Best Physical Activities for Busy People


Not having enough time to be active is the reality today. According to statistics, 23% of adults globally are physically inactive with the highest numbers in the economically developed regions, like the Americas and Europe.

The main culprits for this are occupational sedentary lifestyle, inactivity during free time, and using modern means of transportation. Motivation is lacking as well since many people can barely find the time to exercise because of their hectic schedules and exhaustion. However, it’s not an impossible endeavor. Check out these best physical activities for busy people you can easily fit into your day.

Start the morning with yoga

Morning is the toughest time to exercise. Some like to sleep as long as possible while others like to drink their coffee in peace. However, getting the blood pumping early on in the day can give you an energy boost and supply of feel-good hormones for the rest of the day. Yoga is one of the most practical physical activities in the morning because it carries lots of benefits for the body and mind.

With only 20 minutes of yoga, you’ll stretch the muscles, feel invigorated, and wake up faster. Also, try some of the eating hacks for busy people to avoid skipping breakfast and keep the positive effects of your morning exercise.

Walk anywhere you can

Walking can take a lot of your time, but it’s also a great way to have the whole body moving and increase circulation. If a brisk walk can take you somewhere — go for it! Only 30 minutes of walking every day can increase your endurance, strengthen the bones, improve cardiovascular health, and help weight loss.

Make sure to move the upper body while walking as well to strengthen the muscles on your lower back. It can lessen the discomfort in that area caused by prolonged sitting or standing, as well as make your core toned.

Try a standing desk workout

When it comes to standing, it can be as bad as a sedentary lifestyle. The best physical activity for busy people, in this case, is a standing desk workout. The most common exercise you can do during video calls is on your calves by rising on the toes and lifting the heel repeatedly.

If you want to include your core in the workout, extend a leg behind you as straight as you can, which will strengthen the glutes as well. Intertwine your hands behind your back, stretch the arms and slowly lift them to relax the muscles stiffed with constant hunching at your desk.

Go with a short HIIT

High-intensity interval training or HIIT is a cardio workout that can last for 20–30 minutes and get you in shape. The point is to perform short periods of workout and have short periods of rest to burn the most calories and strengthen the muscles.

Burpees, jumping jacks, and pullups are commonly introduced in the workout, but you can try whatever is more appropriate for you. One-minute plank is also a good whole-body exercise, but you should add pushup sets to strengthen the lower back. The majority of these workouts need space and a mat, although you can use the equipment, like the jumping rope and a doorway pull-up bar.

Take your bike to work

Riding a mountain bike to work won’t only bring the daily dose of physical activity, but also take you outside of the city during weekends. Besides strengthening your leg muscles, cycling can take care of the lower back pain common in people who sit too much.

With only 30 minutes of cycling for five days, you’ll get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Not to mention it can help you manage your weight and decrease the risks of cardiovascular diseases. If there’s a park on your way to work, make sure to go through it and give your mind an energizing boost with all the greenery.

Stretch at your desk

Doing exercises at your desk is so popular that it has a special name — the deskercise. Set your reminder or use an app to notify you when it’s time to take a break and stretch. The good news is that you can exercise while sitting down and don’t have to be on display to the office full of people.

For example, you can extend the arm above your head and reach to the opposite side holding the position for several seconds. Extend the legs in front of you and try to reach your toes, staying in that position for a while. If you are looking for something simpler, shoulder shrug and neck rolls will help with the prickling sensation from the prolonged drooping posture.

Tend to your garden

There are ways to stay healthy by combining physical activity with your errands. One of those is gardening that can have you burn a few hundred calories in an hour. The movements to pull out the weeds, to dig, and to till will strengthen the bones, joints, and muscles of your upper body.

If you don’t have a garden or it doesn’t need much tending, inspire yourself to do it more by growing your own food. Homegrown vegetables and fruits can improve your health further and also encourage you to stay more physically active as a gardener.

Be active with kids

Of course, you would rather choose to spend time with your family than working out! The good news is that one doesn’t exclude the other. Kids also need to stay physically active so you can all do it together and have a wonderful time while rollerblading, swimming, or hiking.

If you need an exercise buddy, your kid may be the right person for the task since you can support each other. Find an activity that both you and the kids will love so it doesn’t become boring and burdening after a while. Include your partner, parents, or cousins and make it a quality time with the family when you exercise together and improve on your health.

All in all

The key to fit exercise into your day is to find the right one that you like and won’t disrupt your schedule. Anyone can find something appropriate on this list of best physical activities for busy people, but no matter how easy it seems — take it slow. Just like building your stamina, you have to create a habit of being physically active and still getting everything done.

One comment

  1. Kim Sa – Philippines – Hi everyone! I am Kim, psychology major based in the Philippines. A former training coordinator and compensation and benefits specialist currently working as a writer in Livingston Research. Travelling, workouts and writing are my interests. What's yours? :)
    Kim Sa says:

    As someone who’s working from 8-6pm, I really find time to at least do any physical activity for atleast 30 mins a day. There are a lot of 30-40mins workout videos to follow along in Youtube that can be done at home and they really help!

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