You Don’t Need the Gym: 10 Everyday Activities That Count as a Workout

Rethink what exercise means for you. The gym is just one of many ways to reap the health benefits.

Rethink what exercise means for you. The gym is just one of many ways to reap the health benefits.

Kim Wong-Shing

Senior Associate Editor

Kim Wong-Shing is a senior associate editor at CNET, covering health and wellness. She has six years of experience in digital media, and she loves demystifying the world of wellness to make it accessible for any reader.

Exercise is important, but you probably already knew that. The problem is only 23% of US adults meet all the weekly exercise guidelines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite understanding the health benefits of working out. So even though you know everyone should exercise regularly, chances are high that you have trouble motivating yourself to actually do it. 

So what gives? There are a lot of reasons that people don’t exercise more. You may be short on time or energy, or you may not have the equipment that you feel like you need.

But while you might imagine sneakers, sports bras and weight benches when you think of “exercise,” you don’t have to hit the gym to meet the CDC’s guidelines for physical activity. In fact, the CDC’s 2018 National Health Statistics report, which contains that 23% statistic, doesn’t mention the word “exercise” once. Instead, it’s all about physical activity and movement — whether for work, play or by doctor’s orders.