If we’re being honest, most of us would have to admit that we don’t get nearly as much time in the gym as we’d like to each week. It’s hard to fit those hours in on top of work and life.

What’s worse is a recent study found that for those who do get to the gym before work, but spend the rest of the day sitting, basically cancel out those hours spent working out. It feels like a catch 22. What can we possibly do to keep our bodies healthy without quitting our jobs and turning our homes into permanent fitness centers?

Unfortunately, we can’t spend 10 hours a week or more at the gym, and who would want to? Life is meant to be enjoyed. But one way we can carry the calorie burning from the mat to the rest of our day is by going out of our way to do small activities. These minor, daily movements add up — in fact, you can boost your metabolism and burn up to 500 calories per day just by squirming, according to Everyday Health.

Obviously, these minor actions don’t replace workouts, nor should they, but they can help you get your body motivated when your life doesn’t allow you the time.

Below are a few steps you can take throughout your day to stay active — from the kitchen to the office.

1. Pump Up Your Bum: Squeeze your gluteus maximus when you’re walking to the market or taking the stairs to work. Just a little extra workout that your behind will thank you for.

2. Move Those Legs: Do squats while you wash the dishes, or lunges while talking on the phone. These small actions can burn a lot of fat, and keep your lower half toned.

3. Suck It In: Tucking in your tummy and keeping your back straight when you’re just sitting around is a big help. Hold your core tight by keeping your abs pulled in.  You can also do some crunches while you’re waiting for your show to return from commercials.

4. Extra Steps: Park your car at the back of the lot, or take one load of laundry up at a time. In fact, you can burn up to 400 calories an hour doing household chores like vacuuming and dusting.

5. Stretch It Out: Start your morning by stretching, and don’t stop! Stretch intermittently at work and throughout your day to keep the blood flowing and your posture straight. Muscles tighten over the course of the day, so stretching keeps you limber and loose.

At first glance these small movements don’t seem like much, but they add up over time. These should never be considered as a replacement for real, intentional workouts — time at the gym or with a trainer is an important part of a healthy life. However, carrying these actions throughout your week keeps your body feeling strong. A major part of keeping your body healthy is keeping it moving.

Hope it helps!

wenzelDr. Aaron Wenzel M.D.| Founder of Bariform