The Secrets of Success: Sneak In More Exercise

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We've been talking a lot in the past few weeks about exercise and weight loss: why it matters, how much you need, and ways to vary your routine for better results. What if working out and dieting alone aren't really enough to lose weight? Yes, both exercise and a healthy, calorie-controlled diet matter for weight management. What about all the hours you're NOT exercising? Could that be holding you back in your weight loss?

When we surveyed our most successful SparkPeople members to write our best-selling book, The Spark, we found out lots of little "secrets" that helped them be successful in the weight-loss game. You'll have to read the book to get the full story, but we're sharing our 15 favorite secrets of success on the dailySpark from March 1-15. Lucky you!

Secret #10: Sneak in more exercise.
65% of people who met their weight-loss goals added more activity to their day by "sneaking" it in: pacing while on the phone, lifting weights in front of the TV, doing jumping jacks in between conference calls, taking the stairs and more. How much of a difference does all of this activity really make?

The more you move, the more you lose. Not only does extra activity keep your metabolism going (burning calories and fat), but it also wakes you up when your energy is waning and helps keep your body in motion. Maybe most importantly, it burns more calories than sedentary activities do, and it can also decrease your risk for health problems, including cardiovascular disease.

You may do great at getting to the gym five days a week or even exercising 30-60 minutes a day. But what about the other 23 hours each day? The more you can turn sedentary time into active time, the better off you will be. After all, our bodies are designed for movement, not sitting in a car or at a desk for 40+ hours per week.

In addition to my planned workouts, I try to be active throughout the day. I do all the clichés: park further from the door, take the stairs, and get walking whenever I can. These actions may not burn as many calories as an intense workout, but they still count for something. Here are some additional resources that provide ideas to add more physical activity to your days. Are you interested in learning more secrets from SparkPeople's most successful "losers"? Check out The Spark, which is bursting with proven and practical strategies used by real people like you who won the weight-loss battle.

How do you sneak more active time into your days? Is this one of your secrets to success?

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FIRYMIST 3/23/2021
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PATRICIAAK 3/21/2021
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ARNETTELEE 10/8/2020
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KATHYJO56 8/16/2020
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KATHYJO56 6/24/2020
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I do most of those and I start my day by walking around the house. While my tea brews I take a 3-4 minute walk -in the nice weather that's outside. I rarely leave my house with less than 2500 steps! Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
I walk up and down the stairs at work to get in extra physical fitness. Report
great tips Report
I need to get a pedometer Report
Yes! Even 10 minutes of movement is better than NONE! And your body knows that! Report
Although I have my pedometer goal set for 7k, a commute and desk job doesn't leave me much time, especially if I miss a morning workout. After reading this article, I am resetting my step goal to 10k, will walk to the otherside of the building to use the rest room. And find other ways to increase my steps. Report
My pedometer is my judge and jury of whether I've had a good day fitness wise. I can do the 30 minute workout but if I'm sitting done the rest of the day it won't have much effect. I am for 10000 steps and cos I have a sit down job this is hard to do. I've had to resort to walking to work, walking to the shops, cleaning the house more as well as exercising to hit the target. I like to hide my exercise by going the market and doing lots of walking for example and the pedometer shows me when this does and doesn't work so I can't cheat. Report
While at work I use the bathroom upstairs from my office to get a few more steps each day Report
My computer is old and slow at times so I keep a 5 pd. weight close by and do with each arm until my arms can do no more! Report
At home, I intentional don't carry everything I need to down the hall so I have to make another trip. Report
I try to walk around my office as much as possible ( I am an admin assistant so I sit ALOT). I often send things to the printer that is the farthest from my desk to squeeze in some extra steps. Report
This is all good advice. I spend as little time as possibly behind my desk. I also will walk to another teacher's classroom to ask them something instead of calling them on the phone. Report
I am worried that if I just grab my weights in the middle of the day without warming up I am going to hurt myself. Report
I definitely needed this reminder too - helps keep me mentally active as well as physically! Report
I like talking a lunch time walk. I walk everywhere. I also do take the stairs instead of the escalator when I can.

I am retired; but take care of my daughter's house cleaning and laundry. One way I sneak more exercise in through the day is when I do laundry every day. Instead of loading up the basket and bringing it downstairs all at once, I bring one load upat a time down, then one load at a time once it's drried and folded. Sometimes I walk up and down with a load of laundry 8 or 10 times; especially on Mondays. All other days, at least 4 times; except Thursdays. Report
I have a cordless headset at my desk and I do actually pace my little cubicle whenever I'm on a long phone call or teleconference. Report
I use my fitness ball as a chair when I am at the computer and while watching tv. Great for my posture too. No slouching here!! Report
I have a series of wall push ups and arm stretches I do after seeing each patient. While patients are changing, I do wall squats and hip lifts. Sometimes I throw in some yoga poses. Report
Over the past few weeks I have been taking 15 minutes of my lunch break to walk around the block and I now climb the stairs instead of using the elevator. I try to find new oppurtunites everyday to sneak in exercise. Report
Good advice. Thanks. Report
I use a "ball chair" at my primary office at work; it helps remind me to sit up straight and avoid slouching. I'm a school psychologist in an urban district with antique schools (lots of corridors and stairs), so I spend a lot of my days walking around the buildings to collect and return children before and after working with them. I am also absent-minded enough so that I routinely have to make two or more trips up/downstairs and/or back and forth between rooms at home to accomplish something - I don't know if that counts for anything. I also find that the more I exercise, the more I enjoy exercising - it feels good when my body loosens up and I can move more easily. Report
Even on days when I don't feel like doing an intensive routine, I might get on the wii and just play with my kids. Often I feel muscles working pretty darn hard just playing games! Report
Bravo! Exercise makes a difference in your mental and physical well being. The more I exercise, the more energy I seem to have! Report
I bought some of those toning shoes (I've been blogging about my research into the right brand to buy) and I'm finding that I'm walking more as a result. I feel like I'm getting a better walk with them on, so I make a point to walk more. They're a very helpful, motivational tool. Report
This is a great idea! So I'm already using the idea by sitting on my ball instead of a chair and bouncing up and around! I know I can burn extra calories this way and it feels good to be energized. Report
I just recently bought a pair of the sketchers Shape Ups and since then I have been wearing them everyday even to work (office job) so I am sneaking in some exercise everyday while I am at work too. Report
I try to do stretches during breaks in movies to keep the blood flowing. Report
The more active I am, the more energized I am. It was hard at first to get moving, but now it comes naturally. When winter is over I will really get moving. In the spring, summer, and fall I take a 5 mile walk every evening. It makes me feel amazing. Report
I jog in place a lot at work and at home... while waiting for copies or scans to finish or while watching TV.. I'll also grab hand weights and do stuff with them. Or I'll drop and do a handful of push ups, which never fails to make me feel energized. Report
I bring some weights with me, so when I take a break I do a few strength exercises Report
I do whatever i can to squeeze in a little extra movement everyday. I'm a stay at home mom of a six month old, so that makes things a little difficult, especially with it being winter. But i still try to find little things to make the extra effort. Report
i'm trying to sneak in more exercise, but like everything else, it takes me some time!!!!!! Report
So true the body is made to move. So keep on moving! Report
I walk around the apartment complex were I manage 4 times a day now instead of once a week like before I became a sparkster, it gets me an extra hour of walk 5 times a week. Report