Exercise What is Incidental Exercise

incidental exercise

Incidental exercise is exercise committed during normal daily tasks. Such as: walking to work, upstairs, picking up and moving items, etc.

You can increase your incidental exercise by parking further away from your destination, so you have to walk further to it, taking the stairs, instead of an elevator or escalator, performing minor tasks, like cleaning, moving items, etc.

When people used to work on farms, and later in factories, their work created a lot of incidental exercise for them. Nowadays, more and more people are working at desks on computers and moving their bodies much less.

So, increasing incidental exercise is definitely a benefit. I would not say that it replaces intentional exercise, however.

Here are three simple, actionable, and realistic examples of incidental exercise that people can incorporate into their everyday lives:

1. Walking or biking for short distances:

Instead of relying solely on your car or public transportation, try walking or biking for short distances whenever possible. For example, if you’re going to a nearby store or meeting a friend at a cafĂ©, consider leaving your car at home and walking or biking instead. This not only adds physical activity to your day but also reduces carbon emissions and promotes a healthier environment.

2. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator:

Whenever you have the option, choose the stairs over the elevator or escalator. Climbing stairs is an effective way to engage your leg muscles, increase your heart rate, and burn some extra calories. Even if you work or live on a higher floor, you can start by taking the stairs for a few flights and gradually increase as you build up stamina.

3. Incorporating short exercise breaks:

Find small pockets of time throughout your day to incorporate brief exercise breaks. For instance, during your work breaks or while watching TV, you can do quick exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, or jumping jacks. These exercises don’t require any equipment and can be done in a small space. By adding these short bursts of physical activity, you can accumulate exercise minutes throughout the day without disrupting your schedule.

Remember, incidental exercise is about finding opportunities to be active in your daily routine. By making small changes and being mindful of these opportunities, you can increase your overall physical activity level and improve your health and well-being.

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