6 Clever Ways to Sneak in 30 Minutes of Physical Activity Each Day 

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6 Clever Ways to Sneak in 30 Minutes of Physical Activity Each Day 

Did you know that the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend 30 minutes of physical activity every day to maintain health and wellbeing and prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases?1 Finding time for exercise can be challenging, especially with our busy schedules. However, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine doesn't have to be daunting. With some creativity and planning, you can easily sneak in 30 minutes of exercise each day. Here are six clever ways to do just that: 

1. Incorporate exercise into your commute 

Transform your daily commute into an opportunity for physical activity: 

  • Walk or bike: If you live close enough to work or school, try walking or biking instead of driving. Even getting off the bus or train a few stops early can add valuable steps to your day. 

  • Park further away: If driving is necessary, park at the far end of the lot to increase your walking distance. 

  • Take the stairs: Skip the elevator and take the stairs whenever possible. Climbing stairs is a fantastic way to boost your heart rate and strengthen your legs. 

2. Turn household chores into a workout 

Household chores can be a surprisingly effective way to get moving: 

  • Vacuuming and mopping: These activities engage your core and leg muscles, making them a great workout. 

  • Gardening: Pulling weeds, planting flowers, and mowing the lawn all require physical effort and can be quite strenuous. 

  • Laundry: Carrying laundry baskets up and down stairs and folding clothes can also keep you active. 

3. Desk exercises and stretch breaks 

It’s recommended that those working at a desk take a break every 30-60 minutes throughout the day to reduce health risks (for example the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease). 

  • Stretching: Set a timer to remind yourself to stretch every hour. Simple stretches can prevent stiffness and improve circulation. 
  • Chair exercises: Try seated leg lifts, chair squats, or desk push-ups. These exercises can be done without leaving your workspace. 
  • Walk and talk: Whenever possible, take phone calls while standing or walking around your office. 
  • Sit-to-stand desks: Breaking up your working day by standing at your desk is a great way to interrupt your sitting time.  

4. Use technology to your advantage 

Modern technology can help you stay active: 

  • Fitness apps: Use fitness apps that offer short workout routines. Many apps provide 5-10 minute workouts that you can fit into your schedule. 

  • Activity trackers: Wearable fitness trackers remind you to move if you've been inactive for too long and can motivate you to reach daily step goals. 

  • Online workouts: There are countless free workout videos available online. Find a quick routine you enjoy and squeeze it into your day. 

5. Make social time active time 

Combine socializing with physical activity to make exercise more enjoyable: 

  • Active outings: Instead of meeting friends for coffee, suggest a walk in the park, a hike, or a bike ride. 
  • Family activities: Engage your family in physical activities like playing sports, going for a walk after dinner, or dancing to your favourite music. 

  • Join a class: Sign up for a fitness class with a friend. Group activities can be more motivating and fun. 

6. Sneak in exercise during downtime 

Use idle moments throughout the day as opportunities to move: 

  • TV workouts: Do simple exercises like squats, lunges, or push-ups during commercial breaks or while watching your favourite shows. 

  • Waiting time: Do calf raises while waiting for the kettle to boil or squeeze in a few stretches while your food is heating in the microwave. 

  • Quick bursts: Perform high-intensity exercises like jumping jacks, burpees, or sprinting in place for a few minutes throughout the day. Short bursts of intense activity can be just as effective as longer sessions. 

Another tip for sneaking in exercise into your day is by breaking up the 30 minutes into smaller blocks, for example 3 x 10 minute blocks or 2 x 15 minute blocks throughout the day. This way the accumulated exercise for the day equals 30 minutes, but it can be completed when you have time in your schedule.  

Incorporating 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine doesn't have to be difficult. By making small changes and being creative with your time, you can easily increase your activity level and enjoy the numerous health benefits that come with it. Remember, every little bit counts, and staying active can be both fun and rewarding. So, start sneaking in those extra minutes of movement today and see how quickly they add up to a healthier, happier you! 


  1. Australian Government Department of Health. (n.d.). Physical activity and exercise guidelines for all Australians. Retrieved from: www.health.gov.au/topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/physical-activity-and-exercise-guidelines-for-all-australians 


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