It can be difficult to get sufficient exercise when you lead a busy lifestyle. Your body requires regular movement for optimal health, and a sedentary lifestyle leads to a variety of health problems from obesity and heart disease to anxiety and depression.
If you're forced to remain sedentary for the majority of the day, it's important to find opportunities to move around to prevent muscle degeneration, weight gain, and neck or back pain. Here are 5 creative ways to incorporate more movement into your day.
Walk During Breaks and Phone Calls
It can be difficult to find 20-30 minutes to go for a leisurely walk on a busy day. Studies have shown that walking is a great way to stay healthy and prevent countless diseases and health conditions. If you don’t have much spare time, walking during breaks is a great way for sedentary workers to get up and move when they would otherwise be scrolling through their phone. Alternatively, if you take work calls throughout the day, taking a brisk walk during phone calls will help get some blood pumping rather than sitting at your desk.
Clean the House
Putting on your favorite playlist and cleaning the house is a fantastic way to get up and get moving. While cleaning, you will be stretching, bending, and getting a great aerobic workout while you multitask!
Start a Garden
Not only does tending to a garden require you to bend, push, pull, and dig as you prune, weed, and harvest, but it also supplies you and your family with fresh, healthy foods. Hauling bags of mulch and soil, squatting as you work, and twisting from side to side increases strength and range of motion. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gardening can burn between 165 - 330 calories for 30-60 minutes of light gardening or yard work.
Exercise With Household Items
You don’t need expensive gym equipment to get in a good workout. There are a variety of household items that can be used for strength training. Use dining room chairs for tricep dips, full bottles of laundry detergent for bicep curls, soup cans instead of hand weights, and you can even go up and down the steps for a great leg workout.
Find Movement During Daily Activities
When in doubt, try to find ways to incorporate movement into your daily activities. This can include doing lunges while you fold laundry, dance as you brush your teeth, or calf raises while you wait for your dinner to cook. Once you begin, you’ll find that you can easily fit more movement into just about any daily chore or activity.
Being more active doesn't have to be complicated. It is important to choose activities that are sustainable that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Getting more movement each day will help boost your mood and offset the negative effects that come along with a sedentary lifestyle.