Exercise without a gym | Do mini workouts throughout your day

move Jan 04, 2023


Exercising is more important today than it’s ever been. We’re the most sedentary generation in our history thanks to our obsession with convenience, and our lack of movement is literally killing us. 🥺

But exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a little change in perspective, we can reap massive benefits with minimal change to our daily routines.

We do this through Mini Workouts.


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Sitting To Death, And Why We Need To Move 🪑

Ever since we figured out how to eliminate and automate things like hand-washing our clothes, splitting wood, and carrying water from wells, we’ve run into a much bigger problem: a sedentary lifestyle.

Without the activity our chores and work demanded from us in the past, our bodies are being starved of the movement necessary to their wellbeing. Movement is a basic need right up there with eating, drinking, and sleeping. A lack of movement affects our short and long-term health the same way nutrient-poor food, dehydration, and a lack of sleep does.

Think about this. The average person sits for 13 hours a day. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time results in your body actually solidifying into that position as the default. If you’re sitting that long, your body figures that’s the position you want to maintain permanently. So it starts stiffening your muscles, joints, and organs like wax drying in a mold.

Is it any wonder that we creak and pop every time we stand up from our desks? We’re like old hinges on a basement door—rusty, stiff, and screeching in protest every time the door opens.😱

And unfortunately, stiffness isn’t even close to the worst downside.

Lack of movement has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and stiffening of the arterial walls. When our bodies aren’t moving like they were designed to, their stagnate, with serious repercussions.

In order to reverse this trend, we need to change the way we think about exercise. 


“Move” Your Way To Health 👣

Many people argue over whether sitting or standing is healthier. But that’s like asking someone if they’d rather be cold or freezing. Sitting and standing are both sedentary, so holding either position for hours at a time is a bad idea. Variety of movement is the key here to fool your body into helping you stay limber. So the question we should be asking is, “How can I move more today?

Movement increases your body’s ability to function at its best. It strengthens muscle and bone, and keeps everything in your body flowing the way it should. Studies have shown that there’s a clear connection between outward mobility and motility, the body’s inward functioning.

The more consistently you make outward movement a priority, the more benefits you reap from inward motility. So start moving more, and your organs will function better, you’ll enjoy a clearer mind, and you’ll feel more energetic and enjoy better sleep.

Again, your body is like a hinge. Leave it alone, and it stiffens and creaks. Lubricate (self care) and use it (move), and it works wonderfully.

In our Simple Turn course, Simply Move, our mantra is, “Have a Movement Mindset.” The idea behind a movement mindset is that moving, no matter how little, is valuable and will contribute to your overall health. Therefore, the more you can think of and implement ways to move, the more improvements you’ll see in this area of your life.

That’s where Mini Workouts come in. Mini Workouts are tiny exercise sessions sprinkled throughout your day that have cumulative health benefits. And the beauty is, they don’t have to be complicated, and can take less than a minute to perform.

Things like doing a set of pushups during a water break at work.

Keeping a light dumbbell in the car and curling while you commute.

Jump-roping for a minute before watching TV.

Even things like sweeping the floor, dancing to your favorite song, and walking the block while grabbing the mail count since they get you moving.

Consistency is the key here, not following a strict list or doing everything perfectly.


Exercise, Movement, and Pitfalls 🌪

I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t touch on traditional exercise. Exercise is of course a form of movement, and is important to maintain.

According to the CDC, our bodies need 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of intense activity every week. While exercising 3 to 4 times a week is great, there are some pitfalls to be aware of as you follow your workout routine.

First, don’t fall into the trap of thinking an intense workout a few days a week is enough to offset hours of inactivity. That’s like eating a big meal every-other day and thinking you’re good. Even after your workout, you need to protect your hard work by continuing to move, and avoiding sitting for long periods.

Second, intense workouts with little to no activity in between can often feel like running a marathon cold-turkey. It’s hard, and it hurts. Just the thought of it can be overwhelming. But what if you were training your body by running shorter distances every day? Distances that weren’t overwhelming at all, and made the marathon a lot easier? That’s how mini workouts, spread out between normal workouts, can help you in your workout routine.


Ways To Move 🗒

Here are some ideas to get you moving in your day-to-day life. And remember, the key is just to move more. You’re trying to slip in quick bursts of explosive movement, or vary your movements so your body gets the message that you’re trying to stay limber, not wanting to adapt to a chair or couch.

  • Set up a pullup bar, and do a set every time you pass it
  • Don’t sit at your desk for more than 30 minutes at a time. Take quick breaks and walk around or do a set of pushups
  • Vacuum the carpet
  • After shopping, curl the grocery bags a few times as you’re unloading them
  • Use a basket instead of a cart when doing light shopping
  • Walk or pace whenever you’re on a phone call
  • Use a foam roller when watching a movie or TV show
  • Go for a short walk before dinner
  • Take the stairs whenever you have the option (and it makes sense to)
  • Wash the dishes and focus on movement
  • Do lunges when traveling from one part of the house to the other


There are so many more. Every domestic task has the potential to become a mini workout, and every break between activities can be an opportunity to invest in your health with just a minute or two of intentional movement. It’s simple, and fits seamlessly into your daily routine.


Moving As A Lifestyle 💙

As you start becoming a Mover, you’ll see everything you do in a new light. Those mundane tasks and a spare minute here or there will transform into health-boosting mini workouts that will pay dividends for the rest of your life. It’s all about starting small, being consistent, and having a movement mindset.


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