You were made to be up and moving. However, the sad truth of the matter is that only 20% of adults meet the minimum guidelines for exercise (at least 150 minutes of exercise a week). Because of this, lack of activity has been linked to a higher risk of many different diseases, such as heart and cardiovascular disease, higher blood pressure levels, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Being inactive can also have a negative effect on your metal well–being. Lower exercise levels can increase feelings of depression and anxiety in adults.
There are so many benefits to exercising, but even just moving throughout the day can pay enormous dividends. You can get a better handle on your weight, improve your mood, fight diseases, improve sleep, lessen stress levels, improve brain functions, and increase your vitality and energy levels.
Setting the goal to move more is a key step in making it happen. Set your mind to it and you can do just about anything. It is always a common theme to see resolutions fall through, but by making this commitment to yourself and holding yourself accountable, you can make great change in your life.
In turn, setting a limit on the amount of time you stay sedentary is a great place to start as well. For every twenty minutes that you are sedentary, you should stand for eight and move or stretch for two. Doing this every half hour will help you to reap the benefits of the beginnings of an active lifestyle.
♦ Shake it! Do a little bit of dancing when you are cooking in the kitchen, folding laundry, or just dance when you feel boredom strike. Turn up the music and let it flow.
♦ Sit, boy! Getting extra steps in is easy when you have a furry friend by your side. He will love going to the park, and you will love the fresh air and some exercise.
♦ No more fighting for a spot! Parking at the opposite end of the parking lot can save you headaches and time as well as giving you a little bit of extra exercise. Gone are the days of circling the lot like a vulture for a close spot.
♦ An oldie, but a goodie! Take the stairs. It sounds easy, but those elevators can be evil enticers. Taking the stairs is a tried and true method of getting a mini workout in your day.
♦ Hit the shops! Go do some shopping at your local mall. All of that walking is great for your pedometer, and you might be able to sneak in some arm workouts with your shopping bags.
♦ What is on tonight? While you watch the evening news or your favorite sitcom, do some workouts. Planks, crunches, and pushups are favorites, but just about anything will do. Try a wall sit for a particularly important moment.
♦ Pearly whites! Everyone knows you need to be brushing your teeth for a full minute, so why not use that minute to your advantage? Challenge yourself every morning and night to see how many squats you can do in one minute.
♦ Say no to the commute! Buckle on that helmet and get peddling, because that old bike is just gathering dust in your garage. On nice days, nothing feels better than a bike ride to work or errands. It will help you save on gas too!
♦ Fun for the whole family! Take the kids out to the park. Playing on the playground is a great way to bond with your kids. A game of soccer or tag is also a great way to sneak in some cardio.
♦ Take a break! Step away from your work for five minutes to stretch your legs. Have a little walk around the office and do a few tricep dips at your desk. This will leave you refreshed and readier to tackle the task at hand!
♦ How does your garden grow? Growing a garden is a great way to add natural beauty to the exterior of your home as well as adding exercise to your day. Digging, planting, pulling weeds, watering, and harvesting plants all take effort on your part. You can also benefit from some home-grown food!
♦ Get cleaning! While cleaning is not on the top of everyone’s favorite things to do, is certainly is necessary. Dusting and vacuuming are great ways to move a little bit more every day.
♦ Your biggest competition – you! Using a device to track your steps can help you get a baseline for how much you are actually moving, and then working to increase it over time. You can make it into a fun competition with yourself.
♦ In a meeting! Instead of talking to your work colleagues over coffee or at a table, invite them out on a walk to chat with them instead. You can both stretch your legs and get some face time at the same time.
♦ A little bit faster now! If you are already walking during your daily routine, that is great! Try picking up the pace next time you are headed down a hallway, going to your car, shopping, or anywhere where you are out and about.
♦ Lunch break! Usually, you get between thirty minutes to an hour for a lunch break. Realistically, you need about ten minutes to each. Rather than sitting for your lunch break, why not take a walk?
♦ Pass the time! Hobbies are good for more than filling idle time, they can also improve your health. Find a hobby that forces you to move more, like nature photography, rock climbing, or birding.
♦ Oooooom! Mediation is a great way to relieve stress, but there are also alternative forms from the seated, cross-legged position. Tai chi and yoga are great places to start.
♦ Oh so tempting! Use your temptation to your advantage. By tying your favorite things to exercise, you can motivate yourself to move more. If you really love watching movies, force yourself to only watch a movie while you are on a treadmill.