How to Get More Movement in Your Day

Do you struggle to fit exercise or movement into your every day life? Whether it’s a 10 minute run or a 1 hour workout, sometimes exercise can fall to the bottom of our to-do list. But the irony is, exercise should be one of your top daily priorities, especially if you have a busy or stressful day.

The benefits of exercise are undeniable, from decreased stress levels and improved brain and heart health, to increased longevity and better mental health. Most people are aware of the benefits of exercise, so why aren’t more Australians meeting the physical activity guidelines? The main reasons are lack of time and lack of motivation/not seeing the value in exercise.


In this day and age, life seems to be constantly getting busier. With work deadlines, family obligations and social events, it’s easy to see how our physical health can slip down the priority list, even though we may know how vital staying active is for our health and well-being. So, the question often gets asked “how can I get exercise when I have such a busy life?.” The answer might be simpler than you may think, and it doesn’t necessarily require any gym equipment either!


It’s Monday morning and the alarm is going off; all you want to do is hit the snooze. The notions of the day ahead are beginning to flood in. Work, meetings, housework, food shopping; where is exercise going to fit in?

All these thoughts and we’re barely out of bed, living the dream we say. But what about exercise? It probably hasn’t even crossed your mind as you make your way to the kitchen, ready to start the day. Instead of finding a chunk of time to exercise, try a different approach by taking smaller steps to exercise, snack-like in nature or a great term for it is “snacks-ercise.”

Exercise physiologists guide to walking



The majority of people place a lot of value on their time. So, how we use our time matters a lot to us! When time is valuable, it’s about making the moments count. Small exercises + small exercises + small exercises = big outcome.

Here are some examples of ways to get small amounts of exercise into the day, without drastically changing your already-busy routine:


During the next snooze alarm fest, which is 9 minutes (just so you know), try some pelvic tilts, some knee rocks, and glute bridges. All from the comfort of your bed, and on your back! They may seem small but they’re great for warming up your body, waking yourself up and starting your day with some simple movement. Remember – small exercises add up.

After we get out of bed, and head to the kitchen for the morning coffee, while we wait for the kettle to boil, try some calf raises, bench pushups, and bench triceps dips. Again, small exercises but with a big outcome!

During the workday:

Off to work for the day either by public transport or private commute. The opportunity for snacks-ercise is large here! If you drive, try parking a bit further away from the entrance and gain a few extra steps for the day. The same can be done for public transport if it is manageable to get off at a stop a bit further away than usual.

At the office, let’s try not to be bunked down at the desk for too long. Sitting down for too long has been proven to have some health risks, such as an increased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s recommended that those working sitting down take a break every 30-60 minutes throughout the day to reduce these risks.

Break up long periods of sitting by going for a walk around the office space or head out for a coffee and walk to a nearby cafe. Even better try some walking lunges or office yoga. Encourage your work colleagues to get involved and make it fun! Sit to stand desks can also be another great way to get you moving.

Find out more about introducing movement into your work day here.

After the day:

The work day is done and we are back in the comfort of our own home, understandably tired after a long day. It’s understandable to want to call it a day here, but exercise should still be at the top of your priority list, despite the time of day. Even if the sun has set and you’re getting ready to settle down for the night, there is still opportunity for movement.

If you have children or young siblings or family members, playing with them outdoors (or indoors for that matter) is always a wonderful way to spend any free time you might have, and it’s a great way to get some movement in!

Identify where you can get incidental movement into your day, such as cooking and cleaning – that counts as movement! Bending down to put food into the oven and standing up straight again is in itself an exercise called a Romanian Deadlift (RDL). Check the oven a few times and that’s a few reps of RDLs.

When sitting down to dinner, or even to watch TV, try a few sit-to-stands. Have 5-10 minutes free after dinner? Go for a quick stroll around the block or do some gentle evening yoga (perfect for getting you relaxed and ready for bed too!)

As the night wears on and it’s time to brush our teeth and go to bed, our last opportunity for some snacks-ercise presents itself. While you brush your teeth, try doing some single leg balances, how long can you hold each side for? Or bring back the calf raises from this morning, incorporate squats into your nighttime routine or throw in a few sit ups when lying down to go to bed.

With life becoming increasingly busier, finding time for exercise may seem quite challenging. However, with a little creative thinking, incorporating physical movement throughout the day in small increments can make a big difference.

Whether it’s doing some glute bridges in your snooze time, parking further away from the work building and walking in or taking the stairs instead of the elevator., there is always the opportunity to add “snacks-ercise” in a way that works for your schedule.

If you’re not sure where to start with exercise, or you’re feeling a bit nervous about physical movement in general, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist will be able to help! They are allied health professionals that can assist you in finding opportunities to add physical movement to your schedule while also adapting to your health concerns and previous injuries to help you be and stay active.

Find your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist here. 


Written by Lauchlan Simmons, ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Accredited Exercise Scientist. 

Lauchlan enjoys using individualised exercise as medicine to treat a wide range of health conditions. He uses exercise to improve his clients’ quality of life and to make activities of daily living more manageable. Lauchlan works at Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy in Morayfield, Queensland.