22 Simple Steps to Improved Fitness

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Real health and fitness growth is often a result of a series of small steps—little changes that, summed up, make a huge difference. Whether you’re incrementally adding a few seconds to each run, one or two reps to each set, or some extra pounds to your bicep curls, you’re taking small yet very real steps.

22 Simple Steps to Improved Fitness:

Even when you’re not at the gym or on a trail, you can make slight changes to your routine that will yield increased levels of fitness. We asked our team to share runner02with us all the ways they squeeze extra exercise in throughout the day. Here’s what they said:

Leave workout equipment around the house.  I often leave my yoga mat by the couch in front of the TV, and hand weights by my desk and on the coffee table. I also have a mini elliptical  in my living room. I may irritate my roommate with the clutter, but I’m reminded to do a few extra minutes of exercise here and there, so I think it’s worth it. –Eve, Stonewear blogger

Double time. I do calf raises while I brush my teeth–it gets me an extra four minutes of exercise every day. That adds up! I also sometimes do high-knees or push-ups while microwaving food. –Eve, Stonewear blogger

Weigh yourself down. Ankle weights are another great way to strengthen your hamstrings, quads, and glutes (say hello to a cute butt!). Be careful, though, they’re not right for everyone—if you have an existing injury or weak knees or ankles, you should probably skip this one. Ask your doc or trainer first, but if they’re right for you they can turn your regular chores into toning workouts. –Eve, Stonewear blogger

Playtime! I do lunges and push-ups at the playground. It helps me sneak in a lot of extra reps! I also chase my kids up and down the slides—it’s fun and challenging. –Amelia, Stonewear Ambassador

Rev up. Your own engine that is! When you can, skip driving and bike or walk to your destination. Not only is it good for you physically, getting outside and enjoying the outdoors is a serious mood booster. –Amelia, Stonewear Ambassador

Dance your butt off. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I blast music and dance while I’m getting ready for the day or to go out at night. Not only does it make the process more fun, I actually get my blood pumping double time! Just be sure to not get so sweaty you have to start the process all over… –Eve, Stonewear blogger

Apartment therapy. Whenever I lack workout motivation, I clean. It gets me out of whatever funk I might be in, makes me feel productive, and gets me moving. Sometimes it even helps me find the energy for the gym! –Eve, Stonewear Blogger

(Commercial) Break it up. Alternate sit-ups and push-ups during commercials. If you get tired, try a few yoga poses or some nice, deep stretches. –Erica, Stonewear Ambassador

Exer-work. I have a yoga mat in my work cubicle. I take a 5- or 10-minute break a few days a week to get some crunches or squats in. –Terri, Stonewear Ambassador

Hold tight. I keep my hand strength up by keeping a forearm strengthener in the center console of my car. I use it on my way to and from work. –Terri, Stonewear Ambassador

The twist and drive. When I’m driving, I sit up straight, blast some beats, and move my torso from side to side, working my core. –Shay, Stonewear Ambassador

Restroom reps. Every time I go to the restroom at work, I do 10 push-ups (whether it be on the floor or the wall). Yes, some might think this is gross, but I live in a pretty clean work environment and the bathrooms are sanitized daily. –Shay, Stonewear Ambassador 

Macho, macho mom. Play with your kids! Build an obstacle course for you and the family to do together. –Erica, Stonewear Ambassador

Stoplight sets. The awkward but ever important (especially when you’re pregnant)–kegels at stoplights! –Erica, Stonewear Ambassador

Hydration. I am just terrible at remembering to drink enough water throughout the day. I remind myself to stay hydrated in various ways: always having a water bottle handy (whether it’s good ole’ plain H2O or unsweetened iced tea), always drinking a glass before a meal, alternating other drinks with water, and sipping before, during, and after workouts. You can also download an app on your phone that reminds you to keep on sipping. –Eve, Stonewear blogger

Shin up. I get pretty bad shin splints when I run, so to combat that problem and to strengthen my legs, I draw the alphabet in the air with my toes while I’m sitting. I do it with my left leg when I’m driving, with both legs while I’m sitting on the plane, at my desk, or just watching TV. It sounds silly, but when I remember to do this every day, I feel a huge difference. –Eve, Stonewear blogger

Dress the part. I find that I get in way more exercise on the days that I put workout clothes on first thing. I have the good fortune of working from home—which means I can wear what I want throughout the day. Since that’s not an option for everyone, make workout clothes the first thing you throw on after work, or when you wake up on the weekend. And now that there are so many cute and comfortable options (*cough Stonewear cough*), it’s something I really want to do. –Eve, Stonewear blogger

Hula hoop.  Ok, this one probably seems a little weird. But, I LOVE hula hooping! It’s not the most effective workout, but it does require you to keep your abs tight and it doesn’t require much thought.  Instead of sitting on the couch to catch up on TV, hula hoop instead. –Amanda, Stonewear Ambassador

Plan ahead.  Before running errands that aren’t within in biking distance, I Google Map everything. My goal is to always park and knock out as many things on foot as possible.  Walking a mile usually takes just as long as getting back to your car, driving it and re-parking it. –Amanda, Stonewear Ambassador

Maximize your lunch break.  Spend the last half of your lunch break taking a walk or doing light exercising.  Chances are when coworkers pick up on the habit they’ll want to join in. –Amanda, Stonewear Ambassador

Walking Lunges.  Headed to the bathroom? Copier or printer? Kitchen? Do walking lunges to get there.  Sure you’ll look a little goofy but weirder things have happened. –Amanda, Stonewear Ambassador

Seventh Inning Stretch.  I love stretching. And sitting (or standing) at a desk all day makes me restless. To help keep my mind going and to give me a little boost of energy I have my department participate in a “seventh inning stretch.”  I keep a printed out sheet of stretches I found on the Internet to do at our desks. We take 5-10 minutes every day to complete them. –Amanda, Stonewear Ambassador

Need some help getting started? Check out these Yoga Poses for Beginners, this great Pilates core workout, and check out our Monday Night Football exercise game!

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