5 Ways to Sneak More Movement into Your Day
We get it. We’ve all said, “Who has time to work out when you’re a…”
Fill in the blank: student, single parent, nurse, working night shifts. You’re not the only one struggling to fit more movement into your day. It can be easy to find reasons to skip exercise altogether when you can't commit to a full workout at the gym in your day.
It’s time to ditch that all-or-nothing mentality! You can reap the benefits of working out by getting in a few minutes of movement here and there, which adds up over time and makes your next trip to the gym a little bit easier!
According to the American Heart Association Guidelines, even three small bits of exercise through the day will improve cardiovascular health and increase aerobic fitness. Here are five ways to add movement to your day.
1. Integrate movement into your morning routine
You may already have a routine in the morning filled with habits like making a coffee first thing you wake up, or checking social media. It can help to try habit stacking with some more movement.
Habit stacking is as simple as it sounds: it’s about creating new, healthy habits by associating them with (or “stacking” them onto) habits you already have.
If you have a habit of going right to the coffee maker as soon as you wake up, try adding calf raises or squats every time you wait for your coffee to brew. Before you know it, you’ll form a new habit and a bit more movement into your day. You can also stack habits onto simple tasks like brushing your teeth, walking to your car, or unloading the dishwasher.
James Clear explains in his book Atomic Habits that your current habits are already ingrained into your brain, you can easily use that consistency to create strong, new habits by association. By linking your new habits to existing ones, they’re more likely to stick. And when you’ve mastered one habit, you can continue to stack on new ones!
2. Park far away
If you're in an area that’s safe for walking, consider parking further from the entrance of your destination. This will add a few minutes of walking time to your day, which can help increase your daily steps. It all adds up if you are running multiple errands!
For reference, most people should aim to hit 10,000 steps in a day. Why 10,000 steps? It’s equivalent to about five miles which is the distance said to help reduce the risk of certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
3. Take your calls standing or walking
If you work from home, schedule a walk during one virtual team call per day. If you don't need to be staring at a screen, take the meeting on-the-go. It’s a great way to mix up your daily routine, get your blood flowing, and interrupt an otherwise stationary day.
And if you work in an office, take your one-on-one meetings on the go. Walking together improves team bonding, and you may even come up with better ideas. Research shows walking boosts creativity and enhances mental acuity.
4. Make your leisure time active too
It can be easy to make your leisure time active and enjoyable at the same time. If you're watching television, try taking a break between episodes to add push-ups, jump squats, tricep dips or jumping jacks.
Even while watching, you can add exercises like squats or leg lifts and still pay attention to the show. Cooking dinner? Crank up your favorite playlist and dance. Getting a call from your mom? Lace your shoes up and take the call walking.
5. Take the stairs
The stairs can be better for your health than the elevator. Taking the stairs strengthens your lower body, works your glutes, and improves your heart health. If you find yourself out of breath after climbing a few floors, it’s because your heart is working harder and requires more energy. Increasing your heart rate, even for small bouts of time, is shown to help increase blood flow and oxygen to your brain and muscles and helps prevent many chronic conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease and Parkinson’s disease.
At Snap Fitness, we believe all fitness is valid fitness—that means that all activity counts whether it be inside or outside of the gym. Moving your body, moves your mood!
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