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100 Ways to Exercise


1. Run or jog laps around your house. Use a stopwatch to record your time for 5 or 10 laps. Make it your goal to improve your fastest time every day.

2. Find exercise videos on YouTube. You can find all kinds, including aerobics, dance steps, Pilates, Zumba, and more. Make sure to check out videos that target specific parts of the body so you can choose one that focuses on your problem areas. Collect your favorites and make a playlist to have a tailored workout just for you. (If you already have a set workout, you can make a music video playlist to listen and watch while you exercise.)

3. Laughter actually burns calories. According to research done at Vanderbilt University, laughter can burn around 1.3 calories per minute. This is not a large amount, but laughing also works the muscles in one's back, shoulders, diaphragm, and abdomen. Hang out with some funny friends, watch a comedy or sitcom, or just thinking about an inside joke will have you laughing in no time.

4. Take a longer route when walking your dog. Make sure not to overtire your pet, but break your routine and take a different course. In addition to making it longer, you can take a route that includes hills to make it a harder workout for both you and your dog.

5. If you have kids, play outside with them. Children love when you participate in their activities and it will help you get moving. Swing on swings, play chase or hide and go seek, or jump on the trampoline with them.

6. Play your favorite music and dance around like an idiot. It's that simple. (Make sure to dance around like an idiot for at least 20-30 minutes.)

7. Use more stairs. Take these instead of elevators or escalators. Also, use the stairs in your house, at a non-busy building, or at a stadium for an intentional workout. The more stairs you use, the more calories you'll burn (suggested by Omie LeAnn Santos from facebook).

8. Bring your lunch to work. Use the extra time to take a walk outside during your lunch break. Ask a coworker to come with you so you can keep each other accountable.

9. If you work from home (freelance writer, entrepreneur, etc.), make sure to take 'fit breaks'. It's unhealthy to sit in front of a desk or computer for many hours. Since you have more freedom with your time, you can take breaks as you need. You can keep a jump rope in your office area, do reps of lunges, or simply go outside and get some fresh air while walking around your neighborhood. The main idea is to take frequent breaks in order to keep you in motion (suggested by @TaniaDakka on twitter).

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10. It's time to dance! Take a class with a friend or significant other. There are so many types to choose from: ballroom, salsa, hip hop, swing, line dancing, modern, jazz, and many more. Dancing can help tone your entire body and increase your stamina; not to mention it's fun (suggested by @BrianHeadrick on twitter).

11. If you like video games, then try ones that involve your entire body by using a special control or sensors. Some examples are Wii fit (and other Wii sports games), Xbox Kinect, and Dance, Dance Revolution. All of these video games incorporate movement and are entertaining for all ages (suggested by Kristen Thomas from facebook).

12. Try running on something other than paved roads. Cross country runners run through grass, on gravel or dirt roads, and sometimes even through the woods. Whenever you are at the beach, sand running is also a wonderful choice. It will give you an intense workout and you can also enjoy an ocean view. Instead of running on a treadmill or only on the street, choose a more interesting pathway that will be less hard on your knees.

13. Get creative! You don't have to buy expensive equipment to exercise. Use steel (or other heavy duty) chairs for curls and elevated push ups. Find a pull-up bar at a playground. Also, put your feet under a low coffee table to keep you grounded will doing sit-ups or crunches.(suggested by @billytaytay71 on twitter)

14. If you love nature, then remember to take a hike. It's a great way to enjoy the outdoors while feeling like you have accomplished something. Also, you can vary your view by taking a different trail in the woods or a different route to the top of a mountain. Knowing that you have the goal of reaching to the top will give you a reason to keep going. Don't forget to invite some friends along for the journey (suggested by Amanda Durr from facebook).

15. Call someone up while you're walking. It's natural for many people to move when chatting on their cell whether by pacing or walking around. Even if you can't find a walking buddy, you can always call a friend while getting some exercise in.

16. At work, instead of emailing a coworker or manager, walk briskly to their office. It's a great way to fit in some exercise. Your steps and calories burned will add up quickly.

17. Power Walk instead of walking slowly. When headed from a store to your car, this is a good time to utilize power walking. When I worked in retail, I always walked swiftly from the back room to my work area in order to get the job done quickly and to gain some needed exercise. Use power walking whenever possible during your daily routine and you'll see how easy it is to stay fit.

18. Try surfing! It's a wonderful way to improve your cardiovascular system. Also, it will help you become stronger and more flexible; not to mention that your balance will improve. This is a good activity for those on vacation. Take some surfing classes and you'll be catching some waves before you know it.

19. Learn a new sport or revive your love for an old one. Join a community team and kick your competitive spirit into high gear. Many people enjoy sports for fun and don't even realize how much of a workout they're getting in the process. Try out different sports until you discover the one fit for you!

20. Create an obstacle course in your backyard. Use old boxes, hula hoops, plastic cones, and tires. Also, you can place two short dowel rods in the ground and stick pool noodles into them to create arches that you can jump over or run through. Be creative with things you have around the house or in the garage to make an obstacle course you will be motivated to use.

21. High intensity interval training is good for those wanting to get results from shorter workouts. This means you will do less reps, but complete them faster. Also, when running, you will go a shorter distance but you will sprint instead of jog. Between these intense moments of exercise (which last a few minutes), you will include 'resting periods' in which you will stretch or complete reps in a slower fashion. Instead of sprinting during this time, you will jog or walk. During the workout, switch between the high intensity activities and the slower ones every few minutes. Just make sure to keep moving without stopping.

22. Go to your favorite band's concert or show. It will get you pumped to jump around and dance all night.

23. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. It will work out all of your muscles, but mainly those in your upper body. Try swimming for at least 30 minutes a day and you'll notice a difference.

24. Get a group of friends or family together to go paintballing. You won't realize how many calories you're burning as you run away from an opponent or squat down to hide behind a tree.

25. Learn an alternative or extreme sport. A few choices are skateboarding, snowboarding, mountain biking, archery, skiing, rock climbing, and parkour.

26. Host a miniature Olympics in your neighborhood or town. This will everyone motivated to train and help them have a goal to work towards. You can invent your own events or just include more traditional ones.

27. Burpees combine push ups with jumping to work out your entire body (suggested by @TaniaDakka on twitter).

Here's a video to show you the proper technique:

28. Do lunges or leg lifts during the day in your office, while waiting on the microwave, or while watching TV.

29. Buy a shelf for your treadmill that will securely hold your laptop, eReader, or other electronic device:


30. Use a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you take per day. This will keep you motivated to stay active.

31. Practice yoga in a class or from the comfort of your home. allows you to stream yoga videos online.

32. Nike fuel is like a real life video game. Purchase a fuelband. It's a special type of bracelet that measures how much you move. Track your performance online or through a mobile app.

33. Hula hooping may seem juvenile, but it's actually a fun yet effective way to tone areas of your body, such as your arms, thighs, abs, and backside. Check out this site for a simple routine:

34. Stay in shape by simply completing everyday household chores. Quicken your pace to make your heart beat faster. You can carry and fold laundry, clean the bathroom, or vacuum. Just having a different mindset while completing these tasks might help you move faster (suggested by Kristen Walker from facebook).

35. Head outside to shoot some hoops with your friends or family. Play a game of H-O-R-S-E with your kids or get a group together to play a pick-up game at the local park or gym (suggested by Ashley Richards from facebook).

36. If you need to experience intense workouts in a highly motivational environment, sign up for a fitness boot camp. Make sure to do your research before signing up for one and you might want to check with your doctor first also (suggested by Paige Mitchell from facebook).

37. Simply riding your bike can help you stay fit. It's great for people of all ages, because it doesn't put a strain on your joints. Ride your bicycle whenever you can instead of driving. It's a great way to fit exercise into your day and can also save you money (suggested by Amanda Durr from facebook)

38. While cooking or doing the dishes, try to stand on only one foot. It will help you improve your balance and strengthen your leg muscles.

39. Mount a small pull-up bar on your bedroom door. Its convenient location will help you stay motivated to work out (suggested by Ben Mordecai from facebook).

40. Don't waste time during commercials. Spend 3-5 minutes doing lunges, crunches, or jumping jacks.

41. Stand as much as you can. If you work in an office, spend more time standing then sitting. When you're at home, stand while on the phone or watching TV. You'll be amazed to realize that you're burning calories by simply standing. Also, you'll be more likely to get moving if you're already up!

42. Help out your friends or neighbors. Shoveling snow or raking neigbors' leaves will not only be helpful, but will help you burn more calories. Offer to help a friend move or get an elderly persons' mail for them (with their permission of course). Make these healthy decisions and you'll be fit and making new friends in no time.

43. If you have a test to study for, record your notes and listen to them while jogging or biking. If you enjoy audio books, you can catch up on your reading while exercising.

44. Go to the local pool or use the one at your home. Swim as many laps as you can without stopping. Try to improve your speed and number of laps each day.

45. If you don't have children of your own, you can babysit (preferably ages 2-5). Kids are extremely active and will have you moving fast just to keep up with them.

46. Many people have unused exercise equipment lying around their house. Borrow some from a friend or check out garage sales for an inexpensive treadmill or set of dumbbells.

47. Get an additional part time job that will keep you active. Some ideas are retail or restaurant jobs. Not only will you get some exercise, but you'll have some extra cash, too.

48. If you enjoy riding a bicycle, but would rather stay indoors, sign up for a spinning class. It's a great way to meet new people and stay motivated (suggested by Callie Bennett from facebook).

49. Play Twister with a group of friends. You might want to stretch before you start; you'll be working many of your muscles throughout your body.

50. Watch 'Dancing with the Stars' or another dance TV show. Try to imitate some of the moves while watching and practice them during the commercials.

51. Set up a badminton or volleyball net in your backyard. Invite some friends over or just play a few days per week with your family.

52. Walk inside a fast food restaurant instead of driving through or go inside of the bank instead of the drive-thru window. These moments of intentional walking will add up.

53. Host a push-up competition. Practice at home weeks before it starts, so you'll be ready to win! Check out this video for the proper technique:

54. In the summer, have a water gun or balloon fight. In the winter (if it snows in your area), have a snowball fight.

55. When parking at the mall, park as far away from the entrance to get more walking in. While shopping, make sure to walk the length of the mall more than once with a friend.

56. Use a push mower rather than a self-propelled one.

57. Gardening is actually an effective way to burn calories. You can burn approximately 180 calories per 30 minutes that you work in your garden. Weeding, shoveling, and pushing the wheelbarrow are some excellent ways to do so.

58. Rearrange the furniture in a room or your entire home. It will give your house a nice change in addition to providing some exercise. Make sure to enlist the help of someone when moving heavy furniture.

59. Purchase a mini trampoline for inside use. Turn on some upbeat music and you'll be jumping in no time!

60. Find an Ultimate Frisbee league in your area. Check out

61. Try ice skating or rollerblading. It's a fun way to burn about 500 calories per session.

62. If you're stuck at your desk or sitting somewhere else, try pretend stair climbing. Stomp your feet as if marching for at least a minute.

63. Purchase a mini exercise bike for use at the office or in your tiny apartment. Try the MagneTrainer:


64. Flex your abs while waiting in line. It is a great way to sneak in a workout that addresses your core.

65. Instead of using a shopping cart, carry items in the store and to your car by using a reusable shopping bag.

66. Complete 50 crunches or push ups as soon as you get up in the morning. It helps you to wake up and energizes you for the rest of the day.

67. Wash the car by hand and paint your own house. It will cost you less money and you'll be productive in more than one way.

68. If you don't like running long distances, walk for a few minutes and then sprint for a minute. Alternating will help you keep moving without overwhelming you.

69. Take a break from your computer and cell phone for a week. Spend more time outside with others and you'll easily become more active.

70. Try doing cartwheels and somersaults as you did when you were younger.

71. Sign up for a 5k or even a marathon with a running buddy. Train together so you'll stay motivated and reach your goal of finishing the race.

72. Complete reps of bicep curls using household items, such as cat litter or laundry detergent.

73. Take a free self-defense class (for women).

74. When planning your vacation, include sightseeing that involves lots of walking.

75. Putt-putt is a fun way to involve the whole family.

76. Try out for a part in a musical put on by your community theater. Practicing dance numbers every week will help you burn a lot of calories.

77. Make a habit of fidgeting throughout the day. This will help you burn a few more calories. Some easy ways to do this are by switching your crossed legs while sitting or by bouncing a leg up and down.

78. Invest in some resistance bands.

79. When golfing, walk instead of using a golf cart.

80. Visit a large farm, and pick your own fruit. Make sure to take your time and get in as much walking as you can.

81. While in the pool, tread water for a few minutes and then take a break. Try keeping yourself afloat for longer periods of time.

82. Go to a park or your own backyard. Climb some trees and try to reach the top of each one (be wary of weak branches).

83. Run or jog on the treadmill, but do so while watching sporting events or 'The Biggest Loser'. Watching these athletes or contestants will provide some great inspiration.

84. Hire a personal trainer. Explain to him or her some activities you enjoy. Have your trainer create a workout routine that will be catered specifically for you.

85. Have a friend or family member drop you off at a short distance from your house. You will be forced to walk, jog, or run to get home.

86. Put your alarm clock at the opposite side of the room from your bed. After turning it off, do some push ups, crunches, or jumping jacks to help yourself wake up.

87. Volunteer at a place that requires you to physical activity, such as Habitat for Humanity. You'll feel good about helping others and about making a healthy choice.

88. Walk a trail in a state or national park. You will be so busy enjoying the scenery that you'll forget you're exercising.

89. Purchase some free weights. Keep them near your TV or computer to remind you to use them.

90. Use a bicycle powered laptop to help keep you motivated:

91. Fill buckets or pitchers with water in order to water plants (instead of using a hose).

92. Rowing a boat or going kayaking are both great ways to work all the major muscles in your body.

93. Hide the remote control and change the channels manually.

94. If you go to school, carry as many books as you can in your backpack instead of using a locker or keeping them in your car.

95. Jump on a pogo stick. Try to get more consecutive bounces without falling.

96. Participate in a flash mob.

97. Cook something from scratch, especially if it involves a lot of chopping and mixing (use a whisk not a mixer).

98. Juggle, dribble a soccer ball, or play catch.

99. Take a pretend trip on your stationary bike. Look up the mileage to a destination on Google maps. Stay on your bike (with some breaks if you need it) and complete all the miles until you've reached your pretend place.

100. Whatever you do, just have fun and keep moving!


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Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 27, 2015:

swalia: Thank you! I'm glad you thought it was useful. I hope it can motivate people to want to exercise.

Shaloo Walia from India on July 27, 2015:

quite useful hub!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 24, 2012:

FullOfLoveSites: I work mostly from home, too. I should probably try some of my own tips, but most days I am a little too lazy; haha. Thanks for commenting!

FullOfLoveSites from United States on August 24, 2012:

I work at home, and to be honest I am almost immobile. After tiring of sitting at my desk for hours, then I go to bed. I will follow some of these tips. Thanks for sharing! :)

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 24, 2012:

idigwebsites: Thank you! I'm glad this helped you. You're welcome; thanks for reading! :)

idigwebsites from United States on August 24, 2012:

This a great list and blog. I can do some exercise here wherever I am. This really helped me a lot. Looking forward to exercise. thanks Ebower.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 20, 2012:

MartieCoetser: That's my favorite, too! Thank you. I don't like to sweat blood either. :)

Alecia Murphy: Thanks! Yes, it's a good thing to be creative and use ordinary objects you have around the house to exercise in a different way.

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on August 20, 2012:

I do like to dance like an idiot by myself as well. And laughing is always awesome. But I love the idea of taking what's around you and making it work. Great tips!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on August 20, 2012:

Excellent! I am doing a lot of this, though my most favorite is, "Play your favorite music and dance around like an idiot."

Voted up and 100 great ideas to exercise without sweating blood :)

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 20, 2012:

mary615: Haha; well it might help a little bit anyway. Thanks for voting!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 20, 2012:

I got tired just from reading all these ways to exercise. So, it I walk into McDonalds instead of driving through, I won't put on weight, huh???

Great ideas here. I voted this UP, etc.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 20, 2012:

Docmo: Thanks for tweeting and sharing it! Haha; that's funny. That's actually a great way to entertain children while exercising at the same time. Thank you for your helpful comment. :)

Mohan Kumar from UK on August 20, 2012:

Wow Erin - what fabulous list of easy to do , practical suggestions for keeping fit. I'm gonna tweet and also share with my patient groups. Awesome! I am big fan of push ups and sit ups and it always amuses the kids when I am panting away on vacations and they try to hop over me!

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on August 03, 2012:

Tania Dakka: Thank you! I thought it was interesting also. I didn't know it existed until I started researching for this. You're welcome! Thanks again for your help. :)

Tania Dakka on August 02, 2012:

Super awesome piece, Erin! Love the Magne trainer idea- going to check that out! By the way, thanks for the mention! Much appreciated:)

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 28, 2012:

prasetio30: I'm glad you could appreciate this. Thanks for voting!

carol7777: I know what you mean; this is very long. Haha; that's funny! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

carol stanley from Arizona on July 28, 2012:

Now I am too tired to workout. You gave a lot of thought to finding 100 ways to about 100 ways to avoid exercising. Just kidding. Voted UP.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 28, 2012:

Very inspiring hub and I love all your tips above. Voted up and useful. Cheers, Prasetio

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 27, 2012:

weestro: Thanks! I hope you do so. Thank you for voting!

Sunshine625: Thank you! Those are some great choices. Thanks for commenting!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on July 27, 2012:

Excellent tips Erin! I'm a fan of lunges and push ups, among quite a few others.

Pete Fanning from Virginia on July 27, 2012:

Great tips, I may try one or two! Voted up, useful, and awesome1

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 27, 2012:

ChristyWrites: Haha I've been known to bust a move during 'So You Think You Can Dance' also. Thanks for voting and sharing! :)

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2012:

I can just see myself dancing around as I watch Dancing with the stars :) Great ideas, and a thorough list for sure! This will add more fun to my workouts, thanks Erin! Vote up, interesting, and sharing too.

Erin Bower (author) from Georgia on July 26, 2012:

barbergirl28: Thank you! I used to love to run, but I've been lazy lately. Hopefully, this will inspire even me to get moving. I hope it helps other people, too. Thanks for commenting!

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on July 26, 2012:

And so many people think it is hard to get some exercise in... now this list is certain to keep those with excuses quiet. I love working out... I am always walking (I would love to bike but my bike needs to be replaced!) and I love workout videos! Those are my main activities but anything physical, I am up for! Great hub!

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