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3 Ways to Hack Your Routine and Get More Exercise

If you can burn a few more calories without much effort, why not give these methods a try?

Far be it from us to advocate laziness. Hey, when a recent government study reported that 36% of Americans don’t get any exercise at all, we felt really sad for all those poor schmoes who’ll never know the joy of breaking their PR. Or seeing their feet.

Having said that, sometimes a few “shortcuts” can come in handy in life—and, yes, even in fitness. Lazy or sly? You decide.

1. Stand Up & Deliver: Most experts advise getting up and walking every few hours to prevent health risks like heart disease and diabetes. But simply standing can also work in a pinch: A European Heart Journal study found that standing instead of sitting an extra two hours a day can lower blood sugar and boost good cholesterol. (Walking’s better, but, just sayin’.)

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2. Stroll to Old Age: Researchers from Germany’s Saarland University discovered that just a brisk 25-minute stroll every day can increase your life span by up to seven years. After six months of this regimen, even former nonexercisers saw an increase in markers for DNA repair, specifically those related to aging.

3. Cycle for Money: Stand-up desks, balance boards, and ball seats have all tried to make the workday more of a workout. But desk cycling may be the way to go. No kidding: Researchers at the University of Iowa put small pedaling devices under office workers’ desks for 16 weeks, and those who used it for 50 minutes a day lost weight, concentrated better, and got sick less.

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