Simple ways to be active every day

It can be hard to find time in your busy day to lace up your sneakers and head to the gym, but the good news is there are ways you can make being more active throughout the day part of your routine. It’s important to be active—in fact, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that most healthy adults achieve at least half an hour of moderate aerobic activity every day.¹ Getting daily aerobic exercise has many benefits, including burning calories to help you maintain or lose weight, giving you more energy, relieving stress, helping you sleep more soundly, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, keeping your muscles and bones strong, and strengthening your heart.²

Here are some easy ways you can be active every day:

Take the stairs

Skip the elevator at work and use the stairs as many times as you can. Park your car further away from your destination so that you need to take more steps to get there. If you commute to work, take a longer route that requires you to walk more.

Exercise during the lunch hour

If your company has a gym, use a treadmill, bike, or elliptical for 30 minutes. If you prefer to be outdoors, go on a half-hour walk or jog. Create a playlist of your favorite songs on your iPod or download your favorite podcast so you won’t be bored during your workout.

Keep workout clothes handy

Having workout clothes and sneakers at your desk or in your car makes it easier to go directly to the gym during your lunch break or after work.

Get to bed earlier

If you don’t like working out after work, head to bed earlier so you can get up in the morning to exercise. Exercising earlier in the day can give you a boost of energy to jumpstart the rest of your day.

Use a stability ball or stand at your desk

Take some time every hour or every other hour to stand at your desk rather than simply sitting for the entire day. Additionally, you can swap out your regular chair for a stability ball to improve your core and your posture.

Make social outings active

Instead of going out to dinner with coworkers or friends after work, take a yoga or dance class together, walk your dog(s), or go for a run. Doing so allows you to catch up and have fun with your friends in a heart-healthy way.

These simple steps are easy ways to make exercise part of your routine and can go a long way to improve your health. Share these tips with your friends and family so that, together, you can prioritize exercise every day and make it part of your lifestyle.

1. Mayo Clinic, “How much should the average adult exercise every day?”, accessed March 24, 2014,

2.  American Diabetes Association, “Physical Activity Is Important,” accessed March 24, 2014,


American Diabetes Association, “Food and Fitness,” accessed March 24, 2014,

Mayo Clinic, “Barriers to fitness: Overcoming common challenges,” accessed March 25, 2014,

Mayo Clinic, “How much should the average adult exercise every day?,” accessed March 24, 2014,

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