Looking for exercise on your daily commute? Improving your life does not have to be about one or two massive and dramatic changes. It can be about a number of small and very manageable ones. Here are 10 exercises

1. Leave the car
I know it’s comfortable. But hey, I don’t have a car and many others don’t either, yet we still manage to get around and be punctual.


Now you might say your life is busier than ours. Not necessarily, it’s rather a different way of managing and planning time and meetings. You can do it as well.

Ask yourself: if I didn’t have a car how would I manage this task or this day?

When you leave the car home you walk a lot, sometimes run to catch a bus or train, you go up and down flights of stairs, carry bags and so on. There is a lot of movement there, building strength, stamina and contributing to your overall fitness.

2. Walking
Any chances you have to walk to and from your car, office, shops – do it! Power walking is even better.

3. Take the stairs
If you are using the tube there are stairs everywhere!

Same goes for when you are in the office, take the stairs, particularly if you are late for your meeting, it will make you sprint up the stairs.

4. Cycle
In London we have these bicycles provided for the public. You hire the bike from one spot, ride it and drop it to a different spot. Do you have them in your city? These are ideal for business people and corporate employees to move about without having to carry their own bicycle.

It’s also a great way to avoid traffic jams.

5. Standing
Of course a classic but very effective way of strengthening your core and stability muscles, improving your balance as well. Instead of sitting, stand on the tube or bus. However, be careful in a moving vehicle, there is a high risk of injury.

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6. Squats and lunges
While waiting for the tube or bus you can do squats and lunges, sitting on the benches/chairs and then standing.

Yeah, I’m serious! When I took Latin American Dancing lessons I used to practice while waiting for buses!

7. Wall squats
Wall squats are a great way to exercise your lower body while:
-Typing on your laptop
-Waiting to go in a meeting, or for the train
-Talking to a friend or colleague – who knows, they might join you in the end

A few technical points:
*Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles activated (or engaged, or tensed)
*Form an approx 90 degrees angle at your knees
*Your knees should fall above your ankles (always keep knees behind the toes when performing squats or lunges)
*Try to bent your knees until the thighs are about parallel to the ground
*Keep your feet flat on the ground, distributing your weight evenly on your heels and balls of the feet
*Keep toes on the ground

Now all you need is a wall!

8. Wall press-ups
Another wall exercise, this time for the upper body. You can practice it anywhere you find a wall or even a tree. If you are already good at press-ups, try one hand wall press-ups, and/or try to guide your elbows straight back, brushing your body, instead of to the sides. Do the latter two hands or one hand version.

Press-ups strengthen your core, arms and back. It’s a great exercise, a few reps, up to ten, is perfect for an exercise on the go.

A few technical points:
*With wall press-ups, as with the regular press-ups, to keep your body straight, abdominal muscles activated (or engaged, of tensed)
*Lean from the ankles, rather than bending from the hips
*Your body should feel like a straight wooden plan, leaning towards the wall

Now you have a lower body and an upper body exercises to do against a wall.

9. Bicep curls and shoulder raise
Whenever you carry shopping bags, particularly groceries, it’s an excellent opportunity to do some upper body exercises. Bicep curls and shoulder raise (side or forward) and easy and you can do them while walking.

Remember though, to keep your body straight while lifting by tensing your abdominal muscles. Avoid leaning to one side, or backwards to lift. If you can’t lift the bags without leaning that means they are too heavy and you shouldn’t practice these exercises. Take that block of cheese out of the bag first and then try again!

10. Stretching
This is simple and can take as little as 30 seconds at a time. Sitting or standing up stretch your body. Here’s a Periscope replay I did last year on how to strength sitting at the office

If you want a full body stretch, check out the fluid movement stretch I learnt myself from one of my coaches. This stretch allows your body to open up gradually. This is also ideal for when you are stressed, nervous, anxious, or your body feels stiff.

And here’s another full body stretch which stretches the hips and adductors, as well as the sides of the body (this is what I love about it most). I created this one myself, based on elements from Martial Arts Shotokan Karate.

You can practice these stretches almost anywhere at almost any time.

Final word

Whichever exercises you perform ensure you know how to execute them. I gave you here some technical points, but it’s not detailed and not enough. You cannot learn technique from an article of video, you should have a coach or PT checking your technique.

After all, how can you see the picture if you are in the frame? You can’t.

Regardless of whether you execute an exercise in a gym, outdoors or in your office, it need to be correct and using the correct muscles, in the correct sequences. If the technique is not right performing the exercise is useless, and even dangerous.

If you have any questions or would like me to have a look at your technique please contact me.

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Alexandra Merisoiu

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
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