Ask the Readers: How Do You Work Exercise Into Your Day?

By Ashley Jacobs on 11 November 2014 60 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Guest, Mary, and Kat for winning this week's contest!

Regular exercise is essential to staying healthy. But even if you don't have time for a weekly workout, you can still be active in your day-to-day life just by taking the stairs, riding a bike to work, or taking your dog out for a walk.

How do you work exercise into your day? Do you schedule regular workouts, or just make sure you do more strenuous activities in your daily life? What heart-pumping activities do you enjoy the most?

Tell us how you work exercise into your day and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Guest's picture
Julie Wood

I work exercise into my day by doing 20 minutes on my exercise bike in the morning and after lunch I do another 30 minutes of walking. I have to force myself to get up and go though!

Guest's picture
Elena

I use treadmill every morning after breakfast

Guest's picture

I work a second job that consists of unloading boxes. This is my weight lifting workout. Also, during my day job which consists of sitting at a desk, I go for a run and do a floor mat regimen during my lunch hour. Sometimes I'll do push-ups and sit-ups when I wake up. There's always time for workouts!

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Tina in NJ

Back when I worked full time, I walked for half my lunch hour. Getting out of the office for a bit in the middle of the day was a huge incentive.

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Lauren

I use an app called Timeful to manage my day. It allows me to enter habits (like exercise), how often I want to do them, and how much time to allow. It then looks for spots in my schedule where I can fit in the habit, and tentatively schedules it for me. So when I get a break at work, it prompts me to see if I want to go for a walk.

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Louly

I schedule in my exercise just like appointments, and don't break them.

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Betty

I walk in a local mall before work everyday, and also walk most days at lunchtime. In nicer weather, I'll hit the park after dinner. I need to add weights to my day!

Donna Freedman's picture

Imperfectly, I'm afraid. I try to take a long walk every day but sometimes I get tangled in specific time frames (interviews et al.). The next thing I know it's getting dark and I don't want to walk on an icy bike path in dim light. On those days I just set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes and walk in long circles around my house. Hey, it's SOMETHING.

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Emily

Walking to work, lifting weights or rowing while watching my TV shows, big exercise done on the weekends.

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Mary Happymommy

I take walks with my daughter in the stroller after lunch.

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MELISSA HANSSON

The only way I've been able to do it is to make Tuesday night my yoga night, no matter what. I try not to miss it for any reason and all my friends know it's my one unavailable night.

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Nicole

I work exercise into my day by choosing to walk instead of driving my car.

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Jennifer Marie

I try to walk on the treadmill or dance with the kids.

Guest's picture
BRB

I use the elliptical while watching tv.

Guest's picture
Guest

I work out seven days a week and have developed my own quick, compact system. My entire workout is done in my bathroom just before I hop in the shower, and all it requires is a set of 8-pound dumbbells. First, I do the Plank for 90 seconds. Then I do 40 squats, followed by 40 pushups. Then, with the dumbbells, I do a series of shoulder lifts, overhead pumps, and concentration curls. The whole thing takes less than 15 minutes. I went from 180 to 160 pounds as a result. It's not really a hard workout, but I never fail to do it.

Guest's picture
KelR1

I'm on my feet at my job all day, so there's a bit of exercise right there, plus I have two Jack Russell Terriers that love walks and playing, so it's pretty easy for me to fit exercise into my regular everyday life.

Guest's picture
Liisa

By walking when I'm having a good day, or swimming when I have the rare occasion to.

Guest's picture
Jacob Curtiss

Recently, I switched gym from one city to another. The one I left was very close to home, however, the one I joined was across the street from work. Now, I wake up an additional 15 minutes earlier and do a full workout along with sitting in the sauna every morning. With this, I can shower and get ready and have some spare time to eat breakfast in my car waiting to walk into work.

Guest's picture
Ernest S.

I used to force myself to workout in the morning. Now that I start work earlier and need to workout in the afternoon/evening, I set an alarm in the afternoon to start wrapping things up in the office. It not only forces me to start winding down my workday, but also creates a routine. I find myself working more efficiently knowing that I need to leave the office at a set time.

Guest's picture
lostAnnfound

I work at home, so in the afternoon after I have lunch I take the dog for a walk. We have developed a habit of it, so now as the time approaches he starts getting antsy to go for our walk. It's like have a friendly, furry reminder every day/

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Lee Ann

I work out in the morning either on the treadmill or elliptical for 30 minutes and wear a Fitbit all the time to monitor my steps and miles. It gives me a goal to achieve and if I haven't hit my steps for the day (12,000) I make sure I get it by doing chores around the house.

Guest's picture
Suz_Glo

I exercise nearly every morning for at least 15 minutes but up to an hour -- depends on the day and my schedule. I also try to walk our dogs every other day and stretch/yoga at night while watching TV. I've learned that to feel good and be fit I just need to keep it a scheduled event and not worry about the time/intensity. It all works out over the course of the week and even 15 minutes on a busy day is important and helpful.

Guest's picture

I get up at 5:30am and workout before I start my day. This is an excellent habit that not only ensures I actually workout, but also a habit that most successful people do. And who doesn't want to be successful?

Guest's picture
Deb

I volunteer to walk dogs at the local animal shelter. Many of these poor pups have never been leash-trained, so it often turns into a pretty good work-out (kind of like trying to walk jackrabbits on a bungee cord...)!

Guest's picture
Guest

I just know that I have to do the workout, either in the morning or evening. I don't have kids or anything, so my day is pretty predictable, so I'm able to mostly plan and know if I have time in the evening after work and before dinner..if I don't, then I better be getting up early. Sometimes, things do come up, so then I try to do a little something, but I don't worry too much if I miss a day here or there.

Guest's picture
Elle

I have a dog so I try to walk him as much as possible even if it's just around the block and I personally like jogging outside so I usually jog a few times a week around my neighborhood or at last a couple days a week (weekends) if I am really busy.

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Christie

Make it a priority. If I don't put it on my "to do" list, it doesn't get done!

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Karen L. @love2lovemykids

I do isometrics at my desk

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Jess G.

I'm fortunate to have a flexible work environment where almost everyone goes to the gym at some point during the day! I usually head there to go for a run or do a strength training workout.

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Laura J

I always try to get outside and walk! Even if its for a short break...the fresh air and walking...even for a short distance...always makes me feel better!!!

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Guest

I always take the stairs and walk as much as possible - I also love to bike places!

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Desiree

Monday through Thursday I wake up at between 5:15 and 5:30 am to go to a Bootcamp class before having to be at work by 8 am. Occasionally (once or twice a week) I will also do another Bootcamp class after work. I also go to Bootcamp on Saturday mornings. I try to work yoga into my schedule as well, and do activities on weekends such as taking out the dogs, hiking, going to the beach, etc. I've been planning on trying to fit in dance again as well.

Guest's picture
An G

I workout 3x a week with friends first thing in the morning. I also have a fitbit to keep track of my steps

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Monique

What works best for me is exercising right when I wake up, typically a jog or a walk and some weight exercises. It's a great way to start the day, since it's so energizing. and I walk whenever I can throughout the day, taking stairs, parking a little farther, walking to the grocery store, library, etc.

Guest's picture
sonja adams

I have a farm and exercise from the minute I get home from work and when I get up in the morning doing chores. I take care of 3 horses, walk with my dogs and work them on agility, ride the horses, weed, weedwack, mow, etc. And then I work out on my lunch hour doing an exercise class 3 x per week. The farm is my main source of exercise. There is never a dull moment.

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Jessica

I get up and hit the gym (local Y) first thing in the morning, before my husband and son are awake. On days where I can't go, I try and walk outside if the weather is nice or walk around Target or a large grocery store. I track my activity with a Fitbit and aim for at least 10k steps a day.

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Jenn

Four mornings a week we lift small weights with a simple video; every day at lunch I run.

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Emily

I have a rough commute, so I go to gym classes in the morning to ensure that I work out. If I wait until after work, I'm far too tired and unmotivated to do anything. I also have a walking group at my job, and we do a 40-45 minute walk during our lunch breaks.

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Beth

Hmm..I really don't have an official strategy. I lead an active lifestyle and walk/hike/bike ride with my family as much as possible.

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Susan P.

I walk farther than I need to by parking far away and frequently run up the stairs for breaks. I walk during lunch break.

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Christina

I don't like exercising but I try to do longer walks and the days I can't walk, I have different half hour workouts on my phone I can do anywhere.

Guest's picture

Putting my all into it when I do chores around the house, as well as walk everywhere when possible.

Guest's picture
JB

I take the stairs up to my 16th floor office when I can't work out that day. I keep cleansing wipes in my office in case I get a bit sweaty on the walk up and keep a pair of flats in my work bag.

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Donna

I walk 2 miles fairly fast on my lunch most days, I change into walking clothes so I don't have to worry about my work clothes. I don't have time to shower so I use wipes to clean up. We usually walk in a group to have someone to chat with and make the time go by. I love being outdoors so it really helps refresh me. I also block off my calendar everyday so no one will book a meeting on my lunch. And if it is too bad out I am lucky my company just put in a gym with treadmills and bikes etc. I don't have to get up early, or try to motivate after work, which I know wont' happen!

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Rebecca B. A. R.

I end up getting my workout at work and if I take my dogs out for a walk.

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Catseye

I live in a third floor walk-up, so I get exercise every time I take the stairs. Also, I'm attending a community college and dragging a rolling case full of heavy books around twice a week is a great upper-body workout.

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Dee Dee

I walk outside on my lunch and breaks and I really go at a brisk pace.

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Maura

I walk to and from work five days a week.

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Happy Love

I do 15-20 minutes of yoga, pilates, and strength training right after I get up 3-4 times per week. I run up and down our long hallway with my toddler (he thinks chasing each other is a gas). I use the stairs instead of an elevator if I'm only going up 2-3 floors.

Guest's picture
Susan Smith

I work exercise into my day by taking my dog for a walk a few times a day.

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Amber

I push my toddlers in the stroller up hill everyday. While at the park I do pull ups on monkey bars, squats as I am standing there pushing someone in a swing, I will sit on a swing leaning back with my abs engaged and hold, I will even lunge around the park. At home I do push ups while I'm waiting for something in the microwave, I will also do bridges with my kids "riding" on my tummy. Boom! Get 'er done.

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C

I game-ify my workouts: either by using a pedometer and trying to beat my daily goal, or by using apps that will register achievements such as doing a certain workout or walking a certain number of steps.

Guest's picture
Guest Jeff Blackwell

Narrow down the time you will commit to workout everyday, after a workday/work night and two hours before sleep. No working out after you wake for the day. You may prefer to workout alone. If not then find a partner who will make the commitment with you. Put money to the commitment if you want. Start out with 3 months duration. The goal is to make working out an addiction.

Guest's picture
Tricia

I get up early and head to the gym before I go into the office. I find every excuse I can to get up and walk at work (find someone instead of calling them, use the printer the farthest from my desk, etc.). On the weekends, I try to stay moving by cleaning the barn, the house and the yard as well as make time to go for a walk, ride my bike, workout on our rowing machine or do yoga or do some aerobic or strength training routines. Anything that is important enough to you will find a way to happen during your day... and to me exercise, eating right and overall taking care of myself are very high on my priority list.

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Lynda

i go exercise (gym) directly after work or i make a "date" out of it with my husband. we go to the gym or walk around the park.

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Jenny R

I incorporate working out at least 4 days a week. I always go right after work or on the weekends. I enjoy working out by weight training. I used to be a cardio bunny but realized that I loved strength training and felt empowered in the gym. I love looking toned and feeling strong! :)

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Alissa A

I block out time ever week. I park far away from my desitnation. Use the stairs when possible.

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Carmen

I try going for a brisk walk at lunchtime.

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Elizabeth O.

I try to get exercise by walking during my break times and during my lunch hour, by taking the stairs and also parking further from the entrance of my work building. Those little things really add up.

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Tabathia B

By walking around the yard on a daily basis