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A collage of cartoon characters doing various exercises is on the left side of the image. On the right, bold text reads "NO-EXERCISE EXERCISING?" In the bottom right corner, a cluster of almonds and the text "10 almonds" is visible.

No-Exercise Exercise!

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Do you love to go to the gym?

If so, today’s article might not be for you so much. Or maybe it will, because let’s face it, exercise is fun!

At least… It can be, and should be 😉

So without further ado, here’s a slew of no-exercise exercise ideas; we’re willing to bet that somewhere in the list there’s at least some you haven’t tried before, and probably some you haven’t done in a while but might enjoy making a reprise!


No surprises here: walking is great. Hopefully you have some green spaces near you, but if you don’t, [almost] any walking is better than no walking. So unless there’s some sort of environmental disaster going on outside, lace up and get stepping.

If you struggle to “walk for walking’s sake” give yourself a little mission. Walk to the shop to buy one item. Walk to the park and find a flower to photograph. Walk to the library and take out a book. Whatever works for you 🙂

See also: The Doctor Who Wants Us To Exercise Less, And Move More

Take the stairs

This one doesn’t need many words, just: make it a habit.

Treat the elevators as though they aren’t there!

See also: How To Really Pick Up (And Keep!) Those Habits


Dance is amazing! Any kind of dance, whatever suits your tastes. This writer loves salsa and tango, but no matter whether for you it’s zouk or zumba, breakdancing or line dancing, whatever gets you moving is going to be great for you.

If you don’t know how, online tutorials abound, and best of all is to attend local classes if you can, because they’re always a fun social experience too.

Make music

Not something often thought of as an exercise, but it is! Most instruments require that we be standing or siting with good posture, focusing intently on our movements, and often as not, breathing very mindfully too. And yes, it’s great for the brain as well!

Check out: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession – by Dr. Daniel Levitin

Take a stand

If you spend a lot of time at a desk, please consider investing in a standing desk; they can be truly life-changing. Not only is it so much better for your back, hips, neck, and internal organs, but also it burns hundreds more calories than sitting, due to the no-exercise exercise that is keeping your body constantly stabilized while on your feet.

(or, if you’re like this writer: on your foot. I do have two feet, I just spend an inordinate amount of time at my desk standing on one leg at a time; I’m a bit of a flamingo like that)

See also: Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World – by Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza

Sit, but…

Sit in a sitting squat! Sometimes called a Slav squat, or an Asian squat, or a resting squat, or various other names:

Click Here If The Embedded Video Doesn’t Load Automatically!

Alternatively, sitting in seiza (the traditional Japanese sitting position) is also excellent, but watch out! While it’s great once your body is accustomed to it, if you haven’t previously sat this way much, you may cut off your own circulation, hurt your knees, and (temporarily) lose feeling in your feet. So if you don’t already sit in seiza often, gradually work up the time period you spend sitting in seiza, so that your vasculature can adapt and improve, which honestly, is a very good thing for your legs and feet to have.


Perhaps the absolute most “no-exercise exercise” there is. And yes, of course you are (hopefully) breathing all the time, but how you are breathing matters a lot:

The Inside Job Of Fixing Our Breathing: Exercises That Can Fix Sinus Problems (And More)


This doesn’t have to mean scrubbing floors like a sailor—even merely giving your house the Marie Kondo treatment counts, because while you’re distracted with all the objects, you’re going to be going back and forth, getting up and down, etc, clocking up lots of exercise that you barely even notice!

PS, check out: The Life-Changing Manga Of Tidying Up – by Marie Kondo


As with the above, it’s lots of activity that doesn’t necessarily feel like it (assuming you’re doing more pruning and weeding etc, and less digging ditches etc), and as a bonus, there are a stack of mental health benefits to being in a green natural environment and interacting with soil:

Read more: The Antidepressant In Your Garden


Depending on where you live, this might mean an indoor climbing wall, but give it a go! They have color-coded climbs from beginner to advanced, so don’t worry about being out of your depth.

And the best thing is, the beginner climbs will be as much a workout to a beginner as the advanced climbs will be to an advanced climber, because at the end of the day, you’re still clinging on for dear life, no matter whether it’s a sizeable handhold not far from the ground, or the impression of a fingernail crack in an overhang 100ft in the air.

Video games (but…)

Less in the category of Stardew Valley, and more in the category of Wii Fit.

So, dust off that old controller (or treat yourself to one if you didn’t have one already), and get doing a hundred sports and other physical activities in the comfort of your living room, with a surprisingly addictive gaming system!


You probably don’t need instructions here, and if you do, well honestly, we’re running out of space today. But the answer to “does xyz count?” is “did it get your heart racing?” because if so, it counts 😉

Take care!

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