7 Ways to Exercise When You Don’t Feel Like It

My friend Alexis is here today to talk about exercising when we don’t feel like it.  Perfect timing, as this was my day yesterday, and it’s more of a struggle now with two kids than it ever was before.  Thanks for the great tips, Alexis!

Bio pic

Thanks for having me Laura. Hi everyone, I’m Alexis. A SAHM of one and owner of Babystuff.tips. I started my blog when my little man was born as a way to keep track of everything we learn – him as an independent little man and me as a mom.

Let’s have a show of hands – who’s new year’s resolution was to lose weight or get fit? Keep your hands up if your motivation is already waning or gone all together?

Life is busy, and taking an hour out of your day to workout can be difficult, despite best intentions. Maybe you had a gym bag ready to go for the morning, but had a baby that just wouldn’t settle that night. Maybe you were all ready to do a home work out during the kids nap time, but couldn’t be bothered after spending the morning with a toddler who managed to soil every piece of clean clothing in the house. Maybe you were going to go for that afternoon run, but the kids just remembered a school project that is due the next morning that they need help with.

Whatever the reason, here are 7 easy ways to get some exercise into your day, without having to do a traditional workout.

1. Swap Out Driving

If you don’t have far to travel, an easy way to get some exercise is to swap driving with walking or bike riding. It could be something as simple as a quick walk to the corner store, or riding bikes with your kids to school. If you have a bit further to travel, you could walk to public transport. It’s something that’s easy to do that enables you to increase your level of physical activity.


2. Suck in your Belly Button

I spend all of my Pilates workout being reminded to suck in my bellybutton. When you are holding your muscles tense, you are actually working them out and you don’t even have to do anything. The good news is that you don’t have to be doing Pilates for this to happen. Just suck your belly button in during the day and work those abs.


3.  Incidental Exercising

I am a huge fan of incidental exercise, it’s all about finding little ways to get more activity in your day. Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs. Park a little further away and walk the extra distance. Need to talk to a colleague? Walk over to see them, rather than calling.


4. Clean the House

Want to exercise, but you have people coming over later? Clean the house. With all that lifting, moving, wiping, stretching, sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, you will burning the calories without even trying.


5. Commercial Exercise Challenges

If you watch a bit of TV a great way to add exercise to your day is to do a commercial exercise challenge. The idea behind this is that every time a commercial comes on the TV, you jump off the couch and start exercising. You can create one yourself targeting the areas you would like to work out, or you can use an already created one like this:

TV commercial exercise


6. Keep Moving

The goal of “keep moving” is to keep active and moving during your day. So instead of sitting when you’re at work, stand and burn hundreds of calories without doing a thing.

Something my husband does all the time is fidget / taps his feet. For me, if I’m standing around waiting, I love to do calf raises. You can do them anywhere and they are fairly inconspicuous, so you don’t get too many weird looks.


7. Enjoy exercising

When it comes down to it, the best way to keep yourself active is to find an exercise that you enjoy, whether it’s dance and Zumba or running and biking. If you are enjoying what you do, it won’t seem as hard and you’re more likely to make the time.


What’s your favorite way to keep active?

How do you handle days when you don’t feel like it or have no time?


24 thoughts on “7 Ways to Exercise When You Don’t Feel Like It

  1. Great tips! On days that I am just not feeling it, I give myself the 10 minute rule. Do it for 10 minutes and if I still am not into it, stop. I honestly can say I’ve never stopped. The hardest part is starting. Once you are there, it all falls into place.
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  2. I am glad you mentioned this, as often people think that I want to run every single day, and it is so much fun and I have a HUGE smile on my face. WRONG. A lot of the time I do not want to, and it is that marathon grind that you just have to get it in, especially when I am at my 90 mile weeks. Thanks for sharing these Laura, they are definitely good tips, and very creative….no one should have an excuse with these ones…..might forward this on to my dad hahah
    Tina Muir recently posted..Fuel Your Recovery- Fuel and SleepMy Profile

  3. Ways to keep moving…

    Follow your kid’s lead. Our toddler daughter asks (pleads) to go for a drive almost every morning.

    Our drives usually end up at the beach. Walking and hiking the dunes is wonderful for moving.

    Also, music movement. Put on a song and move. Each family member can pick a song or lead the movement. It’s excellent for rainy/snowy/sick days.

    On keeping motivated…

    I stop, close my eyes, breathe, visualize, and remember why… my goals…. For a moment. It helps immensely and takes just a moment.
    Wendy recently posted..Carving TimeMy Profile

  4. With a three-month-old baby occupying most of my time, I have to stick to tip #6: keep moving. Whenever baby goes down for a nap and I’m not up for a nap myself, I am dashing around the house: loading laundry, washing dishes, and running things up and down the stairs (living in a two-story house has health benefits!)

    Great list of ideas for getting some exercise in. A little bit here and there definitely adds up!
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  5. Oh I definitely need these tips, especially with the cold weather lately! Love all of these suggestions. For me, when I don’t feel like working out, I do try to move as much as possible and I might sneak in some squats or lunges as I’m doing something else. Thanks for sharing these Alexis!
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  7. Telling myself, just run out 15 minutes and turn around works to get out the door on the hard days. Of course you end up running more than 15 minutes!
    I am always cleaning, so hoping that burns lots of extra calories 🙂
    The commercial TV workout is awesome!
    Great tips!! Thanks Alexis!
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