Although it has been said many times, there is simply no way to be fit and live well without getting adequate physical activity. Despite years and years of medical recommendations and serious warnings about the illnesses associated with sedentary lifestyles, too many people in the developed world fail to get enough exercise. Disease and ill health are the necessary results of such a scenario.

One of the major reasons people give for why they simply can’t get to the gym is time. With today’s longer work hours, commutes, families and other social obligations, fitting in a workout can be a challenge. However, making fitness a priority in your life doesn’t have to mean sacrificing other things. In fact, fitness can be a healthy and wonderful part of those other commitments. So if you’re wanting to add a little exercise to your regime, but aren’t sure how to get started, reading to find out the best ways to get fit without spending hours at the gym.

Tip One: Walk, bike, skate or run to work when possible. If you are used to taking a car to work you might want to consider alternative ways to get there. Environmentally and health-wise, using your own body to get yourself to the office will have major beneficial effects.

If work is too far away to walk, look into the local transportation. At least when you take the bus, subway or streetcar you will be forced to walk a little ways. If these options are not possible for your commute, consider car pooling with a friend who works nearby. In this way you can get a ride to their office and walk or bike the rest of the way to your own. This will save you money, help the environment and most of all get you a little morning exercise.

Tip Two: Make it a social occasion. So you’ve been meaning to catch up with your old friend anyways, so why not suggest getting caught up on a nice long hike. Instead of heading out to your local restaurant for a heavy meal and drinks, take a nature walk instead. Often conversations are better when breathing in the fresh air of the trees around us.

Exercising with a friend is also great way to stay motivated. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone. You can catch up and get in shape at the same time. Plus, this is a great way to keep each other on track with your weight loss or exercise goals. Should you be struggling with getting adequate exercise, your friend can be a great source of support. When you make a commitment to another person, it will be much more difficult to weasel out of physical fitness than if you have only yourself to disappoint.

Tip Three: A family affair. Children whose parents exercise are themselves much more likely to exercise and stay fit. If you are concerned about your child’s weight, you will want to take a good look in the mirror and analyze your own behaviour. If you’re constantly complaining that you don’t have the time for exercise, chances are your children will likewise pick up on your habits.

Making physical activity a part of your quality family time will help you all keep fit and will set a great example for your kids. Plus heading out ice skating or to the park for playtime will often lead to better quality time than sitting in front of the t.v. or at a movie theatre where you won’t even be speaking to each other.

Tip Four: Pump it up at work. While some offices are now beginning to recognize the importance of offering exercise equipment and time to their employees you may unfortunately not yet be working for such a progressive company. If your company has such a policy than great and even if they don’t they might be flexible enough to allow you to make it to the gym just for a short workout on your lunch break. If however like many people you are overworked and have little time for long walks or even quick runs during office hours, you may need to take matters into your own hands.

When you are busy reading an email or listening to your messages there is no reason that you can’t take your water bottle, stapler or whatever is at hand and do a few bicep curls. Leg lifts while at the computer are also a great way to fit in a little strength and resistance training under your desk. Some people may even manage to fit in a few squats and lunges in the privacy of their office while listening to telephone messages or even talking on the phone. If you are one the phone quite a bit, consider asking your workplace about getting a hands-free headset. This way you can move about more freely while you talk and perform other tasks.

Tip Five: Romantic walks. If you feel like you need to take some time to reconnect with your partner and have a nice evening out for dinner planned you may want to consider walking to a restaurant nearby instead of driving. Not only will this save you from the trouble of finding parking, but it will also provide a nice nightcap to your meal. And nothing beats walking home on a starlit night when it comes to romance. This is an inexpensive, but highly romantic way to work off a meal and keep the magic of a great date going until you get home.

Every time you choose the stairs instead of the elevator, opt for a long walk with a friend instead of a night of drinking, or take the family for a hike rather than to the movies, you are reaping the benefits of physical activity. Exercise that fits your schedule is as easy as making these small changes as often as possible.

Author's Bio: 

Dale Miller is a health, sports, fitness and nutrition enthusiast. He operates and writes a blog at