Exercise helps everyone live a happier and healthier life, but it can be a challenge to find the time or the motivation to add exercise to your routine.

Here are five simple tips to help you sneak more movement into your day from British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Stay on your feet

You use more calories standing than sitting and you’ll improve your balance too.

Try standing while you talk on the phone, or marching on the spot as you watch a favourite TV show. You could even walk to do an errand instead of driving.

Get into the garden

Gardening is not only great exercise, which will help keep you mobile and manage your weight, but studies have shown it can also help you cope with stress and boost your mood.

Think about getting into the garden regularly to cut the grass, do some weeding, or plant up flowers or veg.

If you don’t have a green space of your own, you can offer to help look after a neighbour’s garden or join a local community gardening group.

Move in a spare minute

The couple of minutes that it takes for the kettle to boil, the washing machine to finish its cycle, or even to brush your teeth, are perfect opportunities to sneak in extra movement.

Try standing on one leg or walking on the spot.

Have a spring clean

Household chores often mean bending, reaching and stretching, and you could get even more active with a serious spring clean.

Hoovering, dusting or tidying involve repeated movements which can help to improve balance and tone muscles. To get more out of your chores try adding some lunges when using the Hoover or mop.

Dance doing the laundry

Dancing while you carry out a repetitive task like ironing or folding the laundry can help to improve your mood and increase your overall activity.

Put on some music and move to the beat in any way that feels good. Or, add in a simple movement, like side-stepping or marching on the spot.

Want more top tips?

Sign up to BHF’s fortnightly Heart Matters newsletter to receive healthy recipes, new activity ideas, and expert tips for managing your health.

Joining is free and takes two minutes.

Discover support from BHF

Living with diabetes and a heart condition can leave you searching for answers.

That’s why having easy access to information from a trusted source is important. British Heart Foundation is here to help.

Speak to one of BHF’s experienced cardiac nurses. Call 0808 802 1234 for free, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays) or get in touch via email or online chat.

Visit bhf.org.uk/questions to find out more.

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