In the hectic fast-paced urban lifestyle, our health often takes a back seat. Taking out an extra hour to go cycling or to Zumba class may not be possible. But getting some form of exercise, without hitting the gym, is possible. Here are 6 ways you can get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week (or 30 minutes per day).

Up the pace when walking

Walking for 30 minutes at a reasonably fast, steady pace (around 3 to 4mph — 5 to 6km/h) can burn up to 175 calories and gets the heart pumping. Don’t miss any opportunity to take the stairs or use public transport. Go get groceries yourself instead of having them delivered, even if the convenience of delivery is seriously tempting. Heading out shopping is a great form of exercise in disguise. An hour spent walking around a supermarket or mall can burn up to 200 calories.

Get moving in the office

In the office, set small goals to make yourself get up and about. Getting up and taking a five-minute walk once an hour is a great way to stay active. Why not go see a colleague at the other end of the office or in a different department, trekking across corridors and staircases if possible. Or go get a glass of water from a water fountain or kitchen on a higher floor, for example. If the company has a staff lounge or a lunch room, try doing a few stretches to keep stiffness and tension at bay. Simply getting up and getting moving eight times a day can soon add up to 40 minutes of physical activity, burning around 300 calories with relative ease.

Why not go see a colleague at the other end of the office or in a different department, trekking across corridors and staircases?

Get busy in the garden

There’s no reason for city dwellers not to enjoy time in the garden. With shared allotments and community garden projects springing up in towns and cities, you can burn calories and work up a sweat mowing the lawn, digging, turning soil, stacking logs, weeding and raking leaves. It’s also a great opportunity to relax and take a breather from urban life, get close to nature and perhaps even learn some new approaches to agriculture.

Keep it clean

Cleaning may not be the most glamorous activity, but it’s a chore that’s got to be done. It’s also a great way of getting moving and burning calories without even realizing. Vacuuming, cleaning windows and mopping floors can burn 250 calories per hour. Stick on your favourite music and get to work with gusto.

Boogie at home

Not everyone has the time or energy to go out dancing in a nightclub, bar or gym after work. Busting a groove in the comfort of your own home is a simple alternative that’s easy and effective. Whether alone or with family and friends, push back the sofa, stick on your favorite tunes and get moving. Dancing is a great way to work up a sweat and get a smile on your face. An hour of dancing can easily burn 400 calories.

Treat the dog to a longer walk

Taking the dog for a walk is an easy way to get at least 30 minutes of extra exercise into your day. Plus, it’s something you’re likely to do on more days than other activities. Dog owners can easily attain the 150 minutes of weekly exercise recommended to stay in shape.