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10 Tips to Fit More Fitness into Everyday Life

woman running down steps at train station

Editor’s Note: Guidelines on diet and physical activity are updated as scientific evidence continues to evolve. Please read the most recent recommendations here.

Being physically active above your usual routine, no matter what your level of activity, can have many health benefits. One of them is lowering your cancer risk. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week (or a combination of these). While setting aside time for exercise is important, you can also find ways to be active in your everyday life that take little or no extra time.

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  2. If you drive, park farther away from your destination.
  3. If you take public transportation, get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  4. Walk or bike to work, run errands, or visit friends. Or cluster your errands in one area so you can park your car once and then walk to each destination.
  5. Take a short walk during your lunch break, after dinner, or in place of a coffee break.
  6. Instead of sitting down to watch TV, try doing a few simple exercises or stretches while you watch. Or make a new rule: No sitting during commercials.
  7. Stand up or walk around while talking on the phone. Better yet, catch up with a friend or brainstorm with a coworker while taking a walk together.
  8. Don’t let housework, gardening, or lawn maintenance build up – they’re all opportunities to get moving. Cleaning out the garage or attic is another way to be productive and active at the same time.
  9. Find ways to get more exercise from your current hobbies and activities. For example, if you play golf, walk the course instead of using a cart. If you have a child who plays sports, walk around the field or court while the team practices.
  10. Plan family outings that involve being active, like hiking, swimming, or outdoor games. Build in outdoor adventures into your family vacation; it can be an opportunity to try something new.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.