Getting exercise is not only great for our physical health, but it can also improve our mental well-being, boost our mood, and help us stress less. And when we keep in mind that carving out time for any type of movement, (no matter how long or short), can make a difference –– we can find ways to incorporate exercise into our everyday routines without the stress.  

We asked our Thrive Stars to share with us the different ways they carve out time for movement, even during busy days. Which of these ideas will you try?

Go on a hike with a friend

“Winning the Thrive Challenge back in April 2022 gave me a huge boost of confidence to keep working towards my goals. Since that time, I have continued walking with my friend Heather, who continues to motivate me. We hiked three trails this summer and it was my longest 11km hike to date! I also started swimming again, which has always been a passion of mine, and I go kayaking with my dad. It helps us connect and stay moving, and he’s enjoying getting to spend more time with me.”

––Amanda Rogers, Store #1016, Glenwood, NS, Canada

Choose a farther spot in the parking lot

“My tip is to park farther away from stores, especially at the mall. This allows for me to get plenty of extra steps in. Depending on how far I walk I may be a little exhausted by the time I enter the store. That means less spending for me!”

––-Ashley Jones, Store #2754, Waynesboro, GA

Make time for stretching

“When I’m in school, I ask one of my kids to go for a five or ten-minute walk. We also do yoga stretches for our kids in wheelchairs. It helps stimulate them. Once an hour, we reach for the stars. This means we are reaching up and out with our arms. These are just a few things that keep us moving during the day.”

––Cathleen Wingenbach, Store #1781, Cincinnatus, NY

Start a dance party with your grandkids

“I have dance parties with my granddaughter all the time. I find myself always on the move, either walking, working, outside playing with the grandkids, taking walks with my parents and just staying active.”

––Jackie Hammond, Store #2326, Hornell, NY

Take your dog for a walk

“Each morning, I walk our dogs and we log about two miles. At work, I park away from the store and as a sales floor associate. I go from one place to another assisting customers, answering phone calls, stocking shelves and making it look neat. I can feel it on my knees, legs and feet. Aside from doing stretches before our walk, I also started incorporating strengthening exercises for my lower body. I stand on my toes while washing dishes, and while I am in the backyard, I do lunges.”

––Gemma Dees, Store  #4235, Terre Haute, IN

Set small goals

“I try to remind myself that if you get busy working on yourself, you will get better and do it again and again. I started just trying to sneak a couple workouts in a week, and now I do at least one workout each day. I take time to meditate afterwards, and I reap so many benefits from making this time for myself that it has just become a new routine for me.”

––Rachel Johnson, Lucan, MN 

Try the “20-20-20” rule

“When working at a computer every day, I follow the  ‘twenty-twenty-twenty rule.’ This rule states that every twenty minutes, you look out to a wall or object twenty feet away and stare at it for twenty seconds. This allows your eyes to adjust and can prevent them from becoming damaged from the screens in front of you. Then, I follow this process, but with getting up every twenty minutes and walking for two minutes. I either walk over to the water fountain to fill up my water bottle, or stop by a co-worker’s desk to check in. This routine has helped me feel less sleepy and get more work done in small intervals.”

––-Lyle Hepworth, Store #1412, Casper, WY

Opt to walk places instead of driving

“In my community, I choose to walk where I need to go rather than drive. This keeps my steps up plus I get a nice break outside.”

––Shannon Leigh, Store #3181, Donalda, AB, Canada

Do a 10-minute workout after you get home

“When I get home from work, I sit with my husband and we discuss our days. After that, I am ready for my 10-minute workout. After working out, my husband and I put our phones away at 10:00 pm, which is part of our nightly routine for us. Putting our phones away gives us time to wind down and get better rest at night. Adding movement into my routine has really helped.”

––Lakreisha Staples, Store #5823, Dallas, TX

Spend time gardening

“My husband and I started a garden, and we also have chickens, ducks, and turkeys! We love them and they keep us busy. The garden is a nice workout, especially when I plant and then those weeds that get out of control!”

––Crystal Gilbert, Store #3851, Monon, IN

Set an earlier alarm in the morning

“I set my alarm every morning two hours prior to clocking in for work and go for a three-mile walk by the water. This helps me get focused for the day and gives me energy to carry out the tasks I need to accomplish. Also, I have accountability partners that I walk with sometimes. We text or call each other in the morning or the night before to confirm our walk time and place. This keeps me motivated. And I prepare my clothes to walk in at night before bed, which saves me time in the morning.”

––Karen Mason, Newport News, VA

Catch up with a friend over a walk

“I recently went on vacation and incorporated walking into my agenda: I walked with my sister and we talked about the grief we have about our beloved father’s passing away in 2021.  Then, I had a high school friend, whom I hadn’t seen in 43 years, and her family over for brunch and then we took a chairlift up Mt. Hood, Oregon, and hiked five miles. I like to plan events with walking in mind when feasible.”

––Clare Creegan, Store #5823, Dallas, TX