To stay healthy, you should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually an achievable goal. To reach it you’ll not only be setting aside specific times to exercise, but you’ll also want to look for small ways to stay active throughout your day.
Here are a few tips on how to add more movement into your day.
Find reasons to walk
Fitness doesn’t necessarily need to involve jumping rope or sprinting around the neighborhood. Just going for a walk can be a healthy, low-impact activity. Walking can ease painful joints, strengthen your immune system, reduce sugar cravings and increase circulation.
Throughout the day, look for little opportunities to take more steps. You can do this at the office by opting for the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Any time you drive somewhere, you can park a few blocks away from the entrance, so you have to walk a small distance.
If you happen to live in a walkable neighborhood, consider walking to a local store for groceries rather than driving. And if you’re fortunate enough to live within walking distance to work, you can exercise during your daily commute.
Work remotely and wonder how to be active all day at home? Set a reminder to take a quick stroll around the block during your lunch break. Or start your day with a jog to help boost your mood before you log in to work.
Add activity to screen time
Long periods of sitting can take a toll on your health. For example, it can increase your risk of issues such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. It can also lead to lower back pain and stiff joints.
When considering ways to reduce the time you spend sitting down, start with screen time. Whether you’re watching TV or browsing the internet, screen time is often a physically passive time. Look for ways to sneak in a little extra movement. Perhaps every time an ad or commercial plays, you can take the time to stand up and do a few stretches. Or set a 10- or 20-minute timer that reminds you to pause your screen time and be active.
You can also invest in devices that mix entertainment with exercise. Consider a treadmill with a built-in television or a video game that relies on physical movements.
Be more active during work
If your job involves lots of physical activity, a typical day at work might already be helping you meet your movement goal.
But what if you have an office job? Even if you have to spend hours behind a computer every day, you can still find ways to be more active on the job.
Here are a few tips on how to stay active at a desk job:
- Use an adjustable standing desk to reduce the time you spend sitting. Being in one position for a long time can get uncomfortable, so don’t hesitate to move around a bit. You might also find that a cushioned floor mat can increase your comfort. Whatever tools you use, try to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday.
- Use an exercise ball in place of an office chair. While on the ball, you can easily do stretches and exercises to work your stabilizer muscles. This isn’t feasible in every work environment, but if you work from home, you can likely try this out.
- When you need to meet with coworkers, suggest taking a walk together. You can walk outside your office building while still chatting about business. If you work remotely, walk around your home or backyard when you take calls with your team.
Some of the benefits of being active at work include improved working memory and reduced risk of burnout and depression. And, of course, you’ll reap the many physical benefits as well.
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