Health & Wellness

12 lazy ways to get fit without really trying

Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/getty images / Today
12 Lazy Ways to Get Fit Without Really Trying

While sitting at your desk at work…

Tone your shoulders
Keep exercise tubing or light weights in your desk drawer and use them while talking on the phone, says Gretchen Zelek, founder of Do or Die Fitness in Pasadena, Calif. Try biceps curls or overhead punches (press the 3-to-5 lbs. dumbbell up towards the ceiling without locking your elbow). Repeat 15 times and switch arms.

Tighten your triceps
Do chair dips for triceps using a sturdy chair or desk. Facing outward, place palms on the desk behind you, knees bent and feet flat on the floor; bend your arms and lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, and push yourself back up. Repeat 15 times.

Stretch out your back
Open your knees and fold your body over you thighs letting your head hang low towards your feet, suggests Tamal Dodge, start of the Element: Yoga for Energy & Relaxation DVD. This forward bend recharges your circulation and loosens up your back.

While getting ready in the morning…

Strengthen your core
Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth! It sounds silly but it will help work those deep core muscles, says Jay Cardiello, CSCS, fitness expert for OK! And Star magazines. Time yourself and try to hold the one-legged stance 30-to-60 seconds before switching legs.

Get pumped
Put on music while getting dressed and dance around the house to trim, tone and strengthen your core, says Cardiello. This little a.m. warm up will create an ‘after burner’ effect for the rest of the day, so you burn more calories.

Tighten legs and glutes
Try doing squats while blow drying your hair, says Jennifer E. Seyler, MS, RD, a Chicago-based trainer. Hold the squat for as long as possible, then stand up for 30 isometric glute squeezes. Return to squat and repeat set.

Throughout your day…

Tone legs
While cooking, brewing coffee or making breakfast, only allow yourself to lunge across the kitchen -- no walking, says Angeles Burke, certified group instructor and national level bikini competitor, Florida.

Tone hamstrings
(Note: Skip these if you’re just starting out and do them only after a warm-up)
Waiting for your coffee to brew? Got a few minutes in the office by yourself? Try sneaking in a few of these jump squats:

  1. Start with feet directly underneath you, legs slightly bent.
  2. Jump up. Land in a squat position, dropping glutes low and keeping knees facing forward (do not let them cave inward). Repeat 10 or more times, or until you can no longer do them in good form.

Burn more calories

  • Stand up and walk around for the length of all your phone calls, says Franklin Antoian, trainer and founder of  
  • Tighten abdominals at each red light and hold until the light changes.
  • Rise up on your toes whenever you’re waiting in line to tone calves.
  • Make it a point to get up out of your chair at least every hour and walk around.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.