Fitness Articles

Dodging the Exercise Roller Coaster

Fun Workouts, No Matter Where You Are


Have you ridden the Exercise Vortex? It’s the most popular fitness roller coaster of all time.
You go up, you go down. Fast fitness climbs are interrupted by burnout and steep drops in activity--until you bottom out and start another cycle. And in the end, you’re right back where you started. Half the time, it just leaves you with a headache. If you don’t like what you see, you can always get on the latest and greatest fitness coaster. But you’ll still be taken for a ride.
You can stay off the coaster and get into consistency. All it takes is a little planning--and a lot of fun. The key is to build an exercise program that’s not stale, boring or disruptive. Now--while you still have momentum--is the perfect time to set up some smart, convenient systems and motivating reminders. Here are some smart strategies:

Combine Exercise With Other Goals
Most exercise programs fail because they work against instead of with your current goals. Instead of competing for time, perhaps your goals could share it.


  • Read while on the stationary bike
  • Play with kids
  • Hold a work meeting at the gym or while jogging or walking outside
  • Work out or play sports with friends
  • Do a home workout while watching a basketball game or movie you want to see.
    Take Exercise Out of The Gym
    Which is easier to reschedule, a two-hour meeting or a series of five-minute chats? Take advantage of all those chances throughout the day to stay on your feet and stay active.

        AT WORK
  • Find a few sturdy, thick phone books and do some step aerobics.
  • Close your door and shadow box for a few minutes.
  • Lift 1-3 packs of printer paper in each hand. Curl them like weights or lift them over your head.
  • Jumping jacks. Simple, quick, and pumps you up.
        AT HOME
  • Get out the rake and shovel.
  • Try some gardening.
  • Walk to your neighbor’s house to visit instead of calling.
  • If you must watch TV, do a quick exercise during commercials.
  • Sprint – don’t walk – to the mailbox.
  • Walk up and down the stairs while on the phone.

    Create an In-Home Workout
    Smaller workouts can take the pressure off of those more intense visits to the gym – and without all that expensive equipment. Just 20 minutes a day is all it takes, which just happens to be the same amount of drive time you’d probably save.

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Member Comments

  • Thanks for the ideas!
    Couple good ideas. Just need to rethink exercise at work examples
  • I moved my stationary bike and treadmill into the living room now that it's only my husband and me. Perfect for getting a workout while catching up on TV.
  • I do not want to see any of my co-workers in their gym clothes. Nor do they want to see me in mine.
  • Good ideas. Thanks for sharing.
  • I save my favorite tv shows and only watch them while working out on the elliptical machine. It makes exercise time go quickly and makes the hardest part of the workout seem much easier.
  • Don't work so coworkers don't have to think anything.
    I hate to say this, but there are some really idiotic suggestions in this article.

    - Hold a meeting at the gym??? Most gyms require membership for ALL participants, so if your coworkers are not a member of the same gym (that happens to be onsite??) How do you manage to use the gym. How do you block out time & space for this? What about privacy, coworkers' fitness levels, or disabilities? What if some of your coworkers are at different locations/cities/
    countries, or work from home?

    - Step aerobics on phone books??? An accident waiting to happen!

    - Close your door and shadow box for a few minutes??? Assumes everyone has an office. Many companies have an open floor plan.

    How about something a lot more practical,

    - Bring your lunch, then take a walk afterwards, instead of going to the drive-thru.

    - Walk to your coworkers desk to talk instead of calling them.

    - Park in the farthest parking space in the parking lot.
  • My coworkers would literally pee their pants if they caught me working out in my office! :)
  • Most of the articles on this site and very helpful, but this one should be categorized as satire! Step aerobics on phonebooks? At work? That is one of the most absurd ideas I've ever heard ... not to mention dangerous. Imagine having to tell your boss that you fell and broke your leg while doing step aerobics ... at work ... on phonebooks.

    The tip about working out during TV commercials is a good one. I actually do that sometimes - a quick circuit of crunches, pushups, air squats, and jumping jacks. I also do mobility work during some of my TV shows.
  • Lol great ideas. Just not sure how my coworkers would view me when I start shadow boxing in the office, or making weights out of phone books. They may give me a little vacation to the looney bin....which may not be so bad, actually. Hmmmm.....
  • I ride my bike to the grocery store and to run any other errands that are between 3-6 miles away. Doing so accomplishes two tasks at once: exercise and stocking my fridge/pantry. From a time perspective, riding my bike takes no more time than driving the car and reduces my carbon footprint on the planet. All win-win!
  • Where do you draw the line between exercise and activity? I find taking the stairs, playing with the kids, doing housework... these are activities that I don't personally believe should be clocked up as "fitness minutes". They are important but they should be a normal part of the day for a moderately mobile person. I don't care for the working out at work ideas either, using phonebooks as an aerobic step is not recommended! Those things need to be STABLE. Jumping jacks, etc. would leave me sweaty and disheveled. Ok, I'm all for being more active but we need to be sensible too.
    I agree about the work suggestions. I use the multiple staircases at my job for a quick 10-15 minute workout - going up and down one staircase, crossing to the middle one and going up and down, and on to the third one. Then I repeat on my way back to my desk. It doesn't necessarily look like I'm working out so I don't feel conspicuous, but I've seen the results since I started doing this regularly.
  • SERIOUSLY, I I did the suggestions here for EXERCISE while at work, I would REALLY be thought a NUT!!!!....How about up and down the stairs! That was not suggested~

About The Author

Mike Kramer Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.

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