Little Ways to Get Fit

Little Ways to Get Fit

You don't have to be a gym rat to get fit. Sometimes, all you have to do is mess around in the garden. Or putz around the yard. Or simply walk to the grocery store.

Scientists are finding that small increases in daily physical activities, even if they're small physical hobbies or chores, can actually do wonders for your long-term health.

Earn your MPA
In a recent study of otherwise inactive—and overweight—Canadians, scientists discovered that the addition of just 30 cumulative minutes of sporadic, moderate physical activities (MPA) every day was linked to better cardiovascular fitness. The people in the study never actually set foot in a gym or worked out. Daily, they just added more activities that required getting a little physical, be it walks, climbing the stairs, or doing a random outdoor chore here and there. 

Ways to get active
You, too, can make a profound difference in your physical health just by making the simple choice to modestly boost your MPA. For example:

Discover why less can sometimes be more with outdoor workouts.

  • Be a Luddite. Spurn technology and walk to the library to find out what you need to know rather than searching online. And when you get there, pick the stairs—not the elevator—to get to the help desk or encyclopedic reference floor. If you spend hours at the office, walk to a colleague's desk instead of sending an e-mail. (Related: Discover how exercise and other healthy habits can help people focus.)
  • Be a clean freak. Don't leave deep cleaning for spring. Regularly tidying up all the corners of your house—where you move around furniture and take stuff down from high shelves—is a great way to accrue some MPA. (Related: Give your workouts a "beet" down.)

Medically reviewed in November 2019.