Considering most experts report that at least 15 percent of all Americans live a sedentary lifestyle, it’s crucial to find ways to incorporate movement into our daily routines. Regular physical activity not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also improves overall well-being. If you’re looking for ways to add more movement into your lifestyle, here are some effective strategies to help you stay active and lead a healthier life.
1. Embrace Active Commuting: Ditch your car and opt for active modes of transportation like walking or biking. Invest in quality workout accessories, such as no tie laces, so you can safely make the trip. If the distance is too far, consider parking farther away from your destination and walk the remaining distance. This simple change can significantly increase your daily activity level and help you burn extra calories while reducing your carbon footprint.
2. Take Active Breaks: Instead of sitting at your desk all day, make it a habit to take active breaks. Set an alarm every hour and use that time to stretch, take a short walk or do some quick exercises like squats, lunges or jumping jacks. These mini breaks will not only boost your energy but also improve your productivity and focus. Consider taking a walking meeting instead of a sedentary one — ideas flow when you’re moving, too!
3. Make Household Chores Count: Turn mundane household chores into opportunities for movement. Activities like vacuuming, mopping, gardening or cleaning windows require physical effort. Crank up the music and turn your chores into a fun workout session! Not only will your house be sparkling clean, but you’ll also be burning calories along the way.
4. Incorporate Active Hobbies: Find hobbies that get you moving and excited. Join a dance class, take up hiking or rock climbing, try kayaking or paddleboarding or engage in team sports like basketball or soccer. Choose activities that you enjoy, and you’ll be more motivated to incorporate them into your routine consistently. Not only that, but you’ll make new friends! It’s also a great way to deepen your connection with current ones. They might even know what teams have openings or need an extra player!
5. Deskercise: Have you ever heard of deskercise? Sitting at a desk all day can be detrimental to your health. Combat the sedentary lifestyle by incorporating desk exercises into your workday. Perform simple exercises like leg raises, desk push-ups or shoulder rolls while sitting at your desk. You can also use resistance bands or small weights for a quick workout during your breaks. Talk with your office manager about investing in a portable treadmill and a standing desk. This will get you moving without making you break too much of a sweat. You could also ask for a pedal foot rest so you can cycle easily. If you’re worried about not having the right gear to get active during your workday, consider adding functional jewelry to your wardrobe! These pieces are perfect because they look great, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your fine jewellery.
6. Take the Stairs: Probably one of the easiest things you can do to incorporate movement into your everyday lifestyle is to take the stairs. Instead of relying on elevators or escalators, make it a habit to take the stairs whenever possible. Climbing stairs is a great cardiovascular exercise that engages multiple muscle groups. Whether it’s at work, in a shopping mall or at home, opt for stairs to add more movement to your day.
7. Schedule Active Social Outings: When making plans with friends or family, choose activities that involve movement. Instead of meeting for coffee, suggest going for a hike, playing a game of tennis or taking a yoga class together. It’s a great way to socialize while incorporating exercise into your lifestyle. And, even if you do get that cup of coffee, consider going for a walk around the parking lot while you drink. Small changes make a big difference!
8. Invest in Home Workout Equipment: If you find it challenging to make time for the gym, consider investing in home workout equipment. Whether it’s a treadmill, stationary bike, resistance bands or weights, having exercise equipment at home makes it convenient to squeeze in a workout anytime. Set aside dedicated time each day for your home workout session. Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, every moment counts.
9. Walk or Bike During Phone Calls: Take advantage of phone calls as an opportunity to move. Instead of sitting while chatting on the phone, walk around your home, pace back and forth or even step outside for a stroll. If you’re using a mobile phone, consider taking your calls outdoors and enjoying a brisk walk while you talk. There are lots of options these days for wireless headphones and hands-free messaging and connection. The days of worrying about being able to take a phone call while multitasking are long gone.
10. Set Activity Goals and Track Progress: Set activity goals for yourself and track your progress. Use a fitness tracker or smartphone app to monitor your daily steps, distance covered or calories burned. Setting goals and tracking your progress can provide motivation and help you stay committed to incorporating movement into your lifestyle. If you’re managing your diet as well, there are plenty of apps that allow you to combine your exercise and movement with your meals to show you whether you’re burning enough, too much or even too little.
Incorporating movement into your lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. By making small adjustments to your daily routine and doing physical activities you enjoy, you can lead a more active and healthier life. Remember — every step counts, so find ways to keep moving throughout the day. There are plenty of effective strategies to help you incorporate movement into your lifestyle.