11 Workouts That Multitask, Too!

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Do you have a lot going on?

Is your To Do list a mile long?

Don’t think you have enough time to work out?

You might think your schedule is too busy to exercise, but you can maximize your time while tackling your To Do list at the same time. Check out these workouts that multitask, too! Two birds, one stone scone.

11 Workouts That Multitask Too

Unwind with yoga

Instead of unwinding with a cocktail or sitting in front of the TV after a long, frustrating day, try burning calories while boosting your mood and relieving stress at the same time with yoga. Even a 20-minute session (I love the free downloads from YogaDownload.com) will help you find your happy place.

Power walk your errands

When I have a lot of errands or shopping to do, I’ll throw on my sneakers and park my car near a shopping center or mall and then power walk my errands. I often return to my car between trips to drop off purchased goods and extend my walking path. I also try to visit these shopping areas early in the morning or late at night, so I can speed walk my errands without worrying about the crowds. I’m able to cross items off of my To Do list while getting a workout at the same time.

Exercise while exfoliating your feet

Burn some calories and exfoliate your feet at the same time? Sign me up! It sort of sounds like a trip to the spa to me! When you run (or walk) barefoot on the beach, try to dig your feet into the sand to get the most out of its exfoliating powers. As you exercise, the sand will exfoliate the dry skin off your feet, and they’ll become nice and soft!

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Tone while you wait (or brush)

When I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, movie theater, or any old line, I flex my abs and hold for 5-6 seconds (and then rest and repeat) as a way to strengthen this area while passing the time. Similarly, I’d do calf raises while brushing my teeth. I’m usually just standing there doing nothing, so might as well multitask!

Schedule a treadmill workout during your favorite TV program

A great way to help pass the time during a treadmill (or elliptical) workout is by scheduling it during your favorite TV show. Most television programs are 30 or 60 minutes, which is perfect for fitting in a workout. During commercials, I like to pick up the pace to increase the intensity and calorie-burn of my workout. In addition to watching my favorite TV shows, here are some other ways to run on the treadmill without dying of boredom!

kelly and regis

Ride or walk to work

If you ride your bike to work, you already know it’s an awesome way to exercise, even if it’s just a couple of times a week or month. If you live too far away to bike to work, but take public transportation instead, try getting off one or two stops early and walking the rest of the way. It such an easy way to add some activity to your day!

Listen to a podcast while you foam roll

I always used to cut my foam rolling and stretching sessions short because I’d lose interest, but now I listen to NPR or another podcast (my favorite is Balanced Bites) to keep me engaged, so I end up foam rolling or stretching for longer while engaging my mind at the same time. This strategy would also work with an audiobook!

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Catch up with family or friends during a walk or hike

Haven’t called your mother or hung out with your best friend in awhile? A great way to catch up with a family member or friend is by inviting them to exercise with you. Walking or hiking, for example, allows you to talk while breaking a sweat at the same time. If you can’t get together in person, using a headset to chat on the phone while you exercise is also a fun way to catch up.

Check your email and social media accounts while you work your core

When I was trying to increase my time during my Plank Challenge, I used my iPhone as a way to connect socially while planking and strengthening my core at the same time. I’d check my email, “like” Instagram photos, and tweet with Twitter friends to help me pass the time.

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Speed clean your house

When I’m cleaning the house, I like to turn on some fast-tempo tunes and get my exercise on! Sometimes, I set a timer to see how fast I can clean the house from top to bottom. Other times, I do push-ups or squats whenever a new song starts to play. Picking up the pace and adding in some strength training moves helps the chores fly by, and I torch some extra calories in the process.

Play fetch

If you own a dog, walking him or her is a great way to fit some activity into your day. Take it one step further by adding some sprints to your walk by playing fetch with your dog. Throw the ball as far as you can and then race to get it before your dog does. My dog almost always beats me to the ball, but it’s still fun to try. Plus, it’s a great way to get my heartbeat up and, of course, provide some exercise for my favorite furry friend.

murphy pug

Question of the Day

What are your favorite ways to multitask while you workout?

This post is brought to you by Ocean Spray Diet .

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85 Comments

  1. I just spend the last year, every Saturday morning, on my bike (on a trainer in the living room), listening to my IIN lectures. Funny thing is, I am just posting a picture about this today (I graduate today!). Multi-tasking at it’s finest!! 🙂 I love the plank/read idea. I’ll have to do that one next.

  2. ha, i usually dread cleaning but i love your idea of speed cleaning!

    i sometimes run to places, get there quicker AND exercise. win win. but because i don’t want to look like a freak, i’ll look down on my watch periodically while i run to pretend like i’m in a hurry lol. that makes it more socially acceptable right?

    and yes i do have friends, why do you ask?

  3. I love these tips. Especially the one about waiting in lines…I will definitely be trying that. I don’t know if this counts, but I will split up my strength training routines (that I usually do at home) up into little mini 10 minute sessions so I can just do them whenever I have a bit of free time, rather than actually having to schedule time for a full workout. It keeps me moving throughout the whole day, too!

  4. Such a great post! I love the social media while planking! I often peruse Pinterest while in pigeon pose. It’s hard to keep it as long at home, when I don’t have a class full of people to motivate me to stay in position. Also, thanks for posting about yoga download! Looks awesome, I’ve been looking for a good, free site to get some quick yoga routines! And thanks for reminding me to walk while on the phone, I used to that all the time in college, I need to get back into that!

  5. I walk to and from work so 5 days/week I’m guaranteed 4 miles on foot.
    I used to work with a woman who kept a set of hand weights at her desk–we worked in an open pod area and she’d do bicep curls while on the phone. It was pretty funny but I give her credit for making the most of the work day!

  6. I used to hold in my abs when I was out as about too! I haven’t done it in a while though…yikes. But get on that! Umm…oo! When I’m relaxing or watching tv, I’m normally on the floor stretching. I cheerlead, so flexibility is key, therefore I’m always working on it!

  7. These are great tips! A lot of times I’ll foam roll and stretch while watching TV, I also play on my iPhone while holding planks and I walk a lot for errands, granted I live in Chicago, but I’ll choose to walk a mile or two instead of taking the bus.

  8. I love all of these ideas. I like to take Bentley on walks when I’m talking friends I don’t get to see often on the phone. We are doing a wellness challenge at my work and we have started to use our breaks to do sort walks and squats.

  9. Great that you mentioned the plank challenge you did awhile back. I started my own this week. Was doing great, too (for me, anyway), as I realized I’m able to hold a plank for 32 seconds (I’m soooo not athletic or fit. Yet.). It would’ve been longer last night, but my dog decided to surprise me with a kiss, and it knocked me over!

    As for multitasking, I’ve started doing the planks while I’m watching TV. When I’m done with this, I think I’ll try a side plank challenge!

  10. Two of my main grocery stores (there is a postal store, clothing store and shoe store, too!) are within a mile of the house. Instead of taking the car, I but my kiddo in the jogging stoller (weather permitting) and we run up there, get groceries and run back.It is great exercise, my kiddo loves the outside time, we get to spend time together we get the grocery shopping done, get some fresh air and vitamin D and we save on gas. Win-Win!

    Also, I don’t watch that much TV, but when I do I always exercise while I am doing it. Squats, lunges, planks, push-ups and I use my exercise bands.

  11. I like to download books on cd to my mp3 player. That way I can catch up on books I’m anxious to read but don’t have to fiddle with holding the book when my hands are sweaty and I’m walking on the treadmill.

  12. I do squats or a plank while I wait for my food to re-heat in the microwave at work. People rarely use the small kitchen we have so I take advantage of the space and the few moments to myself!

  13. I do the whole social media thing while planking as well. 🙂 If I’m running short on time but want to get a workout in I’ll multi-task strength and cardio by doing quick circuits and supersets and I’ll do a full body workout as opposed to specifics if I know my week is going to be a crazy one. This way none of the muscle groups get neglected.

    Have a great weekend!

  14. Though it’s not recommended for everyone, I read stuff while I’m on the treadmill (I guess similar to watching TV). As long as the text is not too small, it actually makes the time fly by!
    And I like to power walk places to run errands, too.

  15. I like to go for long walks around the Commons during my lunch breaks, weather permitting. I listen to my iPod and I catch up on some emails or Tweets. I feel like I’m being productive, but still out getting some fresh air and moving 🙂

    I’ve always been a die-hard “I need to listen to music while I work out!” person, but I’m intrigued by the idea of listening to a podcast…I’ll need to try that out.

  16. I’m with you on scheduling treadmill time when there’s a great TV show on- especially when I’m really busy or when I was studying for the bar. There was no way I could take 2 breaks each day to exercise AND watch TV, so I had to multitask. Now when I’m really stressed I take a walking break and listen to my go to chill out music. Total de-stresser!

  17. Some of these tips are great, but some of them seem disordered to me. Is it really necessary to flex our abs while waiting in line? I don’t think it’s healthy to incorporate some sort of exercise into so many parts of life.

  18. Great tips! I love listening to pod cast during an evening walk to unwind or playing fetch with the pup. Fetch is usually a nightly occurrence in our backyard….rain or shine.

    I’ll have to try foam rolling with my iPod. I never really think of it as a workout.

  19. I’ve definitely been known to be posting on my phone while planking or stretching too. 🙂 I have a very active job (working on our farm) so I like to think of my daily chores as cross training and a good mixture with my running.

  20. Love this post Tina! The #1 reason given for why people don’t exercise is time! I love trying out new classes or walking with girlfriends. A run or walk with the dog with a significant other or family member is awesome. If I have a presentation or test, I take my notes on the treadmill with me. Great suggestions from everyone 🙂

  21. Love these ideas! I’m a big fan of workout multitasking, too. While I was in school, I used to study while walking on the treadmill, biking, or elliptical-ing. I also really like making workouts social events – see a friend AND get in a workout!

  22. Awesome ideas! I frequently walk/run when doing errands and I love working out while catching my favorite TV show. I had never thought to check my e-mail/Facebook/Twitter on my phone while doing planks, though! I try to do planks everyday and this sounds like a great way to distract me from the pain and get multiple things done at once! 🙂

  23. These are great tips Tina! I try to multitask as much as possible as I end up missing workouts due to my job and commute. That picture and tip about running on the beach made me miss home (Florida) so bad!! Exercise and a pedicure at the same time? Sign me up! Is that pic from Hawaii? The water looks gorgeous.

  24. Love this post! I am definitely an advocate of using yoga as my massage therapist and ultimate stress reliever. My favorite way to workout and multi-task is hiking with friends to catch up.

  25. I am ALL about multi-tasking!

    My most common way to sneak in exercise, is I’ll put some pumping music on while I’m cooking and washing the dances. Then I’ll dance around the kitchen while I make the meal, and clean it up. Definitely gets the heart rate up (and my boyfriend gets a good laugh as I make a fool of myself)

  26. I love taking walks while I’m on the phone. I can blab for hours I just start walking around my neighborhood at the beginning on a conversation and the next thing I know it’s been 40 minutes and 40 minutes of even slow walking is so much better than 40 minutes on the couch.

  27. I use my elliptical almost every night while watching Netflix streaming the iPad…currently working through Star Trek (the original,series) & Family Guy 😉

  28. Super post! I love making cleaning the house a workout! Last Sunday, I couldn’t do the workout I had planned but I was able to clean the house for just about 2 hours. I made sure to take extra trips from the kitchen, down the stairs to the garage to take the trash, then the paper recycling and then the plastic recycling. Adding in some strength moves would round it out pretty perfectly.

  29. I sometimes watch Hulu or netflix while doing cardio. Sometimes I review my lecture notes for the next day as well…although I dont always have the next lecture done by the time I go to the gym 🙁 Gotta love being a first year faculty member…

  30. I love this post!!! I love to watch TV on the treadmill…I increase my speed during commercials, cuz you can do anything for 2 minutes right? LOL

  31. I walk to work and LOVE IT! It is such a great way to clear my head after a long day and a good way to be fully awake by the time I arrive at my desk. I really like your idea about flexing your abs while waiting in line. An awesome way to multitask!

  32. I love the schedule a tredmill workout during your favorite TV program. I love to do that on days I don’t really feel like exercising. It feels like a reward for getting it done.

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