For sure, often you need do no more than reach for an off-the-peg phrase such as "he ran his hand through his hair, "she flinched", "he stood up" or "her eyes found his". Nothing wrong with these, per se. You'll find bazillions in prize-winning novels. Here's one from Hilary Mantel, perfect in its simplicity:
"Filthy." He sits down. "Weather. People. Manners. Morals."
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (2009)
But these "spare" moments actually give us an opportunity to achieve more interesting things. Take a look at this example by Alan Holinghurst. It's from his 2004 Booker prize-winning novel, The Line of Beauty:
... and Nick would say, "She's fine, she's fine," shielding his eyes from the dropping August sun, and smiling back at him with reassurance, among other unguessed emotions.
Alan Holinghurst, The Line of Beauty (2004)
Holinghurst's [INSERT ACTION] is perfect because the action described is familiar enough that we can imagine it without too much effort, and generic enough that the description gives us space to invest Nick with attributes that mean something to us. Holinghurst hasn't over-described things, he hasn't stipulated the colour of Nick's eyes, the size of his shielding hands, etc. He even seems to pun on the pitfalls waiting for less experienced writers, who would guess at Nick's other emotions .
"I saw," the colonel leers, trying to raise himself up off his perennially festering rear. "Death and damage." He falls back on the cushions.
Michel Faber, The Crimson Petal and the White (2002)
"Very manly," says Madam Monnard, probing the cat's fur.
Andrew Miller, Pure (2011)
"Where is the funny?" my husband says, clicking the remote. "Bring me the funny."
Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation (2014)
“Remember, Mrs Cooke, ‘one’ is no closer to ‘zero’ than it is further from infinity.” He smiled, the perilously thin skin at the corners of his eyes becoming a mass of spiculated folds. “Infinity is all other possible numbers. It might be two, it could just as easily be two-trillion-and-two. It would certainly be a fallacy to take the sign of infinity for infinity itself.”
“I – ”
“Indeed, Mrs Cooke.” His face fell a little. “Of course, perhaps there’s no inside or out, space limited only by space.” He leaned forward. “His Holiness has appointed a circle of astronomers to advise him on the latest scientific ideas.”
The cloth stopped. “Surely that’s bla–” She checked herself, afraid of the word.
“Blasphemous?” Mr Shadworth shook his head.