to navigate them, or they can be extra challenging for the thrill seeker. The more challenging trails tend to be located in mountainous terrain or deserts and desolate landscapes.
Before heading out, have a safety plan and make sure someone knows exactly where you will be in case of an emergency. Try to bring a hiking buddy with you, and always make sure you have adequate gear and clothing and enough supplies for everyone during the excursion.
Gardening and Yard Projects
Although it may not seem like you are doing exercise when you tackle gardening and yard projects, you are probably doing much more than you realize. Getting outside and making your space safer and more attractive is a great way to sneak in some extra activity.
Not only will you be doing something positive for your body, but your home or living spaces will also benefit. According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, be sure to stay hydrated and aware of activity levels while participating.
Take regular breaks and make sure not to get overheated. This is especially true for people who are push-mowing their lawn or taking on other similar tasks requiring a higher level of exertion. Try to make this a weekly activity to incorporate into the schedule and notice the year’s results.
Some other ideas to consider if you want to tackle gardening and yard projects include planting vegetable or herb gardens. This project may be limited to the available amount of space you have, but some urban areas have a community garden that you can work in and help everyone maintain and use it.
Reach out to neighbors to find out more and to enlist your help with its upkeep. Keeping an herb garden requires less space and can even be done in planters on a rooftop or a patio or balcony at your home or apartment.
Help Neighbors Landscape
People who live in an area with other homes featuring green spaces or full-sized yards may require a considerable amount of upkeep. This case is especially true for people who recently moved into a new home and want to give it a unique look or replace their current landscaping to help sell it.
In either case, you can volunteer to help these neighbors with landscaping projects during your free time. Some of the jobs you can assist with include digging up old bushes or shrubs and replacing them with new ones that complement the space’s features.
You can also plant new flowers, dig up weeds and roots, and spread mulch in certain areas to keep it neat and free from weeds and unwanted growth. In some cases, you may be enlisted to tackle some heavy-duty projects such as tree removal, brush clearing, and even helping build a water feature such as a fountain or pond.
Be sure you can help without overexerting yourself physically. This strategy can help you stay in shape while enjoying the outdoors, allowing you to spend time with neighbors and assisting them with their projects so it can be accomplished faster.
Staying in shape can be a real challenge. Still, you can make the process of adding extra exercise into your life a little easier and more enjoyable by incorporating some of these ideas into your daily or occasional routine.
Whether you are looking for something light and easy to incorporate, or you are looking for a few challenging ideas to help you lose weight and boost your mood, you can give these a try, and perhaps you can not only help yourself but maybe help something or someone else out in the process.
If you are looking for a useful tool that can help you keep track of this exercise while aiding in your weight-loss journey, then
Noom may be your answer. This clinically-researched program uses tons of tools, including exercise tracking and 1:1 coaching, to help individuals lose weight and make healthy change to their lifestyle. Check out the free trial offer from Noom if you are ready to try the program out for yourself!
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.