Believe it or not, we're already at the end of January, and I'm still trying to stay focused on my weight loss and fitness goals. I've been trying to develop healthy eating and lifestyle habits so that I don't feel like I'm trying too hard. That's a sure-fire way to make me feel like giving up. I'll admit, though, that on cold winter days, one of the hardest things to do is make myself exercise. I'd rather snuggle up with a book and some hot chocolate than put on my workout gear and get moving. It's just too cold to go running outside, and while I love swimming in the summer, there's no way I'm leaving the gym with dripping hair this time of year! Plus, I don't always have the time in my day to devote to a real workout.
But I know how important exercise is to overall fitness and wellness, so I'm determined to find a way to make it happen! What I've discovered is that doing exercise every day is not really all that hard if you don't think of it as a big deal. It's really not that hard to sneak in some calorie burning throughout your day without actually calling it a "workout."

Click through for some clever ways to sneak some exercise into your day!

1. Walk. Of course it's easier to just get in the car, but if you walk to work or to do errands you'll kill two birds with one stone. Listen to music or an audio book for some entertainment and you'll really enjoy the time. If you prefer biking that's great, too!
2. Take the stairs. I'm sure you've heard this one many times before, but those steps add up, and when you don't have time for a formal workout, every step counts! Burn more calories by going extra fast or taking two steps at a time.
3. Park a few blocks away. Forgo convenience for the sake of fitness and you'll be forced to walk a few blocks to your destination, and then again on your way back to your car. Another situation where every little bit adds up. If you commute by train or bus, get off a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way.
4. Household chores. Make them count! Household chores like vacuuming, dusting, mopping, shoveling snow, and cleaning the car can burn calories and work your muscles.
5. Work out while you wait. Don't be impatient when you're stuck waiting on line; instead, use the time to do some toning! Squeeze your abs, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat.
6. Take a lunch break walk. Take a brisk 15 minute walk in the middle of the day. It's good for your body and it's also a great pick-me-up that will clear your head.
7. Don't just sit there! Sit on a stability ball instead of a chair to strengthen your core. Keep hand weights by your desk and use them while you talk on the phone and read email.
8. Make the most of TV time. Watching TV is a great time to do some stretches, walk on the treadmill, do yoga, or work out with weights.
9. Wake up a few minutes early. If you really want to find some time to sneak in exercise, the best time to do it is by waking up a little earlier than usual. If that scares you, try getting up just 10 minutes early at first and get in some exercise. You'll feel good the rest of the day, knowing that you did something good for yourself, and that will motivate you to do it the next day.
10. Do it with friends. Instead of always getting together with friends for movies, drinks, or dinner, suggest doing something active that you can enjoy together. Ice skating or dancing are fun winter options!
Try making some of these small changes and you'll see how easy it becomes to be active when it's part of your regular routine!

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