You probably know a little about the health benefits of exercise, but have you ever thought about the countless ways you could move around more during the day without ever hitting the gym at all?

That kind of unstructured movement may matter more than we think. One recent study that tracked groups of normal and overweight people throughout the course of their day found that the thin group walked around more and burned more calories, even though neither group had been told to exercise at all!

Here are a few easy ways to incorporate more activity into your day even if your hectic life makes it hard to schedule much formal gym time.

1. Take The Stairs

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This one should be a no-brainer, but do you actually do it, every time? While climbing, you burn 5 calories a minute, as opposed to burning zero and having to talk to your annoying co-workers in the elevator. You could also try walking up or down to the restroom on another floor when you have to go, which could add up if you've been keeping up with your 2-4 liters of suggested daily water drinking.

2. Bike Or Walk To Work

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Did you know that even a 20-minute-daily increase in the amount of time the average American spends walking or biking (as opposed to driving) could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 14%? If you live too far away, you can still minimize your environmental impact and up your physical one by taking public transportation and then walking from the train or bus stop.

3. Walk During Your Lunch Break

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There are so many better ways to spend half an hour than lazily swiping through Facebook in your break room. Stroll around a park, browse a nearby shop, or book it to Starbucks for a cup of coffee— hold the cream! If you do, you actually may be more focused when you do get back to your desk; studies show that regular exercise can enhance your memory, concentration, and mental sharpness.

4. Active Seating

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Even if you have a static 9-5, you can still avoid being stationary while you sit. Invest in a specialized active seating option that will allow and encourage you to move around more, like a kneeling chair or an ergonomic stool. You could also just sit on a good old-fashioned exercise ball, and there are plenty of streches you can do right at your desk!

5. Play With Your Kids

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Moving around was fun when you were a kid, right? So maybe the best way to get back into the game is by hanging out with those young enough to still find activity easy and joyful. Play catch with your daughter or shoot a few rounds of hoops with your son, and the steps will add up before you know it! You can also offer to babysit for a friend or relative, or consider getting a dog. Those critters don't walk themselves!

6. Park Further Away

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Have you ever spent what felt like hours driving around looking for a good parking space? If you'd just taken the one on the end, you could have walked there by now! To  take it up a notch, park a few blocks away and then walk to and from your actual destination.

7. Use Your Idle Time

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How many sit-ups or jumping jacks could you get done while waiting for the water to boil? What would happen if you watched all of your junk-TV on the treadmill? Even just making an effort to fidget more in line or at stoplights could add up to hundreds of calories throughout the day!

8. Do Your Chores (The Hard Way)

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Need to head to the grocery store? Why don't you walk there? Lawn getting out of hand? Why not trim it yourself? Everything from vacuuming to mopping will burn more calories than sitting around and letting your significant other do it!

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