Working out can seem daunting, uncomfortable and time consuming. Weeks and months can go by while you try and figure out how to make time to make it to a zumba, yoga, pilates, and spin class, plus time with a trainer multiple times a week. Truth is, these are lofty goals that actually prevent you from working towards a fitter you. While being ambitious is healthy, trying to do too much prevents you from ever getting you started, during which time you gain weight and lose motivation.

A better way to get results and build will power is to do small things every day that help you get towards a leaner you. These are things you can do throughout the day that help keep you active and don’t require a ton of commitment or big changes to your daily life. Keep them in mind as you go about your day to improve your lifestyle and your mindset.

1. Take the stairs

Bail on elevators and escalators and take the stairs. Small bursts of exercise throughout the day have powerful cumulative effects and will combat the amount of time you spend sedentary throughout the day. Stairs will gently get your heart rate up and call on your large lower muscles to get them active. It will also give you a little burst of energy, which makes it kind of a no-brainer.

2. Swap out your lunch

Instead of heading out with the office for a buffet lunch or pizza day, skip it and take yourself for a long walk instead. Going for a walk or taking a thirty minute yoga class reverses the negative physical effects of sitting for extended periods of time, clears your mind and oxygenates your brain, and helps re-calibrate your appetite.

Many times we go out and eat way more than we need, either because we’re dehydrated from a morning of coffee and staring at the computer, or because we’re looking for something pleasurable and distracting. Taking this time to be more mindful and do a more nurturing activity will enable you to use the time to reset and give back to your body and mind.

3. Take a walking meeting

Instead of having your meeting on location or sitting in a conference room, take your meeting on the go. Studies show that people who walk and talk are more creative and more comfortable with one another, and tend to have more cohesive communication. Meet at a park or walk to get coffee to try something new and get you up and moving.

4. Buddy up with a fit friend

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Bringing fit and inspiring people into your routine will help motivate you to get better in every capacity. Find a way to connect with these people and get close with them.

5. Take your book on tape

Continuing education is a priority for many of us, and most talks and books out there are all available on your smartphone. Use your time to learn more as an opportunity to get out and active, by putting your headphones and getting out and about, or getting on the treadmill at your gym. By multitasking you’ll check two productive things off your list at once, and will have more free time to get back to the rest of your life.

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