9 ways to get fit without realising you’re trying

You don’t need to hit the gym hard to be fitter – try these sneaky yet simple ways of exercising instead.

Getting fit can sometimes feel like a massive chore. You've got a million other things to do without fitting a workout or a visit to the gym into the mix.

[Read more: Fitness for beginners: 7 tips to get started]

But becoming fitter doesn't have to mean hours spent on a treadmill - it can be much simpler. So simple, in fact, you won't even realise you're trying...don't believe us? Here are nine ways:

Walk the dog

It’s an obvious one but walking your dog every single day will not only improve your fitness but your mood too. Try a brisk walk, which will delight your pet pooch too not to mention tire them out. Don’t have a dog? Offer to walk your neighbours' or a family member’s dog.

Take the stairs

Everywhere you go, take the stairs if possible. It’s tempting to take the lift but whether you’re going up one floor or five, there’s no excuse not to take to the stairs. Walk up escalators too – you’ll get your heart pumping and feel like Rocky when you get to the top.

Walk everywhere

Not only is it better for the environment but it’s better for you too. If you find yourself relying on your car for everything – even picking up a pint of milk from the local shop – leave the car keys at home and take to the streets. You’ll be surprised by how refreshing it feels.

Get into gardening

Gardening may be one of the best-kept secrets to staying in shape, as you put in strenuous work by digging, planting, weeding and mowing. It’s one of the best ways to keep fit without realising you are, as you’re focused on the gardening itself rather than how tired you’re feeling.

Try a dance class

You don’t need to be Strictly-worthy, but there’s nothing quite like giving it a good shimmy on a dull, grey afternoon in a dance class. The time will fly by as you put your brain to the test too to pick up the routine.

Think like a kid

Kids run everywhere – walking isn’t in their vocabulary and neither is sitting still. So when you’re feeling a little lazy, think like a child and get up and do something. It could be as simple as a walk around the garden or it could be something more energetic like a round of tennis or a swim. Trampolines are also a favourite with children and would be with you too if you gave it a go – or a bounce. They’re a fantastic cardio workout and such fun that you’ll have done half a hour’s workout without before you realise. If there aren’t any trampoline keep fit classes in your area, pick up a small fitness trampoline and bounce while you watch your daily soaps.

Spring clean

Cleaning alone can make you sweat and you can also incorporate some easy exercises into your cleaning routine. Change the way you clean – use a little more force when wiping surfaces; give the mop a miss when cleaning floors and use a cloth and your own elbow grease instead; squat while you put things away; lunge while you’re vacuuming...

Organise a family fun day

When fitness is fun, it doesn’t feel like a hassle. Get the whole family involved with a family sports day; think rounders, three-legged race, egg and spoon race and a 100m sprint.

Sit on a Swiss ball

Core workouts don’t get much more intense than on a Swiss ball (they’re the big, inflatable gym balls). You don’t even need to do sit-ups on them to work that core – simply sitting upright on one is a balancing act that will use every core muscle in your being. Forego an office chair for one or sit on a ball at home instead of lounging on your sofa.

Tips and advice brought to you by Voltarol. Voltarol includes topical formulations to relieve pain and inflammation so that you can experience the Joy of Movement. To learn more about body pain and how to relieve body pain effectively, go to www.voltarol.co.uk

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