In this day and age, it can sometimes seem impossible to get enough exercise. Between work, school, errands, and everything else, it can be easy to let the gym fall by the wayside. But just because you can’t find time for a formal workout, doesn’t mean your day needs to be completely void of movement.
A sedentary lifestyle, meaning one mostly sits and goes long periods of time without standing, is a major factor that contributes to chronic disease. Single, daily bouts of exercise are not necessarily the best remedy for this. While tough workouts definitely have their benefits for building lean body mass and improving fitness, it is the accumulation of low to moderate intensity movement that is crucial to staying healthy and disease free.
Even if you are stuck at a desk all day, there are a number of ways to add more movement into your daily life.
1.) Go to the bathroom more often
Or ask a coworker a question, make a copy, get something from your car, or just walk around the office. Getting up and moving your body often while at work can add a lot to your total movement for the day. Getting your blood flowing regularly will also help you focus better and be more effective at your job. Even if you don’t leave your desk, just standing up and stretching can make a big difference. I like to set a timer or alarm to go off every 45 minutes to and hour to remind me.
2.) Include gentle movement into your morning and evening routines
Dedicating just a little bit of time in the morning and evening to some movement can add up to something significant. A few minutes of yoga, foam rolling, or other body weight exercises can do the trick. More vigorous movement like sun salutations or quick body-weight workouts are a great way to kick-start your morning, and gentle movement like stretching is excellent for calming down at the end of the day.
3.) Walk wherever you can
If the places you frequent are in walking distance you should walk to them whenever you have the time. Walking is an extremely important and underused type of movement. The human body is designed to do a lot more walking than most people do these days. Getting in those steps everyday can help you make serious improvements to your health and fitness, and help keep you healthy for years to come.
4.) Workout while you watch T.V.
If your like me and like to get your daily Netflix on, utilize that time to move a little more. There are plenty of easy workouts online that you can do while you watch your favorite shows. If you were sitting at work or school all day, the last thing you need is to just sit more when you get home. So make your down time more active and move while you watch.
5.) Make movement a social event
Switch up your typical happy hour or movie night for an activity with more movement like hiking, bowling, or dancing. Getting friends and family involved in physical activity makes it much more fun, plus it supports the health efforts of other members in your community. When people can support each other’s healthy habits, it is much easier to keep them. Everybody wins!
I hope these tips help you integrate more movement into your daily life. A little bit can go a long way in supporting your health and longevity. When it comes to movement, it all adds up!